PARIS: The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has granted authority to French multinational banking institution Société Générale (SG) to open a representative office in Kenya following the fulfilment of stipulated authorisation requirements. The move comes as eight other multinational banks eye the Kenyan market. Headquartered in Paris, Société Générale (SG) is one of the leading financial services group in Europe and focuses on segments that include French Retail Banking, International Retail Banking and Financial Services, Global Banking and Investor Solutions. The bank has a footprint in 66 countries in Europe, North and South America, Middle East, Africa and Asia.
In Africa, it has presence in 18 countries in North, West, Central and South Africa. “Representative offices of foreign banks serve as marketing and liaison offices for their foreign parent banks and affiliates and are not allowed to conduct banking business,” CBK said. The Representative Office will support the growing trade and investment links between Kenya and France and will also allow deepening of SG’s regional footprint with Kenya as its anchor in Eastern Africa. In June the regulator issued a banking license to Mayfair Limited, paving the way to lifting of a license freeze that had been declared in November 2015. Mayfair, which is owned by Kenyan investors, is the second applicant to get a license post the moratorium after Dubai Islamic Bank Kenya was granted an approval in principle.