KENYA – KCB Bank has entered into an agreement with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Japan-based giant lender, to drive cross-border trade and deepen financial inclusion between Kenya and the Asian nation.

The agreement between the two largest banks in their respective regions was signed in Yokohama last week. It will see the two lenders expand their financial offerings provided to clients in both East Africa and Japan, effectively enabling more cross border trade flows.

Under the deal, KCB will provide banking services —including banking accounts and cash management, trade finance, export credit agency finance and treasury related products to clients introduced to it by SMBC.

 “We believe that new business opportunities will arise from the rapid economic development in Kenya and therefore seek to (identify) areas of mutual partnership to support such development, utilizing the product capabilities and global and local network of both banks,” said Paul Russo, the KCB Group Director Regional Businesses.

“We expect to open up the East African market to the Asian market especially in the trade and motor vehicle industry,” he added in a statement during the signing ceremony on the side-lines of the 7th annual SMBC Africa Summit.

KCB Bank works with several multinational companies in different industries such as motor vehicles, retail, household consumer products etc. Partnering with SMBC will expand the Bank’s portfolio increasing their global business operations. The deal will further strengthen SMBC coverage in Africa.

Mr. Tetsuro Imaeda, Managing Executive Officer & Head of EMEA Division, SMBC said; “We are delighted to collaborate with KCB to forge a great working relationship. Cooperating with local financial institutions in Africa is indispensable for us to expand our Africa business and responding to customer needs.

“By signing the agreement between one of our most important partners in Africa, KCB, SMBC will be able to support our client’s business to East Africa through wide range of coverage of KCB in the areas and expects to further strengthen existing strong relationship,” he added.

KCB hopes to use this collaboration to expand its play in facilitating business in Africa. Currently, the lender also has presence in Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia (rep office).