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Spire Bank

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Spire Bank
Company typeCommercial bank
IndustryFinancial services
HeadquartersNairobi, Kenya
Key people
Teresa Mutegi
Tim Gitonga
Managing Director[1]
RevenueIncreaseAftertax:KSh.55.65 million/=+ (US$643,500) (2013)
Total assetsKSh.15.562 billion/= (US$180 million) (2013)

Spire Bank, formerly known as Equatorial Commercial Bank (ECB), is a commercial bank in Kenya, the largest economy in the East African Community. It is licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya, the central bank and national banking regulator.[2]


The bank is a medium-sized financial institution in Kenya, serving corporate clients, small and medium enterprises and individuals. As of December 2013, the bank's total assets were valued at about KSh.15.562 billion/= (US$180 million), with shareholders' equity valued at about KSh.1.371 billion/= (US$16 million).[3] At that time, the bank was ranked number 27, by assets, out of 43 banks licensed in Kenya.[4] The company has a 20% investment in Equatorial Investment Bank Limited and 23.86% in Fidelity Shield Insurance Company Limited which have been accounted for as associate companies in the consolidated financial statements.


Established as an Equatorial Finance Company in 1983, Due to change in regulation, Equatorial Finance Company was converted to Equatorial Commercial Bank Limited and commenced operations as a fully-fledged commercial bank in June 1995.[5]

In June 2010 Equatorial Commercial Bank merged with Southern Credit Banking Corporation, creating a new enlarged bank under the Equatorial Commercial Bank brand.[6] The Merger was aimed at enabling the banks meet the Central Bank of Kenya requirement for commercial banks shore up their core capital to at least KSh.1 billion/= (approximately US$12 million).[7]

The Equatorial Commercial Bank - Southern Credit Banking Corporation merger transaction was structured in the following four interlinked phases:

  1. ECB implemented a KSh.264 million/= (approximately US$3.1million) rights issue to increase its authorised and issued share capital in order to meet the capital adequacy requirements of the merged bank.
  2. By way of a share swap agreement, ECB acquired the full shareholding in SCBC, in exchange for its own shares thereby making SCBC a wholly owned subsidiary of ECB. SCBC shareholders received 11.25% of the issued share capital of ECB.
  3. ECB (now the parent company) and SCBC (the subsidiary) then executed an asset and portfolio (business) agreement to transfer all of ECB's banking business, assets and liabilities to SCBC who paid a fair consideration through the creation of new shares.
  4. SCBC (the subsidiary) adopted the name Equatorial Commercial Bank Limited and retained the joint banking business while the former ECB (the parent) returned its banking licence to the Central Bank of Kenya for cancellation and changed its name to Equatorial Holding Limited to become a non-operating holding company of the merged bank. All future subsidiaries and associate companies would be held by Equatorial Holding Limited.

The merger transaction consideration was entirely satisfied by the issue of shares and there was no cash transaction.[8]

In September 2014, Mwalimu Cooperative Savings & Credit Society Limited, Kenya's largest Sacco by assets, made a bid to acquire 51% shareholding in Equatorial Commercial Bank in a deal valued at KSh.1.7 billion/= (approximately US$18 million).[9] This move was in line with the strategic objective of the society of expanding business opportunities. The acquisition, was to enable the Sacco to collect deposits from beyond its membership, access funds at lower rates, venture into trade finance and offer its members ATM services. The deal was concluded at the end of 2014 and in 2015, the Sacco acquired another 24 percent shareholding, bringing its ownership to 75 percent.[10]

In July 2016, the bank was rebranded to Spire Bank.[11]

In January 2023, the Central Bank of Kenya announced that Equity Group Holdings had acquired the business of Spire Bank. These were merged in to Equity Bank Kenya.[12]


Prior to December 2014, As of August 2014, Naushad Merali of Sameer Group owned 85% of the bank's stock, with other entities owning the remaining 15%.[13] In order to comply with Central Bank of Kenya directives, the bank began exploring ways to sell shares to outside investors and reduce the shareholding of the largest individual shareholder to 25% or less.[14]

The shareholding in the bank stock, as at March 2016, is depicted in the table below:[15]

Spire Bank Stock Ownership
Rank Name of Owner Percentage Ownership
1 Mwalimu National Holdings[16] 75.0
2 Structured Investment Vehicle 21.0[10]
3 Minority Shareholders 4.0
Total 100.00

In December 2020, The EastAfrican reported that Mwalimu Sacco had concluded the acquisition of the 25 percent shareholding in Spire Bank, that the Sacco did not previously own. The price that Mwalimu paid was not immediately disclosed.[17]

Branch network[edit]

As of August 2014, the bank operates a network of branches at the following locations:[18]

  1. Waiyaki Way Branch - Equatorial Fidelity Centre, Waiyaki Way, Nairobi
  2. Chester House Branch - Ground Floor, Chester House, Koinange Street, Nairobi
  3. Westlands Branch - Ground Floor, Westlands Mall, Westlands, Nairobi
  4. Hurlingham Branch - Priory Place, Argwings Kodhek Road, Nairobi
  5. Mombasa Road Branch - Sameer Business Park, Mombasa Road, Nairobi
  6. Industrial Area Branch - Avon Centre, Enterprise Road, Nairobi
  7. Moi Avenue Branch - Equatorial Commercial Bank Building, Moi Avenue, Mombasa
  8. Nyali Branch - Nyali Cinemax Complex, Kongowea Road, Nyali
  9. Kisumu Branch - Harley’s House, Oginga Odinga Street, Kisumu
  10. Kakamega Branch - Jubilee Ironmongers Building, Canon Awori Road, Kakamega
  11. Eldoret Branch - Zion Mall, Uganda Road, Eldoret
  12. Nakuru Branch - Apple House, Nakuru-Nairobi Highway, Nakuru

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Juma, Victor (7 January 2016). "Equatorial Bank hires ex-HF executive Gitonga for top job". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Directory of Commercial Banks And Mortgage Finance Companies" (PDF). Central Bank of Kenya. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Audited 31 December 2013 Annual Report And Financial Statements" (PDF). Equatorial Commercial Bank. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Kenya Bank Rankings By Assets In 2013". Bankelele.Co.Ke. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Commercial Banks & Mortgage Finance Companies: Conversions From 1994 Until 2007". Central Bank of Kenya. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Central Bank of Kenya - Bank Supervision: Mergers And Acquisitions From 1989 Until 2010". Central Bank of Kenya. Archived from the original on 18 July 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  7. ^ Michira, Moses (2 June 2010). "Equatorial And Southern Credit Merger Gets Nod". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  8. ^ Ombok, Eric (31 May 2010). "Kenya's Equatorial Commercial, Southern Credit Banks Complete Their Merger". Bloomberg News ©2014 Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  9. ^ Ngigi, George (4 December 2014). "Sasra To Approve Mwalimu Sacco Bid To Acquire ECB". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  10. ^ a b Munaita, Peter (21 November 2015). "Kenyan teachers to inject $3.75m more into ECB". The EastAfrican. Nairobi. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  11. ^ Ngigi, George (5 July 2016). "Equatorial Commercial Bank rebrands to Spire Bank". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Acquisition Of Certain Assets And Liabilities Of Spire Bank Limited By Equity Bank (Kenya) Limited" (PDF). Central Bank of Kenya. 30 January 2023. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  13. ^ Fayo, Galgallo (16 June 2013). "Merali Accused of Governance Flaws At Equatorial Commercial Bank". Business Daily Africa. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  14. ^ Ngigi, George (28 April 2013). "Equatorial Bank In Talks For Sale of KSh1.3 Billion (US$15 Million) Stake". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  15. ^ Herbling, David (17 March 2016). "Teachers to pay more to keep ECB stake in Sh1bn cash call". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  16. ^ Bodo, George (26 March 2015). "Mwalimu Sacco Needs Over KSh2 Billion To Turn Around ECB". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  17. ^ James Ayanzwa (30 December 2020). "Mwalimu Sacco edges Merali out of Spire Bank, begins search for strategic investor". The EastAfrican. Nairobi. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  18. ^ "The Branches of Equatorial Commercial Bank". Equatorial Commercial Bank. Retrieved 11 August 2014.

External links[edit]