The history of KCB dates back to 1896 when its predecessor, the National Bank of India opened an outlet in Mombasa. Eight years later in 1904, the Bank extended its operations to Nairobi, which had become the Headquarters of the expanding railway line to Uganda. The next major change in the Bank’s history came in 1958. Grindlays Bank merged with the National Bank of India to form the National and Grindlays Bank.
Upon independence the Government of Kenya acquired 60% shareholding in National & Grindlays Bank in an effort to bring banking closer to the majority of Kenyans. In 1970, the Government acquired 100% of the shares to take full control of the largest commercial bank in Kenya. National and Grindlays Bank was renamed Kenya Commercial Bank. In 1972, Savings & Loan (K) Ltd was acquired to specialize in mortgage finance. In 1997, another subsidiary, Kenya Commercial Bank (Tanzania) Limited was incorporated in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania to provide banking services and promote cross-border trading. Since then, the subsidiary has 11 branches. In pursuit of its Vision: To be the preferred financial solutions provider in Africa with a global reach by 2013, in May 2006 KCB extended its operations to Southern Sudan to provide conventional banking services. The subsidiary has 11 branches.
The latest addition into the KCB Family came in November, 2007 with the opening of KCB Bank Uganda Limited which has 13 branches. In December 2008 KCB Rwanda began operations with one branch at Kigali.
There are curently 9 branches spread out in the country. The Government has over the years reduced its shareholding to 35% and more recently to 26.2% following the rights issue exercise in 2004, which raised KShs 2.45 billion in additional capital for the bank. In the second Rights Issue exercise held in the year 2008, the Government further reduced its shareholding to 23.1% after raising additional capital for kshs 5.5billion. The bank conducted the third Rights Issue exercise in 2010, in which the Government further reduced its shareholding to 17.74% after raising additonal capital of Kshs 12.5billion. In 2010 S&L was merged with KCB providing access to mortgage finance through the bank’s wide branch network.