The bad debts in NBKâs portfolio were largely linked to government institutions and well-connected politicians.
To save the bank from collapse, Treasury converted the non-performing loans to a bond worth Sh20 billion in 2007.
Marambii took over the managing director position at NBK from John Simba in January 1999, with the approval of the then Finance Minister Simeon Nyachae to turn around the bank.
Today, NBK boasts of a solid deposit base worth Sh56.7 billion, with loans and advances to customers standing at Sh28 billion, while gross non-performing loans and advances stand at Sh1.2 billion, according to the bankâs audited financial statements for the full-year ended December 31.
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has a 48.05 per cent stake in NBK, while the Treasury owns 22.5 per cent and it has been running as a State-owned company on the strength of the combined stake, which is 70.55 per cent.
Lately, however, the trading environment has not been too rosy for Marambii. While other rival banks minting hefty cash, including the CBK, which returned a staggering Sh39 billion profit, NBK earnings continued to dwindle and there is growing fears that it could slide back to its trouble times unless there if renewed vigour to change its conservative growth plan.
His exit comes at a time when the bankâs level of profitability appears to be shrinking, bad debts reverting on an upward trend, while expansion programmes moving at a snailâs pace with branch network staggering at 50 despite the bankâs 44 years of operations.
NBK expects the incoming managing director to be a high calibre, result oriented and self-driven professional with capacity to spearhead growth and diversification strategies in order to accelerate the bankâs profits, dividends and shareholder value.
The bank, with 65,000 shareholders and 1.3 billion shares, posted a profit before tax of Sh2.6 billion in 2010 compared to Sh2.1 billion in 2009, while last year profitability dropped by nine per cent to Sh2.4 billion because of what the management said was due to taxation on realised bond earnings and increased provisions for bad and doubtful debts.
"The year was not good for everybody. All indicators show last year was not as good as 2010," explained Marambii, who chose to ignore the fact that other banks still made sizeable profits under the same environment.
"We expect our performance this year (2012) to be better than last year because the issue that arose about taxation is not likely to recur and provisions for bad and doubtful debts are now under control."