Home | News    Sunday 15 March 2009

Kenya’s KCB aims to open new bank building in Rumbek in April

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By Manyang Mayom

March 13, 2009 (RUMBEK) — The manager of Kenya Commercial Bank’s (KCB) branch office in Rumbek of Southern Sudan’s Lakes state has said that a new bank building will open in early April this year with excellent services for Lakes state communities. The new KCB branch building is erected with glass panes.

KCB branch manager Rodgers Mwema (R) and ST journalist Manyang mayom pose at the new building in Rumbek (photo Manyang Mayom)

In the meantime, KCB Sudan’s Rumbek branch office has been working since 2007 from rented space at the AFEX compound in Lakes state. The manager, Rodgers Mwema, affirms that over 20,000 customers now have an account with the branch and indeed the bank management would aim to recruit more customers if the new building opens in April.

According to Mwema, the KCB Sudan branch is trying hard to invest in the Sudan to educate the young generation about the banking system instead of leaving people to keep their money at home. In an interview on Thursday, he said that they have to transform from that system of home banking into an actual banking system because the bank is the most secure place to store money.

Taking a step in this direction, the KCB Rumbek branch office will open in April, he said, if its building will have come to completion. He also noted that the bank is going to make available a nice system called Automated Teller Machine card (ATM card), which allows one to withdraw one’s money anytime instead of having to talk to a manager or follow long procedural steps for withdrawal that can take hours.

“KCB’s new building will work 24-hours per day using ATM cards. The new building will serve all individual people whether disabled people or whomsoever has an account with KCB; the new bank building holds seven tellers chairs including a teller of disabled people plus two auto-teller machines outside the bank,” said Mwema.

Kenya Commercial Bank was registered in Southern Sudan in 2006 by the region’s semi-autonomous government, and it has two branches within Juba as well as a branch in each of the towns of Yei, Rumbek and Bentiu, while it plans to open branches in all ten states of Southern Sudan, according to Mwema.

It is the second bank that has opened in Southern Sudan following only the Nile Commercial Bank (NCB), which opened in early 2003 after Southern Sudan’s former rebel movement SPLM/A reconciled with the Khartoum government in peace talks held in Kenya. Rumbek’s KCB branch is served by seven staffs comprising three Kenyan nationals and four Sudanese.

Mwema said that KCB Rumbek branch is also ready to give personal loans to her customers: “We have given more loans to our clients since we formed an agreement with local government employees who made an account with us.”

Urging people to keep savings in the bank, branch manager Mwema said that “I felt regret when the incident occurred in Rumbek last year in September — the shooting that wounded seven people during forcible disarmament that resulted in looting of civilian money, mobile phones and material properties in Rumbek — that is the bad consequence of keeping money at home. If you do keep your money in the bank there will be nothing to harm your amount.”

(ST)

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  • 15 March 2009 18:31, by tschanam

    Congratulations to the Kenya Commercial Bank. Long live the bond between the people of Kenya and Southern Sudan. Kenya did not stop at 9th January 2005 but came to Southernm Sudan to nurse the "new born baby" by availing its best institutions to assist in post conflict construction.
    There is no other example than this one of KCB deciding to invest in Southern Sudan at a time when it was not "good business decision" to invest. KCB in effect was and is participating in the on going liberation struggle to turn the CPA into peace dividends.

    On the other hand what KCB has shown is that it is possible for African Countries to share expertise between themselves and succeed. This is a BIG KENYAN-SOUTH SUDANESE SUCCESS STORY. Where are the big developed world Banks???
    Bravo KCB and long live South Sudan. Aluta Continua!!!

    • 16 March 2009 02:13, by Yakulota

      Give me a break...

      The KCB in Sudan needs some purification before it can be really appreciated by her local Sudanese customers!

      I wouldn’t want to point fingers on the whole Kenyan business community but my experience with the KCB in Juba is just pure day light thievery!

      Below am going to state why is that and I hope some of you who have other or similar experiences may share:-

      1) These guys charge very high commissions for services that are supposed to be free.
      For example When you are withdrawing your money in Juba from your account in Rumbek, you pay a hell of money while it is the same bank!

      2) You do not only pay high commission for the transaction at the receiving side! Your branch also take another commission for having given clearance.

      While they actually get the clearance from your KCB branch through phone or e-mail communication with your branch as you wait. You lose like 50 USD going in thin air just because you desperately need banking services.

      I tried to ask their commission rate before my transaction could be executed but that info could not be given to me. And am being reffered to different staff whom each one would not reveal to me the commission.

      So I decided to play smart by opening another account with the branch in Juba since it was just a matter of filling some forms and identifying myself.

      But then the shocking thing was still to come when my clearance from my branch arrived after 3 hours since I was in the bank.
      I had to queue again in a long line. When I reached the counter I was surprised by the commision cost that I would pay for my transation.

      So I pulled my plan B! I asked whether they could transfer the funds to my newly opened account instead so that I can avoid the high commission. Then they shockingly surprised me by telling me that such a branch transfer would cost even more than withdrawing cash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      This is sooooooooo stupid because if I had wanted to make a transfer, I would have to withdraw cash and then remit the money in my account to avoid the extra commission! WHATTA FRAUD!

      So as I was there helpless, I closed my eyes and accepted to be mis-used in this way! Some people waited for hours in line just to ask a simple question to end up going away without an answer! With all that misery, I could not just walk away! I was still in the bank hall complaining how we Sudanese can allow such things to happen as it is not in our character! And I was not surprised when a gentleman next to me began to address a KCB staff calling them thieves in dealings with their customers in South Sudan.

      I believe, in South Sudan, we need to get our house in order especially with the business community instead of going on with the fu*** NYAKAMA!

      We should stop the running away with suitcases full of money and buying houses cash in Aus & N.America! If we do not stop this practices, we will not be bold enough to put our house together! We shall be stripped off from politics to business if we continue with this fu*** NYAKAMA!



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