Ensure equal access to credit in country
Friday May 19 2023
Data revealing that only four counties account for more than half of all the bank branches in Kenya has once again revealed the level of concentration of wealth in a few parts of the country.
Data from the Annual Banking Sector Supervision report by the Central Bank of Kenya shows that Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu and Nakuru had 819 branches in 2022, out of the 1,475 outlets, which account for 55.5 percent of the total count.
This state of affairs highlights the economic inequality in the country where areas away from commercial hubs are underserved.
The four counties combined contribute an average of 43.5 percent to the GDP, cementing their economic status.
While banks decide where to set up based on business decisions, it is in the interest of policymakers to ensure that all Kenyans have equal access to credit to lift the marginalised.
The government should also ask questions about why after more than a decade of devolution, wealth is yet to be fairly distributed.
The data should, therefore, be used when planning for interventions in the areas that are poorly banked to ensure financial inclusion works.