A quick overview of the banking industry in Kenya

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The local banking industry was liberalised back in 1995. PHOTO/FILE
The local banking industry was liberalised back in 1995. PHOTO/FILE[/caption]The Kenyan banking industry is regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya Act, Banking Act, the Companies Act among other guidelines issued by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

The local banking industry was liberalised back in 1995 and exchange controls revoked.

The banking system comprised 46 commercial banks, 15 micro-finance institutions and 109 forex bureaus at the end of December 2008.

The banks have come together under the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), which works as lobby for the local banking industry. KBA also serves as a forum to address issues affecting the banking sector.

The industry has over the past few year enjoyed exponential growth in deposits, assets, profitability and products offering, mainly attributed to automation of services and branch network expansion both locally and regionally.

This growth has brought about increasing competition among players and new entrants into the banking sector.

Thanks to the stiff competition, banks are now focusing on the diverse customer needs rather than traditional banking products such as over the counter cash deposit and withdrawal.

Top banks in Kenya include Barclays, KCB, Equity, Standard Chartered, Cooperative, CFC Stanbic, Diamond Trust, Citibank Europe, I&M Bank, CBA and National Bank.