10 Top banks in Kenya: Overview of the Leading banks in Kenya

Banks in Kenya - Overview and Guide to Top 10 Banks in Kenya

top Kenyan banks

This is a short review of the 10 top Kenyan banks. Kenya is one of the African countries that enjoy a thriving bank sector characterized by 10 mammoth banks.

Some of these giants have even spread their wings beyond the Kenyan borders to other countries as if to showcase their prowess in the banking industry.

In this article, we are going to look at the top Kenyan banks which make crazy profits and have a significant number of customers.

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Banks in Kenya are regulated by the central bank of Kenya including the 10 top Kenyan banks.

Also known as the Banki Kuu ya Kenya, the CBK was created in 1966 after the dissolution of the East African Currency Board.

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Top banks in Kenya

The Central Bank of Kenya is mandated with the following tasks:

  • establishing monetary policy
  • forming and implementing foreign exchange policies
  • issuing currency
  • promoting financial stability
  • regulating banking practices

This list should help anyone with the hope of creating wealth through borrowing credit from a reliable bank.

If you are also eyeing a banking career, this list should guide you on where to look. Here is our list of top 10 financial institutions in Kenya.

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Top Kenyan banks

  • Standard Chartered Bank Kenya
  • Cooperative Bank of Kenya
  • Barclays Bank Kenya
  • Equity Bank Kenya
  • National Bank of Kenya
  • Stanbic Bank
  • Kenya Commercial Bank
  • NIC Bank
  • Diamond Trust Bank of Kenya
  • Commercial Bank of Africa

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Standard Chartered Bank Kenya | top Kenyan banks

Commonly known and Standard Chartered Kenya, the Standard Chartered Bank is one of the oldest commercial banks in Kenya which was established in 1911.

Top banks in Kenya

The bank offers several services including; loans, savings, investments, debit cards, and transaction accounts.

Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya is a subsidiary of the Standard Chartered British multinational financial group.

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The Banks is headquartered in Kenya and currently, it has a network of more than 33 branches across the country and 90 ATMs.

Cooperative Bank of Kenya | top Kenyan banks

If you are looking to work with one of the biggest banks in Kenya or open an account with a bank that has reliable financial strength, you should be looking at Co-op Bank.

top Kenyan banks

The Cooperative Bank of Kenya is the second largest bank in terms of the customer base.

Established in 1965, Coop bank is one of the oldest financial institutions in the country which has built a credible reputation for themselves.

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In 2010 Cooperative Bank of Kenya was named the best bank in Kenya by the London Financial Times due to its strong financial growth.

The bank is headquartered in Nairobi but Kenyans can easily access all the banking services from bank agents called Co-op Kwa Jirani spread out across the country.

Some of the products offered by the bank include; savings, loans, investments, debit cards and checkbooks.

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Barclays Bank Kenya | top Kenyan banks

Barclays Bank of Kenya is another bank that prides itself for being one of the oldest banks in Kenya.

Barclay was established in Kenya in 1916 and has since been a darling for many generations in Kenya.

In terms of financial strength and international domestic resources, Barclays Bank is one of the leading banks.

Its range of products include; savings, loans, mortgages, credit cards, and investments.

Barclay is a favorite for individuals and business customers. Barclays Bank Kenya is a subsidiary of Barclays UK and is based in Nairobi.

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Equity Bank Kenya

Established in 2014, Equity Bank is one of the youngest banks that started at the grassroots but has outgrown itself to be one of the biggest institutions in the country.

top Kenyan banks

Equity bank offers a wide range of financial services and financial products which include:

  • retail banking
  • debit and credit cards
  • loans
  • investments
  • mortgages
  • microfinance.

Although Equity bank is headquartered in Nairobi, it is one of the banks that enjoy nationwide coverage.

It operates other subsidiaries and branches in other countries including Uganda, South Sudan, and Rwanda.

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National Bank of Kenya

The National Bank of Kenya is a government-owned Bank which also happens to be the biggest banks in Kenya.

It is perhaps popular because people know that the government can hardly engage in unfair practices.

The National Bank was established in 1968 and has been offering a range of products including; loans, savings, credit cards, and debit cards among others.

The bank has solutions for individuals, SMEs, and large corporations making it one of the top Kenyan banks.

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Stanbic Bank Kenya

The Johannesburg based Stanbic bank is one of the top Kenyan banks which offered a range of products including; mortgages, asset management, retail and private banking, commercial banking, and savings.

Top banks in Kenya

Stanbic acquired its name in 1992 when Standard Bank Group acquired ANZ Grindlays Bank.

It was renamed to differentiate it from Standard Chartered Bank, the former parent bank of Standard Bank.

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Kenya Commercial Bank

KCB bank is perhaps one of the most popular if not the MOST popular banks in Kenya.

Established in 2015, KCB has the biggest banking network in Kenya with over 168 branches spread across the country.

Top banks in Kenya

KCB has partnered with M-Pesa which is the biggest mobile money transfer platform in the world.

That way, the bank has been able to mint profits from loans it dispenses through M-Pesa.

Other products offered by the bank include; investments, mortgages, loans, credit cards, and savings.

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NIC Bank Kenya

Commonly known as NIC bank, the National Industrial Credit Bank is also one of the top and best banks in Kenya.

Top banks in Kenya

NIC Bank was established in 1959 following a joint venture between Mercantile Credit Company limited of the UK and the Standard Bank Limited in South Africa.

NIC Bank is headquartered in Nairobi where it oversees all subsidiaries in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The bank offered a range of banking solutions including loans, savings, debit and credit cards, transaction accounts and investments.

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Diamond Trust Bank of Kenya

Diamond Trust Bank of Kenya is a flagship of the DTB group which operates major financial institutions in East Africa.

As such the bank has several other branches in Tanzania and Uganda although it is headquartered in Nairobi.


The DTB group was founded in 1945 making it one of the oldest financial institutions in East Africa.

Among other services, Diamond Trust bank offered the following products: Debit and credit cards, insurance, mortgages, savings and deposit accounts, investments, asset financing, and money transfer services.

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Commercial Bank of Africa

Commercial Bank of Africa also known as CBA is the largest privately owned commercial bank in Kenya.

Although CBA started in Tanzania in 1962, the bank transferred its main offices to Nairobi in 1967 when the Tanzanian government tried to nationalize all private banks.

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The bank has since opened several branched in Kenya and made its way to the list of top Kenyan banks.

If you are looking for prospects in a banking career you now know where to look and if you are simply looking for a stable bank that will help you grow, look no more.


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