Commercial Bank of Africa Group
IndustryBanking, Finance
Founded1962 (1962)
DefunctSeptember 30, 2019 (2019-09-30)
FateAcquired by NIC Bank Group
HeadquartersUpper Hill, Nairobi, Kenya
Key people
Desterio Oyatsi
Group Chairman
Isaac Awuondo
Group CEO[1]
RevenueIncrease: Aftertax: KSh 4.1 billion (Q3:2017)
Total assetsKSh 234.79 billion (Q3:2017)[2]
Number of employees
1,200+[3] (2017)

Commercial Bank of Africa Group (CBA Group) is a financial services provider in East Africa. Its headquarters are located in Nairobi, Kenya, with subsidiaries in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Ivory Coast.[4]

The CBA Group is a large financial services group in East Africa, with an asset base valued at KSh:234.79 billion (US$2.343 billion), with shareholders' equity of KSh:28.38 billion (US$283.2 million), as of 30 September 2017.[2]


Commercial Bank of Africa was established in 1962 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as a subsidiary of Swiss-based Société Financière pour les Pays d'Outre-Mer (SFOM). The SFOM consortium included BanqueNationale de Paris, Bank Bruxelles Lambert, Commerz Bank and Bank of America. Branches of the bank were established in Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya. Another branch was opened in Kampala, Uganda.[5]

In 1967, the Government of Tanzania nationalized all commercial banks in the country as part of the government's nationalization of large industries in its execution of the Arusha Declaration. This nationalization led the bank to move its headquarters to Nairobi. In 1971, the Ugandan business was sold off to Barclays Bank of Uganda. This was due to the then prevailing political instability in the country.[5]

BOA gained majority control of CBA in 1981 after BOA acquired shares held by other shareholders in the bank except for 16% that was held by local shareholders. Between 1984 and 1991, BOA re-organised CBA, developing and installing Bank of America's global systems and disciplines before selling its majority shares to local Kenyan investors. Bank of America continued to provide management to the bank via a management agreement before eventually selling the rest of its shares in 1991. Since then, CBA became a wholly owned Kenyan bank recognised for operational efficiency and quality service delivery.[5]

In July 2005, Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) acquired majority shareholding in First American Bank of Kenya. At that time First American owned a subsidiary in Tanzania called United Bank of Africa.[6] This marked the bank's reentry into Tanzania after the 1967 nationalization of its operations in the country. In 2007, United Bank of Africa changed its name to Commercial Bank of Africa (Tanzania) leading to the formation of the CBA Group.[7]

In March 2012, CBA Group initiated action to acquire a 62% stake in Royal Bank Zimbabwe, a Harare-based commercial bank. However, both parties failed to finalize on the deal within given regulatory time frames. On July 31, 2012, The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe determined Royal Bank to be insolvent. Royal Bank then surrendered its banking licence and closed down.[8]

CBA Group re-entered the Ugandan market in 2014 through its wholly owned subsidiary, Commercial Bank of Africa Uganda Limited[9] making it the 26th commercial bank in the Uganda.[10]

In 2016, Commercial Bank of Africa Group announced plans to establish its mobile banking service M-Shwari in Ivory Coast in collaboration with the telecommunications conglomerate, MTN International.[11] In December 2016, the CBA Group acquired a Rwandan Microfinance banking licence, thereby establishing Commercial Bank of Africa (Rwanda), also CBA Bank Rwanda.[12] In mid-2017, negotiations for CBA Bank Rwanda to acquire Crane Bank Rwanda were concluded, but required regulatory approval from the National Bank of Rwanda, the Central Bank of Kenya and the Bank of Uganda. Crane Bank in Uganda had failed and its assets and liabilities in Uganda had been acquired by DFCU Bank. However, DFCU did not want to keep the Rwandan subsidiary.[13] The deal was concluded during the first quarter of 2018 and CBA Bank Rwanda opened with three branches in Kigali.[14]

Merger with NIC Group Plc

In December 2018, CBA Group announced that it would be merging with NIC Group Plc creating Kenya's third-biggest bank.[15] The merger involved the transfer of 100 percent of the shares of CBA Group by its shareholders to NIC Group in exchange for 53 percent of the newly formed group, making the deal a reverse merger.[16] The Transaction was approved by the Kenyan regulators and shareholders by April 2019.[17][18] As of 18 May 2019, the merged group was still operating two sets of banks in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania but was in the process of seeking regulatory approval to merge these businesses so that they can have one bank in each country and a group rebranding.[19]

Member Companies

The companies that compose the CBA Group include:[5]


The stock of Commercial Bank of Africa Group is privately held. The Kenyatta family controls 24.91 percent of CBA through an investment vehicle called Enke Investments Limited.[23] The table below illustrates the shareholding in the company stock, as of December 2017.[24]

Commercial Bank of Africa Group Stock Ownership
Rank Name of Owner Percentage Ownership
1 Enke Investments Limited 24.91
2 Ropat Nominees Limited 22.50
3 Livingstone Registrars Limited 19.90
4 Yana Investments Limited 11.14
5 Ropat Trust Company Limited 5.37
6 Other Institutions & Individuals 16.18
Total 100.00

See also


  1. ^ Ngigi, George (24 April 2013). "CBA picks Uhuru lawyer to chair expanded board". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b CBA Group (30 September 2017). "CBA Group Financial Statement for the Nine Months Ending 30 September 2017" (PDF). Nairobi: Commercial Bank of Africa Group. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  3. ^ SAP News (4 May 2017). "Commercial Bank of Africa's Success: Empowering Business HR through SAP SuccessFactors". Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b Shawiza, Vera (29 November 2016). "M-Shwari Mobile Services to be Launched in Ivory Coast by CBA". Nairobi:
  5. ^ a b c d "Commercial Bank of Africa Limited - Medium Term Note Programme - Information Memorandum" (PDF). Commercial Bank of Africa Limited. November 21, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2014.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ CBA Acquired Majority Shareholding in First American Bank of Kenya In 2005 Archived 2012-08-03 at
  7. ^ United Bank of Africa Renamed Commercial Bank of Africa (Tanzania) In 2007 Archived 2011-07-26 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (July 31, 2012). "Surrender of Licence and closure of Royal Bank Zimbabwe Limited" (PDF). Harare: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  9. ^ Herbling, David (13 February 2013). "CBA Awaits Central Bank Approval To Set Up In Uganda". Business Daily Africa. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  10. ^ Herbling, David (2 February 2014). "CBA Becomes Ninth Kenyan Bank To Open Shop In Uganda". Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  11. ^ Mumo Muthoki (29 November 2016). "CBA to launch M-Shwari loan service in Ivory Coast next year". Daily Nation. Nairobi. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  12. ^ New Times Staff (30 December 2016). "Kenyan bank to enter Rwandan micro-finance market". Kigali: Hope Magazine Quoting New Times (Rwanda). Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  13. ^ Mwai, Collins (10 May 2017). "CBA set to acquire Crane Bank Rwanda". New Times. Kigali. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  14. ^ Kabona, Esiara (20 February 2018). "Commercial Bank Africa buys out Crane Bank Rwanda". The EastAfrican. Nairobi. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  15. ^ "NIC Bank and CBA Group In Merger Talks to Create 3rd Largest Kenyan lender". Kenyan WallStreet. 7 December 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  16. ^ "CBA - NIC confirm merger plan as unified bank to list on NSE". Business Daily Africa. NMG. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Regulator approves CBA-NIC merger on condition of employees retention". Business Daily Africa. NMG. 13 May 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Kenya's NIC Group shareholders back merger with CBA". Reuters. 17 April 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  19. ^ "John Gachora picked to head NIC, CBA merged outfit". Daily Nation. NMG. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  20. ^ Ngigi, George (13 August 2012). "CBA raises KSh1.5 billion for expansion into Uganda market". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi: Nation Media Group. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  21. ^ Ngigi, George (24 November 2015). "CBA seeks licence to start operating in Rwanda next year". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  22. ^ About AIG Kenya
  23. ^ Herbling, David (28 September 2016). "Kenyan mobile lender customers in Uganda hit 0.6 million in two months". The EastAfrican. Nairobi. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  24. ^ CABG (31 December 2017). "Shareholding in the Commercial Bank of Africa Group". Nairobi: Commercial Bank of Africa Group (CBAG). Retrieved 22 March 2018.