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Best Banks In Kenya For The Wealthy

Thanks to the best banks in Kenya for the wealthy, the banking industry in Kenya has shown remarkable development into the larger East African area over the course of the last decade.

The shift away from conventional banking systems and toward automated procedures and customized adaptations at the local level has a major impact on the growth of the financial services sector.

There are also a number of well-known banks located on the continent, which is another aspect that contributes.

The Kenyan nation’s central bank is the body in charge of supervising the country’s entire financial sector, which includes the banking industry.

Kenya is home to a total of 44 reputable financial institutions, 31 of which are privately held by Kenyans and 13 of which are owned by individuals or organizations from other countries.

The federal government has ownership holdings in three separate financial institutions, one of which is a financial institution that specializes in the provision of mortgage loans.

The other 27 commercial banks are privately held, and their operations are carried out on the regional level. They are not controlled by the federal government. 

If you have any questions or want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use these contact options. Our East African, or global, team would be happy to assist.

In general, we suggest using offshore banks and investment houses, rather than local ones, and we can help in this endeavor.

Nevertheless, this article will look at some of the better local options.

National Bank of Kenya

The National Bank of Kenya (NBK), more frequently referred to as National Bank, is a notable commercial bank that operates inside the boundaries of Kenya, which happens to be the country with the biggest economy in the East African Community.

The NBK is also known simply as National Bank. The Central Bank of Kenya, which also acts as the national banking regulator, has issued a license to the entity in question.

The Central Bank of Kenya is the country’s central bank. Since September 2019, the bank has been integrated into the Kenya Commercial Bank Group as a fully-owned subsidiary of the parent company.

Best Banks in Kenya for the Wealthy
Bankers in Uganda.

The National Bank of Kenya is one of the best banks in Kenya for the wealthy. It offers a wide range of banking services to individuals and businesses.

The bank has a strong presence in the country and is known for its reliable and efficient banking services.

The National Bank of Kenya holds a prominent position as one of the most notable financial institutions in the country. Founded in 1968, this establishment is proudly owned by the Kenyan government.

The primary objective of its establishment, soon after gaining independence, was to grant Kenyans the opportunity to obtain credit and assert economic autonomy over their nation.

In 2019, the Kenya Commercial Bank Group officially integrated it as a subsidiary.

The National Bank of Kenya (NBK), a leading supplier of financial services in Kenya, serves a varied clientele that includes individuals, small-to-medium organizations, businesses (SMEs), and big corporations.

The bank is well-known for its ownership of a subsidiary firm that goes by the name NatBank Trustee and Investment Services Limited. The bank’s headquarters are located in Nairobi. 

A big shift took place in the financial landscape in September 2019, when KCB Group bought the shares of NBK. After that, on September 16, 2019, the shares of NBK were removed from the trading floor of the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

The federal government has complete ownership of the bank, which began operations in 1968 and is one of the nation’s oldest financial institutions.

In 1994, the Kenyan government took a calculated decision to lower its ownership to 68 percent as part of a strategic maneuver. This was accomplished by selling a stake that accounted for 32 percent of the company to the general public.

The government’s current ownership in NBK, which stands at 22.5 percent as of April 2019, has been steadily lowered over the course of the last few years as a result of these reductions.

The bank was able to turn its fortunes around in 2010, marking a key milestone in its history, after experiencing a protracted period of financial troubles that spanned over a decade.

Since that time, the organization has repeatedly been successful in generating profits, which has enabled it to reliably pay out an annual dividend to all of its stakeholders.

This incredible accomplishment has unquestionably established a fresh feeling of confidence and security inside the bank, therefore positioning it on the road towards continued prosperity.

KCB Bank Kenya Limited, the most successful commercial bank in the country in terms of assets, issued a statement in April 2019 detailing their intention to buy all of the assets and liabilities of National Bank of Kenya.

The announcement was made by KCB Bank Kenya Limited. This purchase will not be finalized until all of the required approvals have been received from shareholders and regulatory agencies. The closing of the deal took place on September 16, 2019, with no problems.

As of October 2019, the Kenya Commercial Bank Group, which is a well-known financial conglomerate, is the owner of the National Bank of Kenya’s shares. This ownership can be traced back to the bank’s founding in 1894. 

After completing the purchase of NBK, KCB Group made it very apparent that their intention was to run NBK as an autonomous subsidiary.

Following the conclusion of this arrangement, which was anticipated to run for at least two years, NBK was going to be merged with KCB Bank Kenya Limited.

Total Assets

With assets exceeding seven billion dollars, this particular bank has secured its place as the leading financial institution in Kenya.

The National Bank of Kenya had an asset base with a value of around US$1.122 billion (KES:115.143 billion) as of the end of December 2018, while the shareholders’ equity was valued at roughly US$67.6 million (KES:6.936 billion).

As of the month of October 2019, this multinational corporation has operations in seven of the nations that make up Eastern Africa and has a considerable asset worth that is more than $7.013 billion.

Equity Bank

Equity Bank is one of the best banks in Kenya for the wealthy that offers a wide range of banking services. It is known for its commitment to providing accessible and affordable banking solutions to its clients.

Equity Bank Kenya Limited, established in 2014, has impressively grown its presence across Kenya.

The Equity Bank Kenya Limited is a well-known supplier of financial services, and the city of Nairobi, which is the capital of Kenya, serves as the location of the company’s headquarters. 

The principal banking regulator and central bank of Kenya, the Central Bank of Kenya, has granted the bank a commercial banking license after it was submitted to them for review.

In 2010, the financial institution was successful in implementing the Agency banking model, which is currently governed by the prudential criteria established by the Central Bank of Kenya.

The establishment of Equity Bank Kenya Limited in 2014 came about as a direct consequence of a corporate reorganization that had been carried out by Equity Group Holdings Limited, the bank’s parent company.

Before November 2014, Equity Group Holdings Limited was well-known for its twin roles as a licensed bank and a holding company for its subsidiaries. However, in November of that year, the corporation changed its name.

On October 31, 2014, Equity Bank made the news that they planned to form a new subsidiary that would be named Equity Bank Kenya Limited.

The new subsidiary was to be called Equity Bank Kenya Limited. This subsidiary would be wholly owned by Equity Bank, and it would take over all of Equity Bank’s operations in Kenya, including the assets and liabilities connected with those operations as well as the Kenyan banking company.

According to the definition provided by the Banking Act, Equity Group Holdings Limited has recently implemented a tactical change by converting itself into a holding company that does not engage in trading.

This transformation enables the corporation to own ownership over both banking and non-banking subsidiary companies, while also offering vital services to those subsidiary companies such strategy planning, brand management, risk management, and people management.

It is anticipated that the group will be better able to invest in and cultivate its different companies as a result of this move, which will eventually lead to the expansion and development of those firms.

On November 24, 2014, at an extraordinary shareholders general meeting, a resolution was voted to reorganize the firm, which led to the establishment of Equity Bank Kenya Limited. The meeting was called to order by the chairman of the board.

Best Banks in Kenya for the Wealthy
Bank executives posing for a photo.

At the African Banker Awards in 2019, Equity Bank Kenya was given the distinction of being named the Most Socially Responsible Bank of the Year.

Additionally, in the same year, The Banker honored it as the most prestigious bank in Kenya by bestowing upon it the title of Bank of the Year in Kenya.

The financial institution began a process of rebranding in 2019, as stated by a report published in an influential business newspaper.

As the bank was celebrating its 35th anniversary, this strategic decision attempted to integrate all of their commercial activities under a single brand. In 2020, Equity Bank completed its purchase of Banque Commerciale du Congo (BCDC), which had been previously owned by BCDC.

With a network of 38 branches spread throughout the country, as well as several offices in Nairobi, the bank has successfully expanded its reach to cater to a wide range of customers. 

The company has successfully expanded its subsidiary operations into various countries, including  South Sudan, Uganda, and Rwanda, among others.

It boasts a substantial user base in East Africa, estimated to be a formidable 9.2 million individuals. The bank boasts an impressive branch network, encompassing a staggering 173 locations solely within Kenya.

The amazing client base of Equity Bank Kenya Limited, which is a part of Equity Group Holdings and operates in six different East African nations, totals over 14 million people.

Because of this extraordinary achievement, the bank is now considered to be one of the biggest commercial banks in Africa in terms of the number of its customers.

Kenya Commercial Bank

In 2015, Kenya Commercial Bank was established, choosing Nairobi as the city to house its headquarters.

KCB Bank, commonly referred to as KCB Bank, has made a commitment to provide banking services to a substantial portion of the Kenyan population who would otherwise lack access to such services.

As a result of its rapid expansion, the company now proudly boasts the most extensive banking network in Kenya.

With a total of 168 separate branches, it has successfully established a widespread presence throughout the country.

Total Assets

The financial institution in question boasts an impressive asset valuation of over $3.5 billion.

Cooperative Bank

The Cooperative Banking Institution is one of the best banks in Kenya for the wealthy that offers a range of financial services to its clients. With a strong emphasis on cooperation and community, this institution stands out for its commitment to providing accessible and inclusive banking solutions.

The Coooperative Bank of Kenya, established in 1965, marked a significant milestone for Kenya as it became the country’s first cooperative bank.

The financial institution in question is known for its utilization of the unique Agency banking model. The institution in question was bestowed with the prestigious title of Best Bank in Kenya by none other than The London Financial Times.

The bank is reported to have a customer base of over 7.5 million accounts. The service provided caters to the requirements of the nation’s second-largest clientele.

The company is based in Nairobi, just like many other reputable financial institutions. In addition, the financial institution boasts a prominent presence on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, further solidifying its position in the market.

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya

Standard Chartered Bank holds a respectable position among the best banks in Kenya for the wealthy.

The Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Limited holds the distinction of being the oldest bank in Kenya, with a rich history spanning over a century.

Operating within the nation, this esteemed institution has established itself as a prominent player in the banking sector. Established in 1911, this specific financial institution holds the distinction of being Kenya’s inaugural international bank.

The administration of the regulations governing the Central Bank of Kenya falls under its jurisdiction.

Furthermore, the aforementioned bank is widely recognized as a prominent subsidiary of Standard Chartered PLC, a well-established company based in England and Wales, with a significant ownership stake of 75% in the bank.

The banking network boasts an impressive reach, extending across an extensive network of 36 diverse locations. The financial institution has received numerous accolades, particularly in the areas of online and mobile banking.

Diamond Trust Bank of Kenya

Diamond Trust Bank of Kenya, also known as DTB, is one of the best banks in Kenya for the wealthy. It offers a wide range of banking services to its customers, catering to both individuals and businesses.

With its strong presence in the Kenyan market, DTB has established itself as a reliable and trustworthy bank.

Diamond Trust Bank is a financial institution that offers a wide range of banking services. They have a strong reputation for providing excellent customer service and have been serving customers for The Diamond Trust Bank Group is known for its extensive operations in East Africa, encompassing multiple companies across Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda. 

Located in Kenya, one of the most significant subsidiaries of this conglomerate stands out as a crucial component of its operations. In 2018, the bank in question held the impressive title of being the fifth-largest commercial bank.

As the flagship bank for the esteemed Diamond Trust Bank Group, it has undoubtedly established itself as a prominent player in the financial industry.

The megabanking organization is reputed to have an extensive network of over 100 branches across various East African countries.

Barclays Bank Kenya

Barclays Bank is one of the best banks in Kenya for the wealthy hat offers a wide range of banking services. It is known for its global presence and extensive network of branches.

In 1916, Barclays Bank Kenya was established, shortly after the establishment of Standard Chartered.

The mentioned entity is a prominent financial institution and a constituent of Absa Group Limited, a publicly traded company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in South Africa.

The bank is confident in its ability to provide a positive impact by offering efficient wealth management solutions tailored to the specific needs of the community.

Total Assets

With assets exceeding $2.5 billion, this bank provides customers with a wide range of options by offering 121 locations where they can conveniently open accounts.

NIC Bank

NIC Bank is one of the best banks in Kenya for the wealthy that offers various products and services, including personal and business banking, loans, mortgages

National Industrial Credit Bank, in its transition from a non-bank financial institution to a regional full-service bank, has successfully made significant contributions to the banking industry in Kenya.

The bank now offers a wide range of financial services including loans, investments, savings, credit cards, transaction accounts, and debit card services.

This expansion has allowed National Industrial Credit Bank to cater to the diverse needs of its customers and establish itself as a prominent player in the banking sector of Kenya.

The bank, which was founded in 1959, boasts an impressive network of 42 branches scattered across the nation.

Furthermore, the bank has an impressive network of five additional branches in Tanzania and three branches in Uganda.

In addition, the bank has successfully implemented Strategic Business Units, which play a crucial role in bolstering the institution’s capacity to offer a wide range of financial products and services.

Total Assets

As of September 2019, the bank’s overall asset base is reported to be valued at approximately $4.88 billion. Additionally, the institution boasts a substantial shareholder base of around 26,000 individuals.

Stanbic Bank Kenya

With a strong presence in various countries, Stanbic Bank has established itself as one of the best banks in Kenya for the wealthy that is offering a wide range of banking services to its customers.

Stanbic Bank, a division of the renowned Standard Bank Group, finds its roots in Johannesburg, South Africa, where its headquarters are located.

The bank has achieved the impressive feat of becoming the sixth-largest bank in Kenya. Notably, it has received the Central Bank of Kenya’s approval to offer financial services to support the country’s growing economy.

The business boasts an impressive network of 24 branches strategically located in key cities across the country.

Additionally, it has expanded its operations to several African nations, such as Botswana, South Sudan, Ghana, Congo, Nigeria, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Uganda.

The company’s trade activities encompass a variety of nations. The bank offers a wide range of day-to-day services, catering to various financial needs.

These services encompass corporate and investment banking, mortgages, credit cards, business and personal banking, as well as specialized services for small-to-medium enterprises and individuals.

I&M Bank 

I&M Bank Kenya Limited is a well-known commercial bank that is active within the Kenyan financial industry.

I&M Bank is one of the best banks in Kenya for the wealthy. The bank provides various products and services, including savings accounts, current accounts.

I&M Bank, established in 1974, has a rich history as a community financial firm. In 1996, the company experienced a significant transformation, transitioning into a commercial bank that caters to a wide range of clients.

This includes small and large enterprises, corporations, as well as high-end individual customers.

The company showcases a wide range of expertise, encompassing various areas such as Asset financing, Internet banking, Diaspora Banking, Mobile Banking, and Wealth Management.

Kenya is the member state of the East African Community that has the most populous economy. The company has a license that was granted to it by the Central Bank of Kenya, which doubles as the nation’s national banking regulator in addition to its role as the central bank.

The banking needs of I&M Bank’s customers, which include both small and big businesses, are a primary emphasis, while the bank also serves the requirements of medium-sized and large organizations.

In addition, the financial institution offers its services to private consumers, with a particular concentration on high-value clients. Following the completion of the purchase of Giro Bank, I&M also became a Tier I financial institution.

The founding of the bank can be traced back to the year 1974, when Investments & Mortgages Limited was created as a privately held corporation in Nairobi with the intention of providing individualized financial services to people who were engaged in commercial endeavors in the local area.

At that time, the bank’s primary market was the Nairobi metropolitan area.

The corporation, which was known as I&M during that time period, went through the process of registering as a Financial Institution in the year 1980 in compliance with the requirements that were outlined in the Banking Act.

I&M experienced the transition from a savings and loan institution to a commercial bank in the year 1996. This was done as a direct result of regulatory reforms that were adopted by the acclaimed Central Bank of Kenya, which is the nation’s banking regulator.

The bank is known for its extensive network of 42 locations spread across Kenya. Each of these branches is equipped with an on-site ATM, providing convenience to its customers.

Total Assets

The total assets of the bank were valued at around US$2.52 billion (equivalent to KES: 261 billion) as of the month of September 2019, while the shareholders’ equity amounted to roughly US$424 million (equal to KES: 44 billion).

Among the forty licensed banks that were active in the nation throughout that time period, the bank came in at position number eight in terms of total assets as of the month of September 2019. 

With assets estimated at a whopping $2.52 billion and shareholder equity valued at $424 million, the bank has established itself as a significant player in the financial industry.

Not limiting its operations to Kenya, the bank also engages in active overseas activities in three additional countries, showcasing its global reach and influence.

Absa Bank Kenya PLC

Absa Bank Kenya PLC is one of the best banks in Kenya for the wealthy that has a strong presence in the country and is known for its reliable and efficient services

Absa Bank Kenya PLC has established itself as a highly prosperous investment bank within the Kenyan market. It prides itself on providing comprehensive financial services to a diverse range of clients, including individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises, and large corporations. 

The primary financial services offered by the company encompass a range of options, catering to both individuals and businesses.

These services include personal and business loans, personal credit facilities, insurance financing for both personal and commercial purposes, as well as Islamic banking solutions.

The firm offers a range of services for its corporate customers, including transactional solutions, asset finance, trade financing, market solutions, business credit facilities, and asset management.

Total Assets

In their most recent financial report, Absa Bank Kenya PLC recorded total sales of KES 34.5 billion as of March 2021.

The company’s performance showed a modest increase of 2%, despite a significant decline in after-tax earnings by 23% to KES 6.5 billion. The net customer assets experienced a notable 7% increase, resulting in a total of 209 Kenyan Shillings.


Best Banks in Kenya for the Wealthy
Bank tellers outside a bank in Uganda.

The merger between the Commercial Bank of Africa and the NIC Bank in May 2019 led to the establishment of the National Commercial Bank of Africa (NCBA).

The financial services provided by this company cater to a wide range of clients, including individuals, small- and medium-sized businesses, and large corporations.

This company offers a wide range of banking-related services, including online banking, loans for individuals and businesses, financing for insurance policies, and investments in liquid assets. Alongside these services, they also provide various other banking-related offerings.

Total Assets

In 2020, the company’s financial report revealed a pre-tax profit of 4.98 billion Kenyan shillings for the fiscal year ending in December 2020.

The company’s overall operating income for the year amounted to KES 45.8 billion, showcasing a remarkable 41% surge in comparison to the previous year’s earnings.

Furthermore, by the conclusion of 2020, the company had amassed a substantial total asset value of KES 528 billion, while the group’s capital position stood at an impressive KES 64.8 billion.

The company’s liquidity ratio of 55% enabled it to effectively cater to consumers across all 71 of its Kenyan locations.

Citibank N.A. Kenya

Citibank N.A. Kenya is one of the best banks in Kenya for the wealthy that has been operating as a commercial bank in Kenya since 1974.

The operations at that location commenced during that period. The first establishment is situated in the bustling capital city of Nairobi, while the second one can be found in the vibrant coastal city of Mombasa.

Both of these locations, situated in Kenya, offer unique experiences for visitors. Citibank, National Association, distinguishes itself by exclusively serving corporate and institutional clients, setting it apart from other prominent financial institutions.

Citibank N.A. offers a wide range of banking services, including commercial financing, investment services, deposit services, electronic banking, and cash management.

These offerings are among the most prominent services provided by the bank. The branch in Kenya is operated by Citibank, National Association of the United States of America. Currently, the branch employs a total of 616 workers who contribute to the company’s operations.

Total Assets

Citibank N.A. concluded their fiscal year on June 30, 2021, with assets totaling 107.034 billion Kenyan Shillings.

The obligations of the subject in question total slightly over 83,208 billion KES. The company’s total profit within the same time period amounted to 1.62 billion Kenyan Shillings. Citigroup, Inc., the parent company, is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Prime Bank Ltd

With its strong presence in the market, Prime Bank has gained a reputation for providing excellent customer service and innovative financial services. It is known as one of the best banks in Kenya for the wealthy.

Prime Bank Ltd., a trailblazer in the world of private banking, opened its doors to customers in 1992, marking the beginning of its remarkable journey.

Over the years, this esteemed institution has grown its presence to encompass an impressive network of 23 locations.

In addition to its core banking services, the company also offers insurance services through its subsidiary, Tausi Assurance Limited. In 2017, an entity successfully acquired 80.72% of Tausi’s shares, thereby finalizing the purchase of the company.

Prime Bank Ltd. boasts an impressive workforce of 3,124 dedicated individuals who are committed to delivering exceptional service to the bank’s esteemed clientele, both individuals and businesses alike.

Total Assets

The company in question possesses a substantial number of over 24,000 deposit accounts and boasts an impressive asset base of approximately KES 78 billion.

This allows the company to hold a market share of 1.82%, indicating a notable presence in the industry.

Prime Bank Ltd. reported a net profit of 1.25 billion Kenyan shillings for the year 2019, showcasing a commendable increase of 32% in comparison to the previous year’s net profit of 939.37 million Kenyan shillings.

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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