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ECB Merges with Southern Credit Bank

29th March 2010

Equatorial Commercial Bank and Southern Credit Bank announced today that they have signed a merger agreement that will bring the operations of the two banks under a single management structure by the end of April this year.

The merger, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, 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 Ksh 8 billion and Ksh 8 billion in combined assets and deposits respectively, placing Equatorial Commercial Bank among the top middle tier of banks with a broader customer reach.

Peter Harris, Managing Director, Equatorial Commercial Bank, said, “This merger transforms ECB’s position in the Kenyan banking sector, and it gives us critical mass to further develop and grow in a dynamic and competitive marketplace. There are great synergies between the two businesses, and we therefore believe this is a good deal for our shareholders and customers alike.”

The merger is part of both banks’ strategies to strengthen their balance sheets and diversify their product and service offerings. The deal comes at a time when the Central Bank’s monetary policy is actively encouraging strategic partnerships of this kind to create a stronger financial sector in Kenya.

Mr. Harris continued, “Our combined customer base and product offering gives us a strong platform for further expansion, and we have ambitious plans to grow the corporate, SME and retail banking businesses of the new bank. We can now offer a much broader range of services to our customers and we will be competing at a much higher level in the banking market.” ECB has traditionally been a more corporate focused bank whilst Southern Credit has had a combination of retail and corporate banking services. The new bank will exploit the existing synergies to grow its customer base, and has invested in new technology to roll-out mobile and internet banking platforms shortly. The merger also creates an opportunity to grow the Southern Credit cards business under the Senator brand.

“Technology is going to be used more and more as a differentiator in this market and we’re already seeing a great demand for technology-led services. In the coming months we will be announcing new technology solutions that will put ECB at the forefront of internet banking in Kenya.”

The new bank will be led by Peter Harris, an international banking veteran around the world, who has previously held leadership positions at Citibank in New York, Hong Kong, Kenya and Nigeria.

Peter Harris


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