, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 4 – K-Rep Bank has officially rebranded to Sidian Bank in a restructuring process that has cost the firm Sh500 million.
Sidian Bank Managing Director Titus Karanja says in the new restructure the bank has shifted its focus to entrepreneurs as it seeks to move to a top two tier bank in the next three years.
Karanja says the bank is already working on new products suited for entrepreneurs especially Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and is seeking to partner with financial technology firms to enhance their offering.
“The first thing we did was actual customer experience vigilance, to see if our staff manifest our new brand, we had to retrain our staff so as they think and act as entrepreneurs,” Karanja said in an Interview with Capital FM Business.
He says easy access to cash for entrepreneurs will be a top priority for the new brand.
“We understand that entrepreneurs need money fast, what we call pre approval loan limits to our customers that involves a thorough look into the income and expenses of the borrower, including a look at the borrower’s credit report and score so as to determine how much our customers maximum loan limit, this will reduce the amount of time entrepreneurs can get cash for their businesses,” he explained.
The firm was in December 2014 acquired by Centum Investments through buying a controlling stake, the firm injected Sh1.2 billion capital out of the required Sh1.6 billion to turn around the bank.
Karanja says the remaining Sh400 million will be put in by minority shareholders by May 2016.
Among the plans include refurbishment of the branch network and upgrade of the core banking system, also in focus will be revitalization of the channel offering through mobile, Internet and agency banking.
The firm is seeking to recruit over 3,000 agents and open five more branches throughout the country.
Sidian Bank is targeting to increase its customer base to 1.5 million in the next three years from the current 300,000.
Centum Investment acquired an additional 66 percent shareholding in K-Rep Bank Limited from several existing shareholders to bring its total stake in K-Rep to 67.54 percent in 2014.
Centum, which has been a minority shareholder in the bank since 2004, stated that the acquisition of the controlling interest in K-Rep is in line with its strategic objective of expanding presence in the financial services sector.
The bank recorded a drop in its full year 2015 net profit to 372 million from Sh514 million made in the year 2015 attributable to high investments.
According to Centum Investment Director Dr Chris Kirubi, the bank had stagnated for so long and Centum had plans to transform it.