Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group Plc has fully acquired Rwanda’s most popular bank, Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR) by Atlas Mara Limited.
The acquisition also comes with visible changes in the name of the bank to BPR Bank Rwanda and a rebranding of the logo to light green and white from the former blue, white and red when the bank was run by Atlas Mara Limited.
The bank, however, retained the name BPR written in Calbri font, which was adopted years ago after the acquisition of Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR) by Atlas Mara Limited.
In 2020, Atlas Mara Limited and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group Plc signed a definitive agreement to acquire 62.06% of the issued shares of Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR), a decision which was approved by the government.
This May 4, 2022, Prime Minister Dr Édouard Ngirente and KCB Group Chairman Andrew Wambai Kairu officially launched BPR Bank Rwanda in a colorful event to mark the journey of the full acquisition held in the city of Kigali.
Prime Minister Ngirente said, “With 154 branches in Rwanda and over 1,300 employees, the investment that KCB Group has made in Rwanda will significantly enhance the economic empowerment of the people of Rwanda”,
Ngirente also said that KCB Group’s continued investment in Rwanda since December 2008 has been a blessing to the people of Rwanda.
National Bank of Rwanda Governor John Rwangombwa said the Central Bank will continue to support the financial sector to ensure not only its scale but also the economic and social impact it will have on the East African people.
Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge also spoke of the need for regional integration of financial operations in East Africa, saying that as a central bank, their vision is to build an industry that works. for all East Africans and as such BPR Bank Rwanda as a new entity is a step in the right direction.
“Much more needs to be done to meet the region’s financing needs, such as infrastructure, manufacturing and greening our economy. It can only be improved through integration and consolidation,” Njoroge said.
In this regard, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of KCB Group, Joshua Oigara, said that the “new entity” of BPR Rwanda will enable its customers to enjoy retail offers and attractive wholesale deals and that the extensive branch network is an opportunity for us. to deploy products and services to MSMEs and the rural community in Rwanda.
“With our increased scale as a KCB Group, we will be able to invest more in building a sustainable business, as we have a duty to care for our environment and the communities we serve,” Oigara said.
Oigara said BPR clients in Rwanda will also have access to a larger network of agents across the country and benefit from enhanced digital capability, transaction banking solutions, trade finance expertise and an international banking offer from KCB.
“The combined bank (BPR Bank Rwanda) will effectively become the second largest bank in the Rwandan banking sector and give KCB Group a stronger advantage in deepening the group’s ongoing strategy to expand its regional presence,” Oigara said. .
The acquisition of BPR comes at a time when the banking sector in Rwanda is booming despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the slowing economy.
For example, the Financial Stability Committee (FSC) 2021 report said nothing much changed during the pandemic and the banking sector remained dominant at 67.2% in 2021 (compared to 67.3% in 2020) , followed by the pension insurance sector (16.7%), and Micro financial institutions.
The FSC also showed that during the pandemic, payment systems continued to operate smoothly, with the money supply growing by 15.8% and the use of digital payments continuing to deepen, driven primarily by mobile financial services.
This saw bank assets increase to Rwf 4.9 trillion from Rwf 4.0 trillion in 2020, with banks’ core earning assets remaining flat, while outstanding bank loans increased by 19.1% (from 2.4 trillion rwf to 2.9 trillion rwf, thanks to better growth in outstanding loans in line with the increase in new loans.