Tanzania bank reports positive uptake in DRC

Saturday April 13 2024

CRDB Bank having an open day in Dar es salaam, Tanzania. PHOTO | CRDB


Tanzanian bank CRDB has reported a modest start to its Democratic Republic of the Congo expansion venture, registering deposits of 2.5 billion Congolese Francs ($900,000) against an assets portfolio of CDF 126 billion ($45.3 million) in the first five months to December.

The bank’s registered affiliate CRDB Bank DR Congo SA launched its Lubumbashi branch east of the country in July 2023, after finalising lengthy licensing procedures with regulators.

It held its first shareholders meeting in Lubumbashi on April 6 where CRDB Bank DR Congo SA Board Chairman Dr Fred Msemwa reported an initial encouraging response from Congolese clients including a significant number of medium- and large-scale businesses.

“The influx of customers so far in such a short period of time is a healthy sign that bodes very well for the future as we become even more established,” Dr Msemwa said in his performance briefing to shareholders.

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CRDB Group Chief Executive Officer Abdulmajid Nsekela said the initial figures supported forward projections by the bank that commercial activity between Tanzania and DR Congo would flourish further, parallel to ongoing improvements to road, rail and other links with the port of Dar es Salaam.


This projection, he said, was the basis of the bank’s move to set up linked digital services to ease local and cross-border money transfers between clients in both countries, with its Lubumbashi branch acting as a hub.

“We have entered the DR Congo market at the right time, to fully capitalise on present and future opportunities as they open up,” Mr Nsekela said.

The cross-border money transfer link is known as ‘CRDB Umoja’ and also includes Burundi where the bank has operated a subsidiary in Bujumbura since 2012, with total assets reaching $334 million by September 2022.