By Shadrack Nyakoe
KCB Group PLC has received regulatory approval by the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) to merge its newly acquired Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) and KCB Bank Rwanda.
This means the two banks will now operate as a single entity named BPR Bank Rwanda Plc, with KCB Group as the majority shareholder with effect from 1st April 2022.
The combined bank will become the second largest bank in the Rwanda banking industry and gives KCB Group a stronger edge in deepening the ongoing Group strategy to scale regional presence.
“BPR as we know it today has a lot of potential. The success of this business will build on our era of undisputed leadership in the market and contribute towards Rwanda’s economic success journey. I am confident that we can re-write Rwanda’s next chapter of development and economic growth,” said KCB Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara.
“The success of this integration now allows our customers to enjoy exciting retail and wholesale offerings and the wide branch network is an opportunity for us to roll out products and services to MSMEs and the rural community,” he added.
Subsequently, the BPR Bank Rwanda Plc Board has approved a new organization structure for the integrated entity which takes effect immediately subject to governance approvals obtained from BNR. Mr. George Odhiambo, a seasoned banker has been appointed as the Managing Director BPR Bank Rwanda Plc. George was the Managing Director of KCB Bank Rwanda.
“The structure has considered the necessity of smooth post-integration transition with minimal business and human capital disruption whilst retaining key talent resources as well as alignment to the KCB Group Structure for support and governance,” said Mr Oigara.
The new entity has a new trademark and registration operating as BPR Bank Rwanda Plc; a new approved organizational structure; aligned products and services for the market; integration of core banking system; credit process automation and rebranded branches and customer touch points amongst other deliverables.
BPR is a strong retail and SME Bank with the largest branch network in the sector and a long history spanning over 45 years in Rwanda. The merger will provide current KCB Rwanda’s customers with access to a larger network of branches and agents across the country, while BPR’s customers will benefit from best-in-class digital capability, transactional banking solutions, trade finance expertise and international banking offering from KCB.