Barclays Bank Kenya eyes fintech acquisitions

L-R-Moses Muthui Head of strategy BBK Jeremy Awori Managing Director BBK Yusuf Omari Chief-Finance-Officer BBK

Barclays Bank of Kenya (NSE:BBK) managing director Jeremy Awori has revealed that on the question of mergers and acquisitions being witnessed in the financial sector, the bank is contemplating acquisitions in the fintech space.

“Our 10-year ambition of taking back the banking industry is on course. Our interest will be an acquisition in the fintech space,” said Awori when the bank announced a 7.1% y/y growth in Earnings per Share (EPS) to Ksh 1.37 for its Financial Year 2018 results.

He said they were clear on their growth strategy that aims at “ Being profitable and has positive returns to their shareholders.”

Awori said “We are a business on the move” and they will accelerate the transformation in 2019 with three top objectives:

One, Absa brand with increased investments in technology. Two, business growth with a focus on ecosystems, growth in virtual banking, grow and diversify its retail and business and deliver top quartile normalised performance. Three, customer obsession with a passion that will entail, customer experience transformation, innovation focus and customer-obsessed culture.

“To deliver on customer obsession we ensure that the first person you talk to responds to your problem and does not bounce you off to another person. We have also sought to reduce the number of days taken to clean cheques to help our SME customers,” said Awori. 

According to Genghis Capital Analysts, “The bank leveraged on its digital platforms, with 70% of transactions now carried out via digital channels….We expect robust customer deposit growth going forward, attributed to the bank’s recent aggressive focus on the retail and SME banking segments (under ABSA brand).”