Jamii Bora Bank has relocated its only branch in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) from a seven-story building on Koinange Street to another Karen Waterfront.
Chief executive Timothy Mwaniki Kabiru confirmed the shift, saying it was occasioned by renovations in the former building that is associated with Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.
“(We have) relocated to Karen Waterfront already. (This is) the normal course of business. The other building is undergoing a major renovation,” said Mr. Kabiru in response to Business Daily’s queries.
The Waititu-linked building, said to be valued at about Sh250 million, was at the center of controversy in August last year when the Kiambu governor’s wife was arrested for allegedly undertaking unapproved construction at the site.
Susan Wangare was later charged before the Nairobi City magistrate with the occupation of a building structure without permission from the county government.
She would then be later released on a cash bail of Sh80,000.
Thirteen workers arrested alongside Mr. Waititu’s wife were separately charged with “constructing a building without approval from the urban and physical planning department.”
The Koinange Street building housed Jamii Bora Bank, among other businesses.
The tier 3 bank says it currently has over 14 branches across the country including eight in Nairobi.
Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) early this year made a Sh1.4 billion cash offer to buy out Jamii Bora Bank.
The Jamii Bora acquisition bid came just weeks after CBA announced a reverse takeover of NIC Group, which is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
The combined CBA, NIC and Jamii Bora business will rank as Kenya’s third-largest banking entity after KCB and Equity.
CBA is linked to the Kenyatta family, whose business empire spans banking, dairy, real estate, hospitality, and manufacturing sectors.
Jamii Bora Bank said earlier that it wants to raise about Sh5 billion from various sources including strategic investors, a rights issue and convertible debt.
The lender narrowed its net losses to Sh51.2 million in the first quarter ended March compared to Sh96.2 million a year earlier as interest income plunged 36 percent to Sh264.9 million.