On Wedensday, August 18th, UOB and KCB Rwanda finally signed their Alliance Agreement. KCB Rwanda is the subsidiary of the largest commercial bank in Kenya. It is a bank that is focusing on corporate and SME banking. KCB has operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Southern Sudan and Rwanda.
The purpose of the alliance is to promote business cooperation between two institutions in branch banking, treasury, credits and electronic payment systems. Two banks are least overlapping in business strategies and branch network. Meanwhile, both KCB and Opportunity International share the common market territory in East Africa. OI also has operations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.
Initially, both banks will focus on branch operatins and treasury for cooperation, but their focus will shift to sharing branch facilities so that both bank clients can use the other bank's branches for cash deposits and withdrawals. This way, both banks may not have to overlap their branch network georgraphically since the branch network is costly to establish and taking long time to break-even. Moreover, both banks will pursue the sharing of their mutual network for electronic payments throughout the East Africa Region. This could materialize in 2011.
This type of alliance is the first case in Rwanda. Both the central bank (BNR) Governor and Vice Governor welcomed our alliance, and they wished more banks were doing it. May this case pave the way for future alliances so that the Rwandans may have more convenient access to banking services faster. Additionally, banks may achieve their sustainability sooner and provide additional services faster. - Jeffrey