By George Obulutsa
NAIROBI – Kenya Commercial Bank Group expects growth in services like insurance, Islamic banking and mobile money transfer services to further boost its income, after posting a 12 percent rise in first quarter pretax profit.
A mobile loan service, which KCB runs in partnership with telecoms firm Safaricom, had already attracted 1 million customers since launching in March, the bank said.
It has also set up an insurance agency business, an Islamic Banking unit and a programme to help regional country governments collect taxes, all of which it sees boosting its growth.
“I think banking needs to be seen not just as traditional lending. It’s more about the financial services continuum, which we don’t see all the time,” Joshua Oigara, KCB chief executive officer, told an investor briefing.
“So, insurance, investment banking. We’ll be looking at Islamic banking. We see mobile money transfer. That is the realm of our business,” he said.
Oigara however said these services were meant to supplement income from loans to customers.
The bank’s first-quarter 2015 pretax profit rose to 6.23 billion shillings ($65.5 million) from the same period last year, helped by higher interest income.
Its net loans and advances to customers rose to 297 billion shillings from 234 billion shillings, which resulted in an 11 percent rise in net interest income to 9.26 billion shillings.