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Equity goes commercial in Uganda

KAMPALA, Uganda, Mar 31 – Kenyan indigenous bank Equity officially began operations as a commercial bank in Uganda on Tuesday.

Equity Bank Uganda is the result of a merger between Uganda Microfinance Limited (UML) and Equity Bank Kenya, according to the Managing Director Charles Nalyaali.

“We inherited a bank with 30 branches and we expanded with another 20 which makes it the biggest bank by branches in Uganda,” he said, adding: “Equity bank is committed to serving all Ugandans – individuals and corporates through inclusive, affordable financial products and services.”

“Our goal is to make Equity Bank the bank of choice in Eastern and Central Africa,” expressed Dr James Mwangi, the Equity Bank Group Managing Director and CEO.

Dr Mwangi said that the bank would attempt to replicate Equity’s successful business model in Uganda and other countries in the region to provide inclusive customer focused financial services in the African region.

Last week, during the bank’s annual general meeting Dr Mwangi had also revealed plans to expand into southern Sudan.

At the same time Mr Nalyaali noted that in an effort to reach out to more people with financial services, Equity Bank Uganda had made banking easy and simple.

“We want to revolutionise and demystify banking in Uganda. Our deposit products are aimed at encouraging a savings culture amongst our people since this is at the heart of economic empowerment,” he said.

Mr Nalyaali stated that the bank has over 300,000 customers countrywide supported by an asset base in excess of Sh5 billion (Kenyan).

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Dr Mwangi said that the opening of Equity Bank Uganda was part of Equity Bank’s overall strategy to expand into the region and anchored on its asset base of over $1.1 billion making Equity one of the most capitalised banks in the region.

Equity Bank Uganda Limited started its operations in Uganda in 2008, following a merger that resulted from UML transforming from a Microfinance Institution (MFI) to a fully fledged commercial bank.

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