Access Bank will acquire the National Bank of Kenya (NBK) from the KCB Group, its second acquisition of a Kenyan bank in under five years. The acquisition comes after a move to acquire Sidian Bank fell through in 2023.

KCB Group’s CEO Paul Russo said Access Bank will buy out the entire stake in a deal he termed good for the future of NBK.

“We kick off the hard work to make sure the transaction is successful. It will take 6 to 9 months to close it out and cross the line but we give a predictable future about the institution and particularly our staff,” Russo announced.

In 2020, Access acquired Transnational Bank to grow its market share in the East Africa region but its ambitions continue to grow.

“The transaction represents an important milestone for the bank as it moves us closer to the achievement of our five-year strategic plan through increased scale in the Kenyan market,” Access CEO Roosevelt Ogbonna said.

The second-biggest lender in Kenya acquired the loss-making NBK in 2019 in a rescue deal brokered by the National Treasury and the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and has since heralded a major shakeup.  

Since the acquisition, KCB has worked to bring the bank’s capital strengths to the minimum levels approved by the regulator and keep it on track back to profitability.  

“In 2019, KCB made the bold decision to acquire the National Bank of Kenya. Unfortunately, some significant legacy claims have eroded all the gains we have made in National Bank,” KCB Group chairman Joseph Kinyua said.

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