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Capacity Building

In the pre-independence days, most banking staff were European and Asian. Africans entered the industry in low and junior positions. In the years before the three banks operating in the colony used to bring in expatriate staff who were already trained and had gained experience at their banks’ headquarters in London, or in India. There was little facility for training local staff. Read More

Diversity

Dr. Mary Okelo entered the annals of Kenyan banking history when in 1977 she became the first African woman to rise to the post of a bank branch manager. Her promotion at Barclays Bank opened the door for more women to rise to management positions in Kenyan banks. It also opened new doors for her. By July 1987 she had risen to become a director of the African Development Bank and a senior advisor to the bank’s president. Read More

Expansion

In 1900 National Bank of India’s business had sufficiently grown to enable the bank to purchase land and construct its own building in Treasury Square in Mombasa. The railway finally arrived at Kisumu in 1901 and helped to open up the hinterland for business. The fastest growing inland centre was Nairobi which had been established in 1899 as a camp for the railway crew. Read More

Turbulent Growth

In 1969 Standard Bank of South Africa merged with the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China to become the Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart). On its part, Barclays shed the Dominion, Colonial and Overseas (DCO) tag to become Barclays Bank International. A decade later it was locally incorporated in Kenya as Barclays Bank of Kenya (BBK) with Samuel Waruhiu as its first chairman while T.D. Miles became the managing director. Barclays would later become the first bank in Kenya to offer its shares to the public when in 1986 it floated 30% of its equity on the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE). The share floatation received an overwhelming response from the public and ended up being over-subscribed six-fold. Read More