Do you ever have one of those days when you would like to change your name? Maybe your name once suited you but you have matured or changed and think that a different person requires a different name. It could be hard to change your name especially when you think about the process of going to change your name in a Government office. Lucky brands or companies do not have the same issues when it comes to changing names.
ECB decided to do a makeover including changing their name to Spire Bank and yesterday they made it official. The reason for the rebrand is that the bank is restructuring its operations to meet new business requirements. Spire Bank as it is now called is strategically positioning itself for future growth.
The name Spire Bank was chosen to reflect the bank’s desire to inspire customers to achieve more and fulfill their goal to ASPIRE to live better lives. The new brand has 3 colours, Lime Green, Navy Blue and Brick Orange. Lime Green represents growth and abundance, the Navy blue represents stability and integrity and the brick orange represents enthusiasm and passion. The brand motif is inspired by African art which is both rich in creativity and attention to detail.
New developments are coming with the new name, including opening 6 new branches by 2017 to support their growth strategy. Spire bank will also be entering into an agency banking agreement with Mwalimu National by August 2016 as well has having co-location arrangements to exploit locational advantages. Spire Bank will also do joint product development with Mwalimu National. There will also be other joint venture initiatives aimed at harnessing shareholder value while delivering good value for money to its clients.
Spire Bank also in the process of restructuring its business. Part of this restructuring involves reviewing operations of its business units so that they can be able to deliver business value and also increase their efficiency as it targets to move from tier three to tier two in five years. The bank plans to roll out a new core banking system this year to support the development of additional banking products.
Spire bank recently received an additional Ksh 1 billion capital infusion from its anchor shareholders, Mwalimu National Sacco and Sameer Investment Group. This brings the shareholding amount to The additional injection brings to over Ksh 2.6 billion the total amount of shareholder investment in the bank so far.
The banking environment is dynamic and customer requirements are evolving and changing. Banks need to change with them to meet their ever changing needs and Spire Bank is doing this by refocusing its banks branches into sales and service centres.
During the launch of Spire Bank, Managing Director, Tim Gitonga said, “Spire Bank is a fresh brand with renewed energy and motivation for growth. Spire Bank reflects the bank’s ambition to simplify processes, improve branch productivity and provide best-in-class service to its customers.” He added, “As part of the delivering on our new brand promise, we have adopted new approaches to managing our business by focusing on “technology”, “people” and “processes” as our focal pillars for sustained growth. The convergence of the three pillars will result to great value for our clients and shareholders”
Gitonga mentioned the bank’s strategy for 2016 – 2019. The key focus is growing the banks business through the provision of a complete suite of retail, SME and corporate banking products and services supported by technology.
Spire Bank was established in 1983 and has grown over time to become a tier three bank. The changes that the bank is implementing will improve customer interaction, reduce operational costs and take advantage of new business opportunities to grow its business. Spire bank will be upgrading its IT infrastructure, modernizing its banking halls and creating efficiency in its operations by enhancing its existing electronic banking platforms among other changes.
Spire Bank plans to enter into an agency banking agreement with Mwalimu Sacco by August this year and is waiting for final regulatory approvals. Mwalimu National is the largest Sacco in Africa with over 70,000 members, includes employees of the Teachers’ Service Commission in post primary institutions, TSC secretariat and Mwalimu Sacco staff. Mwalimu National currently has an asset base in excess of Ksh 33 billion and has reserves in excess of Ksh 5.3 billion, which puts it in a favorable position compared to tier one banks.
“With such a huge and growing balance sheet as well as large number of members, Mwalimu National has sufficient muscle to sustainably support Spire Bank foray into the market and therefore growth. We have many joint initiatives that we are undertaking to benefit from group synergies,” said Gitonga.
Customers will now have a complete suite of well tailored solutions, from banking to insurance. The insurance arm, Spire Insurance Brokers will offer insurance products like Personal Insurance, Corporate and SME Policies and Card Insurance Polies.
Spire Bank: Interview With Tim Gitonga, Managing Director