Before we discuss the biggest banks in Kenya, let’s take a quick and short look at how banking grew in Kenya to what we have today.

Commercial banking in Kenya dates back to the colonial era – note that I used the term ‘commercial banking’, this is because even before what we now know as financial institutions or banks began to exist, our people had their own forms of saving.

With the declaration of Kenya as a British colony and the engagement of the East African region in trading activities came the need for the currency, consequently, the birth of the banking sector.

Today, there are so many banks in Kenya. In fact, as at 2016, Kenya could boast of 44 banks. 31 of the banks are locally owned while the remaining 13 are foreign owned.

The government of Kenya has a major shareholding stake in three of the 21 locally owned banks, while  27 of them are commercial banks and one is a mortgage finance institution, known as Housing Finance. Housing Finance has been around for 52-years.


With the global economic meltdown and the rate at which financial institutions are being shut down on a daily basis, investors, business people and everyone who keeps their hard earned money in financial institutions have become concerned about keeping their hard earned money in there because of fears that banks may liquidate at any time. But it is interesting to note that most banks in Kenya have been around for several decades thus, are solid and stable and worthy of keeping your life savings safe in their care.

A comprehensive list of the top biggest banks in Kenya will always include Kenya Commercial Bank, National Bank of Kenya, Commercial Bank of Africa, Barclays, just to name a few.

Among all these banks, Kenya Commercial Bank Limited (KCB) is the number one local bank with operations in all the major administrative centres not just in Kenya but also across East and Central African countries like Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Rwanda. National Bank of Kenya (NBK) is another leading bank based on the number of branches and networks it has all over the country.

Another bank to reckon with is the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) which is the largest privately owned Kenyan bank, this bank which was founded in 1962 is well-known for Corporate and Institutional banking. This list cannot be complete without mentioning Barclay’s Bank of Kenya Limited, a subsidiary of Barclay’s Plc in the United Kingdom.

Barclay’s is one of the biggest banks in Kenya today, both in terms of profitability and market share, loans and deposits.

See Also: How To Open a Bank Account in Kenya

Barclay is solid and also a recipient of several awards that include:

– Best Bank Africa (Euromoney Award for Excellence 2009).
– Best Bank in Kenya (Global Finance Magazine 2009)
– Best Bank in Retail Banking (Banking Awards 2009, sponsored by Think Business magazine 2009).

Barclay’s Bank of Kenya Limited is just one bank in Kenya one can’t overlook when it comes to matters concerning banks in Kenya.

Let’s take a look at More comprehensive list of some of the other biggest banks in Kenya today

abacus.co.ke

List of Biggest Banks in Kenya

  1. Bank of Africa
  2. Bank of Baroda
  3. Bank of India
  4. Barclays Bank
  5. CFC Stanbic Bank
  6. Chase Bank (Kenya)
  7. Citibank
  8. Commercial Bank of Africa
  9. Consolidated Bank of Kenya
  10. Cooperative Bank of Kenya
  11. Credit Bank
  12. Development Bank of Kenya
  13. Diamond Trust Bank
  14. Dubai Bank Kenya
  15. Ecobank
  16. Equatorial Commercial Bank
  17. Equity Bank
  18. Family Bank
  19. Fidelity Commercial Bank Limited
  20. Fina Bank
  21. First Community Bank
  22. Giro Commercial Bank
  23. Guardian Bank
  24. Gulf African Bank
  25. Habib Bank
  26. Habib Bank AG Zurich
  27. I&M Bank
  28. Imperial Bank Kenya
  29. Jamii Bora Bank
  30. Kenya Commercial Bank
  31. K-Rep Bank
  32. Middle East Bank Kenya
  33. National Bank of Kenya
  34. NIC Bank
  35. Oriental Commercial Bank
  36. Paramount Universal Bank
  37. Prime Bank (Kenya)
  38. Standard Chartered Kenya
  39. Trans-National Bank Kenya
  40. United Bank for Africa
  41. Victoria Commercial Bank

In  2016, KCB was the best bank in Kenya. In the report prepared by Cytonn Investments also ranked Co-operative Bank as the second best bank in Kenya. Equity Bank dropped from second to third position while National Bank was ranked lowest.

Also See: Here’s What You Should Know About The Central Bank Of Kenya

Below is the full report of the Cytonn rankings for 2016.

CYTONN’S FY’2016 BANKING REPORT RANKINGS
BankFranchise Value Total ScoreTotal Return 
Score
Weighted
 Score
FY‘2016 Rank
KCB Group60.01.024.61
Co-operative Bank59.03.025.42
Equity Group61.07.028.63
Diamond Trust Bank62.010.030.84
Standard Chartered69.06.031.25
I&M Holdings71.05.031.46
Barclays81.02.033.67
Stanbic Holdings79.04.034.08
NIC Bank80.09.037.49
HF Group114.08.050.410
NBK121.011.055.011
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