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Tanzania’s Largest Bank Looks to Expand

CRDB Bank Plc plans to enter seven new countries in East and Central Africa as part of an expansion plan that began in 2012 but was put on hold four years later over financial constraints. With improved cash flows and close to $3 billion worth of assets, the Tanzania lender, largest by assets and market share, has reignited its ambitious plan with hopes to join regional banking giants – Equity and Kenya Commercial Bank – in the race towards attaining pan-African status. Dar-listed CRDB has identified the Democratic Republic of Congo as the first point of entry through Greenfield Investments. A number of top East African banks have set sights on Kinshasa, which has attracted the likes of Kenya’s Equity Group and KCB. The country is expected to become one of the richest economies on the continent but is still suffering from years of political instability. It is also one of the most under-banked nations in the world, with banking penetration at around 6 percent in a population of about 85 million people.