A fresh report on bank branches in Kenya has revealed rich and poor counties in the country. The report shows that nearly half of all bank branches in Kenya are located in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kiambu. These three counties host 794 branches. This is equivalent to 53 percent of the country’s 1,502 banking outlets.
Kenya’s capital Nairobi, is however, the home of the majority of these branches. The capital hosts Nairobi 39.5 percent of all branches. This was equivalent to 597 bank branches as at the end of December 2020.
The report, which was compiled by the Central Bank of Kenya shows that the 20 bottom counties have less than 10 bank branches each. Samburu, Tana River and Mandera counties have three outlets each.
Explaining the disparity, NCBA chief executive officer John Gachora said that banks in Kenya follow economic growth. No bank will set up in an area of low economic growth. “Banks follow economic growth, as a result branches are concentrated where the centres of the economy are. As banks raced for corporate clients in major cities and towns it led to a concentration in areas where they would find those types of clients.,” Gachora told a local daily.
His sentiments resonate with wealth data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. KNBS data shows that Nairobi, Mombasa and Kiambu account for 30.9 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. On the opposite extreme, the bottom 20 counties account for 15.6 percent of the country’s GDP.