Equity Bank has completed the acquisition of certain assets and liabilities of Spire Bank following receipt of regulatory approvals from the Cabinet Secretary Treasury and Planning. The completion of the acquisition follows an announcement that was made in September 2022 indicating that Equity Bank had entered into a transaction with Spire Bank for the proposed acquisition of approximately 20,000 deposit customers holding deposits of Kshs. 1.322 billion and 3,700 loan customers that have outstanding loan balances reported at a net carrying value after statutory loan loss provisions of Kshs. 945 million, as per Spire Bank’s un-audited 2022 half year financial statements.
With completion of the transaction, customers holding deposits in Spire Bank, other than the remaining deposits from Spire Bank’s controlling shareholder, and specified loan customers will now transition to become Equity Bank’s customers. This means that these customers will have new Equity Bank accounts and besides their domicile branch, they become part of a big network offering more capabilities to self-serve and enjoy banking on their mobile devices.
Speaking during the announcement ceremony, Dr. James Mwangi, Equity Group Managing Director and CEO said : “The decision to acquire Spire Bank’s certain assets and liabilities was not hard and was inspired largely by our history with teachers who have continued to support the bank over the years. This long-standing partnership extends to other collaborative initiatives including the Wings to Fly scholarship programme that has benefited over 60,000 scholars. We have also partnered with our schools to support them transition to clean energy for lighting and cooking. Today, we celebrate the completion of the transaction and are happy to report we have started serving former Spire Bank customers.”
In the same breath, Spire Bank Board Chairman, William Rahedi said : “Equity Bank has stepped in to support Spire Bank to finish well. We are grateful that Equity opened its doors for us and that moving forward, we shall be part of this great institution. We appreciate all stakeholders involved in this journey and express gratitude for the dignity and respect accorded to our customers and staff during this transition process. This transaction truly sets pace for similar initiatives within the financial services sector.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of Mwalimu National Sacco, Joel Gachari said : “This is a unique transaction structured as an asset and liabilities purchase agreement. Equity will be acquiring part of our subsidiary’s assets and liabilities in the form of customer loans and deposit; and is expected to strengthen both organizations by leveraging their well-established domestic and regional client base. A move that provides confidence for consolidation in the banking sector in order to create larger and more resilient institutions that are stable and can weather shocks in this business environment.”
The move to acquire Spire Bank customers by East and Central Africa’s largest lender is in line with Equity Group’s concerted efforts to champion the post COVID-19 economic recovery and resilience of individuals, communities and the continent at large.