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Kenyan banks get merger approval

NAIROBI, Kenya May 29 – Equatorial Commercial Bank (ECB) and Southern Credit Banking Corporation (SCBC) have announced that they have received all necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals for their planned merger which will take effect from June1, 2010. 

The merger will create a new enlarged bank under the Equatorial Commercial Bank brand with 12 branch locations dispersed broadly across Kenya. The new entity will also have a stronger balance sheet with over Sh8billion and Sh8billion in combined assets and deposits respectively, placing Equatorial Commercial Bank among the middle tier of banks in the country.

The Shareholders have agreed to increase the core capital of the merged bank to Sh1billion by the end of 2010.  As part of this process, an initial capital injection of Sh264million will be completed in May 2010, with the balance to be introduced before the year end.

Plans to integrate the two businesses are far advanced, and from the first day of trading as a new merged entity, the bank will operate from one common banking technology platform meaning that existing customers of both banks will be able to transact at any of the enlarged entity’s branches.

Peter Harris, who has been confirmed as Managing Director of the merged bank, said, “We’re delighted that our shareholders and the regulators have given us the green light to move ahead with this merger that transforms ECB’s position in the Kenyan banking sector. We plan to broaden the services we offer to customers quickly through integrating the offerings of both banks, and we believe we can compete and grow much more effectively with the critical mass that this merger delivers.”

“From day one we will be operating from one common banking platform which will deliver immediate benefits to all our customers. It has taken a huge effort from both banks to integrate our IT and banking systems, and this gives me great confidence in our ability to work together seamlessly to realise the significant growth potential that the new merged bank has.”

ECB has made considerable progress with the development of its internet and mobile banking capabilities, with the internet banking service currently undergoing live testing with key customers. Further announcements on the development of ECB’s service offering and the integration and development of its branch network will be made in the coming months.

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