KCB Group has commenced the process of rolling out Islamic Banking solutions in the country as part of its financial inclusion agenda.
The innovative products and services will be in consistent with the principles of Islamic Sharia Law.
“The bank is in advanced stages to make this a reality and Sharia Compliant Board or Sharia Advisory Committee to regulate the products and services in line with the Sharia principles have already been proposed,” Jaafar Abdulkadir, KCB Islamic Banking General Manager said.
The process that began in September, last year, targets to be concluded in the couple of months, Jaafar said during needs assessment meeting held in Nairobi hotel with key stakeholders.
“Research findings and feedback from our customers show that the demand for Islamic Banking solutions is on the rise and KCB is responding fast to satisfy the specific needs of these existing and potential customers,” said Jaafar.
According to the latest census statistics, over 10 percent of the Kenyan population are Muslims, who prefer these solutions. It is our belief that that our unique products will be of great benefit to our Muslim brothers and sisters in particular and the rest of the general public who find Islamic banking appealing ,” Jaafar said.
It is for this reason that KCB has found it prudent to bridge this gap by introducing tailor-made products for this market segment and increase its market share in line with its vision to be the preferred financial solutions provider in Africa with a global reach.
“Islamic banking is a positive development to the Banking sector, as it will bring new levels of efficiency by widening the variety of Banking products and service offerings as well as promote development in the marginalized areas of our country,” said Jaafar.
KCB is the largest bank in the region in terms of asset base and branch network and has a presence in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and Burundi. The bank has already rolled out Islamic Banking products and services in one of its subsidiaries namely KCB Bank Tanzania.
The bank has already identified six centres for Islamic banking in the first phase to include KCB Mvita Branch, KCB Mwembe Tayari Branch, KCB Kilindini Branch, KCB Garissa Branch, KCB Wajir Branch and KCB Eastleigh Branch.
These branches will serve as pilot centres because the Muslim population is mostly located in Northern and Coast counties in Kenya and they will be happy to know the existence of the products and services in these branches available for them.
“We plan to launch five products in the first phase which will be up and running by July, this year and then later on introduce more products in the fourth quarter of the year,” he said; adding that the necessary structures including the Information Technology infrastructure are being put in place to boost our compliance to the Sharia requirements.
“Financial markets are increasing in sophistication; the environment is constantly changing and competition is increasing. At KCB we pride ourselves in continued innovation and satisfying the needs of our customers,” said the KCB General Manager of Islamic Banking.
“Our Muslim customers need a range of products to meet their need for diversification of their investments, based on their unique individual requirements, which they can find in KCB,” added Jaafar.