On January 1, 2022, Branch International Limited purchased a majority position in Century Microfinance Bank Limited (Century MFB).
This follows CBK’s approval on December 30, 2021, under Section 19 (4) of the Microfinance Act and approval by the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning on January 7, 2022, pursuant to Section 19(3)(b) of the Microfinance Act.
“CBK welcomes this transaction that is a critical component of Century MFB’s transformation plan. It will strengthen Century MFB and support the stability of the microfinance banking sector,” the apex bank said in a statement.
According to Branch East Africa Managing Director Rose Muturi, Branch International’s attempts to develop its local operations in its aim to become a Pan-African digital bank will be accelerated by the National Treasury’s exemption and the Central Bank of Kenya’s approval of the acquisition proposal.
Branch Kenya will be able to increase the power of financial access by delivering world-class financial services to the mobile generation as a result of the purchase, she said. She went on to say that the corporate acquisition will also give a platform for deploying digital solutions to bridge the financial services access divide.
As the country’s new digital lending law takes effect, this is the first buyout of a traditional lender by a digital lender.
President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Central Bank Amendment Bill 2021 into law in December, bringing digital lenders under CBK’s authority.
Branch was founded on April 2, 2015, in Kenya, and is completely owned by Branch International Holding Ltd, a Mauritius-based corporation.
Branch International Inc (BI), a business formed in the state of Delaware in the United States of America, owns Branch International Holding Ltd.
Century MFB was granted a nationwide microfinance banking license by the CBK in September 2012.
The MFB has two branches, one in Nairobi’s Moi Avenue headquarters and the other in Gikomba.
As of December 31, 2021, it was classified as a tiny microfinance bank, with a market share of less than 1% of the microfinance banking sector.