By Agaba John
Orient Bank is set for a name change. Kenyan financial firm I&M PLC has announced plans to rebrand its newly acquired business in Uganda.
Following finalisation of the share acquisition, Kenyan financial firm I&M PLC has announced plans to rebrand its newly acquired business in Uganda, Orient Bank Ltd to I&M Bank (Uganda) Limited.
I&M completed acquisition of 90% shareholding in Uganda’s Orient Bank Ltd (OBL) on April 30, 2021 after getting transaction approvals from Central Bank of Kenya, Bank of Uganda, Capital Markets Authority of Kenya and the COMESA Competition Authority.
In a statement released Thursday, Orient’s Managing Director, Kumaran Pather, announced that the rebrand exercise will be done in a phased manner, starting with a physical refresh of the branches (and ATMs/); and then over time to rebranding of all other digital and other physical assets.
“I&M Group Plc, and its subsidiaries have invested in crucial sectors of development across East Africa’s regional economy, including Banking and Finance, SMEs, real estate, Fintech, trade, agriculture and infrastructure. The Group will continue to play a critical role by investing in these sectors while offering holistic financial solutions to individuals, small businesses and large organizations in Uganda.” Pather said in the statement.
Pather highlighted that I&M has made significant investments in its technology infrastructure as part of its digital transformation journey.
“Therefore, being part of this Group is a great opportunity for Orient Bank customers who will now enjoy benefits from this technology with a wide suite of market-driven financial solutions aimed at meeting their financial needs and lifestyle requirements.” he noted.
Commenting on the rebranding, Mr. Suleiman Kiggundu, the bank’s Chairman stated, they are very excited and looking forward to beginning this new chapter as I&M Bank (Uganda) Limited.
“This will allow us to adopt our new name as well as become part of a growing, vibrant and well-respected brand across East Africa, while retaining our strong and secure commitment to Uganda and its people through the provisions of innovative service and reliable financial solutions. This is a major milestone for our business and we will be looking to engage with our stakeholders in the coming months as we celebrate the launch of the I&M Bank (Uganda) brand. We will seek to make this process as seamless and efficient as possible.” Kiggundu said.
The bank has noted that the rebrand won’t have any effect on Orient customers and that there will be no change to their account details. The bank says customers will continue to carry out their banking transactions as they did before the rebrand.
“All branches will continue to operate as usual, during normal banking hours. Orient Bank’s cards will continue to work as before at ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals and online until 31st December, 2023, or their date of expiry if earlier” the bank noted.
“The Bank is committed to ensuring that every customer experiences a seamless banking experience.There will be no fees or charges associated with the Bank’s name change for customers.”
Furthermore, Orient Bank noted that branded cheque leaves will be valid until September 30, 2022 adding that it will honour all instruments issued by it and used by its customers including those instruments of Orient Bank Limited throughout this transition period.
The acquisition by I&M Group and this rebranding marks the start of a new era for Orient Bank that has been in operation in Uganda for close to 30 years.