Latest statistics by the Central Bank of Kenya attribute the marginal 3.4 percent rise to branch expansion, remittances and increased use of alternative delivery channels of banking services such as agency banking.
As at March 31, 2015 there were 16 commercial banks that had contracted 34,381 active agents which had facilitated over 149.4million transactions valued at Sh817.7billion.
“Since the roll out of the agency banking model in May 2010, commercial banks have continued to contract varied retail entities to offer basic banking services,” the CBK said.
The contracted entities include security companies, courier services, pharmacies, supermarkets and post offices who act as third party agents to provide cash-in-cash-out transactions and other services in compliance with the laid down guidelines.
The sector deposits continued to be the main source of funding for banks in the first quarter of 2015.
“The number of bank deposit accounts increased from 28.4 million in December 2014 to 29.7million in March 2015 representing a growth of 1.3million accounts,” the regulator said.
The banking sector pre-tax profit recorded a marginal growth of 2.7 percent to Sh37.3 billion in the first quarter of this year compared to Sh36.3 billion which the banks made in the quarter ending December 2014.
“Interest on loans and advances, fees and commissions and interest on government securities were the major sources of income 61 percent, 16.4 percent and 15.3 percent of total income respectively,” the CBK said.
The sector’s gross loans and advances increased from Sh1.97 trillion in December 2014 to Sh2.04 trillion in March 2015, translating to a growth of 3.6 percent.
The growth in loans was witnessed in all economic sectors except the building and construction, mining and quarrying and the agriculture sectors.
The Kenyan banking sector is expected to remain stable and resilient in the remainder of 2015.
The capital buffer requirement that took effect from January 2015 will enhance the resilience of the banking sector as banks explore new opportunities in Kenya and beyond.