The shutting down of several branches in Kenya due to Covid-19 on reduced business activities has seen NCBA bank relegated lender to the fourth position in Kenya.
NBCA become the biggest lender in terms of assets after Equity Bank and KCB Group after a merger between NIC and CBA Bank in 2019.
Even so, the merged entity closed 14 of its branches in the mid of the Covid-19 pandemic last year in a bid to cut costs and enhance efficiency.
The lender said the merger had left the new outfit with branch overlaps while in some instances, the outlets face each other across the streets.
“On April 1, 2020, the bank announced the temporary closure of eight branches in response to Covid-19. After careful consideration, we have decided to permanently close seven of these branches,” the bank said in a statement in July last year.
It added that it had identified another seven more branches to be closed permanently.
According to NCBA half-year results released yesterday, its assets base hit Sh542.59 billion compared to Sh514.03 billion same period last year, a six per cent growth.
Despite the growth has been demoted to fourth place by Co-operative Bank Group whose assets for the first six months of the year grew by 12 per cent to hit Sh573 billion.
Co-op Bank saw its total assets grow by Sh59.1 billion to Sh573 billion compared to Sh513.9 billion in the same period last year.
Equity Bank which was the first lender to hit $10 billion (Sh1 trillion) in asset value in East Africa maintained the leadership in Kenya with total assets hitting Sh1.12 trillion followed by KCB Group at slightly over Sh1 trillion.
NCBA is, however, is still the biggest bank in the country in terms of customer numbers, thanks to its partnership with Safaricom Plc via M-Swari and Fuliza.