By Julius N. Uma
July 18, 2012 (JUBA) - In a bid to promote international banking, KCB Bank of South Sudan has officially launched diaspora banking, an initiative targeting South Sudanese nationals currently living outside the world’s newest nation.
- Martha Nyaliet Chol, South Sudan Manager for KCB Diaspora banking (L) with another staff member, July 16, 2012 (ST)
To enhance the new banking initiative, a team, led by the Group’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Martin Oduor-Otieno and Martha Nyaliet Chol, the South Sudan Manager for KCB diaspora banking is currently visiting the London Olympics village in the United Kingdom, to promote the new product.
In an interview with Sudan Tribune on Monday, Chol appealed to all the South Sudanese in the diaspora to fully utilise this unique opportunity by opening accounts with East Africa’s largest commercial bank, which currently operates branches in all of the 10 states of South Sudan.
“These accounts will help individuals remit money to South Sudan with ease and through KCB, they can still be able to invest in development projects such as housing where the bank currently offers free management and investment advice,” she said.
According to Chol, the Kenyan bank, which officially started operating in South Sudan in May 2006, still has competitive advantage within the banking industry in the country, given the wide range of services it offers, its presence in all the 10 states and strong customer base.
The bank has, as part of the new initiative, also introduced what is known as ’KCB diaspora junior account’, which helps parents teach their children on how to save for the future. A customer operating with diaspora junior account will also benefit from the annually paid interests, in addition to accessing electronic banking facilities provided by KCB, among other benefits.
Meanwhile, the KCB diaspora junior account will automatically graduate to a KCB diaspora transaction account once the child turns 18 years old.
The new initiative is an addition to the successful establishment of the KCB cross-border financial platform; a mechanism that has facilitated regional trade by ensuring its clients across East Africa easy access to banking services, through internet and mobile banking.
Since it opened its doors in South Sudan, KCB has expanded rapidly to a level where it reportedly controls 42 per cent of South Sudan’s banking industry, comprising of 19 branches spread all over the country and employs 350 staff, of which 80 percent are South Sudanese.
Currently, the Kenyan bank reportedly has over 85,000 clients all over its South Sudan branches.