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Sheilla Nyasha, NM Odhiambo



This paper gives an overview of the banking sector in Kenya; it highlights the reforms since the country‟s independence in 1963; it tracks the growth of the banking sector in response to the reforms implemented over the past four decades; and finally, it highlights the challenges facing the banking sector in Kenya. The country‟s banking sector consists of more than 40 commercial banks, with the Central Bank of Kenya, which is the country‟s central bank, at the apex. Since the 1980s, the Kenyan government has implemented a number of banking sector reforms – in order to safeguard and improve the banking sector. The response to these reforms by the banking sector has been varied. As a result of these reforms, there has been a shift in the dominance from the State-owned banks to the private commercial banks. There has also been an improvement in the Central Bank‟s oversight of the financial institutions, and an enforcement of the banks‟ capital-adequacy requirements. By the standards of African countries, Kenya currently has one of the most developed banking systems in Africa. The country has enjoyed a substantial bank-based financial sector development over the years, and its institutional framework has also grown stronger. However, like many other developing countries‟ financial systems, the Kenyan banking system still faces wide-ranging challenges, such as high interest rate spreads and financial inclusion challenges.

Keywords: Banks, Reforms, South Africa, Banking System, Financial Sector

How to cite this paper: Nyasha, S., & Odhiambo, N. M. (2012). Banking sector reforms in Kenya: Progress and challenges. Corporate Ownership & Control, 10(1), 88-96.