I&M Bank Turns Shipping Containers into Banking Halls

Source: BUSINESS TODAY

Three out of the eight recently opened branches are repurposed from shipping containers, aligning with the bank’s sustainability goals

I&M Bank has opened eight new branches in Kenya as part of its retail expansion strategy to strengthen its presence in the region. The opening of the new branches has signalled I&M Bank’s commitment to addressing the needs of the people and bridging the gap to financial inclusivity across the country.

The newly opened branches across various Kenyan counties bring the bank’s total branch network to 49 in Kenya and 93 regionally.  The eight (8) new branch locations include three in the Coast Region (Diani, Watamu, Kilifi), one in Naivasha, one in Tatu City in Kiambu County, and three within Nairobi County (Eastleigh, Gikomba, and Saifee Park in Lang’ata). The expansion, which gives I&M Bank a presence in 15 counties, is an early step in a strategic push to cover all 47 counties in Kenya through various distribution channels.

Shameer Patel, I&M Bank’s Executive General Manager for Personal & Business Banking says the the bank is committed to offering personalized services and products that will support and uplift individuals and local communities.

“Our branch expansion complements our digital services and is a result of our focus to being close to our customers and driving higher personalized engagement,” Mr patel said. “The expansion is geared towards driving financial inclusion and extending our reach to new locations across the country.”

Now in its 50th year, I&M Bank intends to grow its countrywide network by 20 branches in 2024. The outlets will be spread across various counties. Under its iMara Strategy, I&M Bank has prioritized expanding its retail services to bring its products closer to Kenyans. This includes introducing innovative retail products, expanding its credit facilities, and eliminating Bank-to-MPESA transaction costs among others.

Three out of the eight new branches are upcycled shipping container branches. This is in line with the bank’s sustainability agenda exemplified in its green building headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and Kigali, Rwanda. “As I&M Bank, we recognise the adverse environmental impacts of construction materials extracted through harmful means like quarrying and tree logging,” noted I&M Bank Kenya CEO, Mr Gul Khan.

Guided by the bank’s ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) policy framework, these three branches are constructed using end-of-life shipping containers and use of solar power as an environmentally friendly alternative to reduce carbon footprint significantly, Mr Khan.

The container branches were fabricated in partnership with Container Technology (ConTech) Limited, a company that builds modular structures using upcycled end-of-life shipping containers, and the solar installation was provided by East Africa’s largest solar solutions provider, Spenomatic Group.

ConTech Managing Director Naeem Pasta commended the efforts of I&M Bank in realizing environmentally resilient and sustainable growth using innovative approaches. “I&M Bank has been our Group’s trusted and reliable banker, contributing significantly to our growth. We are pleased to extend our business relationship into their supply chain environment, offering eco-friendly, rapid-build solutions as they embark on their expansion plan.”

Nikita Surty, Business Head at Spenomatic Group, added, “I&M Bank continues to be a valued partner in implementing green transitions across East Africa.”

THE AUTHOR: BILL YAURA

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