Equatorial Commercial Bank (ECB) has re-branded to Spire Bank. The newly re-branded bank was unveiled on Tuesday morning in a move aimed at restructuring the bank’s operations to accelerate growth.
Speaking during the rebranding, Spire Bank’s managing director Tim Gitonga said that the bank will looking to grow its banking business through the provision of retail, corporate and SME banking products. “This will be part of our 2016 to 2019 strategy of growing from a tier three bank to a tier two bank, and will be supported by high end technology,” he said. “As part of the delivering on this strategy, we have adopted new approaches to managing our business by focusing on technology, people and processes as our focal pillars for sustained growth.”
The bank further announced that it will be entering into partnership with Mwalimu Sacco in the next two months to start offering agency banking services. Additionally, the bank will open 7 new branches by the end of 2017 and integrate ICT systems to create collection convenience for Saccos and counties. “These changes are aimed at improving customer interaction, reducing operational cost and developing new business opportunities,” said Mr. Gitonga.
Spire Bank recently received an additional Sh. 1 billion capital infusion from its anchor shareholders, Mwalimu National Sacco and Sameer Investment Group. This brought the amount of capital invested in the bank to over Sh. 2.6 billion.
The bank, which was established in 1983, is 75 per cent owned by teachers sacco, Mwalimu National, which is the biggest sacco in Africa with over 70,000 members. Currently Mwalimu National has an asset base of over of Sh. 33 billion and reserves of about Sh. 5.3 billion. “With such a huge and growing balance sheet as well as large number of members, Mwalimu National has sufficient muscle to sustainably support Spire Bank foray into the market and therefore growth,” said Mr. Gitonga.
The bank also owns an insurance brokerage arm which offers personal, corporate sme and card insurance policies.