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Southern Credit Banking Corporation aggressive strategy to stir market

CARTOON
By | September 9th 2009

By Morris Aron

Southern Credit Banking Corporation (SCBC) has come up with an aggressive strategy to expand its customer base.

The new development sets the stage for heightened market share turf wars with other mid-tier banks such as NIC, Diamond Trust Bank, Fina Bank among others.

SCBC Chairman Jeffery Bamford said that the bank’s recent decision to lower its base lending rate and launch the first Master Card debit card are the first moves in line with the bank’s new strategy.

"We have come up with an expansion strategy and will soon be rolling out products and moves to make our presence known among the middle income population," said Mr Bamford.

The bank said t is planning to go big with loans to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) loans of a minimum of Sh2 million on average—while giving special consideration to smaller SME’s with good repayment history of up to Sh500,000.

The bank is also looking at revamping its retail banking division with a planned controlled branch expansion with emphasize on the use of technology particularly Internet and SMS banking.

"We will focus on quality customer care and roll out a number of products, streamline our service delivery channels before going into competitive pricing of our products," said Shamira Dostmohamed general manager SCBC.

Re-branding

Southern Credit Banking Corporation change in strategy started last year with the re-organisation of the board of directors and comes soon after a number of mid-tier banks moved to establish their presence among the middle-income population category.

Diamond Trust Bank and FINA bank have in the recent two years gone big into a re-branding exercise and expanded their branches in the East Africa into the region while NIC bank on the other hand undertook to invest substantially in technology but is also set to expand to Tanzania.

The initial steps — launch of Master Card debit facility —would enable the bank’s new and existing customers complete purchases, make payments and get cash anywhere in the world where MasterCard is accepted.

Last week’s announcement by Southern Credit Banking Corporation that it had lowered its base lending rates — making it the second bank after Standard Chartered Bank to heed Central Bank Governor Njuguna Ndungu and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s calls on banks to reduce their interest rates — is bound to position the bank as a low interest rate institution.

New acquisition

"We want to be out there with the other players as opposed to an exclusive bank targeting a specific group of people as we have been traditionally known," said Michael Wamache assitant general manager Business development and retail banking.

Southern Credit Banking Corporation is however understood to be in discussions with a number of financial institutions with an aim of possible partnership, a merger or an acquisition —though the bank has denied such a proposition.

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