Banque Commerciale du Rwanda

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Sub-Saharan Africa



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Turning a successful bank into a market leader

Established in 1963 and headquartered in Kigali, Banque Commerciale du Rwanda (‘BCR’) was Rwanda’s second largest commercial bank with a market share of around 25% and an extensive branch network serving both commercial and retail customers.

Actis became a controlling stakeholder of BCR during its privation in 2004; taking an 80% stake in the business with the Government of Rwanda retaining a 20% shareholding. Actis built on the bank’s strong heritage to grow both its corporate and retail arms, introducing new products and services to the market, including leasing, small and medium-sized enterprise lending and housing finance products.

The Actis investment team worked closely with the bank to foster successful cost reduction strategies and helped recruit individuals with both international and African banking experience into the BCR management team. Actis partnered with the management team to improve corporate governance, train staff and improve systems and controls. A new Corporate Social Responsibility strategy swung into action: bringing banking education and accounting skills to local communities to encourage the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Actis sold its interest in BCR in July 2012 to Kenyan regional bank, I&M Bank Limited.