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East Asia



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The bank in the business of nation building

A willingness to provide financial support to help Uganda flourish has been DFCU’s (Development Finance Company of Uganda) mandate since 1964. It was then a development finance company, providing long-term lending to boost economic development. It is now a leading financial institution in the country.

Headquartered in Kampala, DFCU offers a full suite of retail and commercial banking services. It pioneered and became the dominant provider in leasing markets, and has been the finance behind a host of national success stories spanning transport, education, floriculture, agriculture, manufacturing and agro-processing. The bank is a major supporter of the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector and its Women in Business programme specialises in supporting female entrepreneurs.

Actis has been with DFCU from the start. CDC, co-founded DFCU with the Ugandan government, taking the controlling share in 2004. While the Ugandan banking sector was then small, it was growing quickly, was profitable and well managed. With only 2% of Ugandans participating in formal banking, there was strong potential for growth - particularly in SME lending and retail financial services (mortgages, consumer lending, and deposits), all products that DFCU went on to develop. Actis has worked closely with the bank to explore opportunities for expansion into other countries in East Africa.

Over the period of Actis’ investment, DFCU became a major pillar in the Ugandan banking sector, growing to become Uganda’s fifth-largest bank by assets (US$387m in 2012); five times the figure in 2004.

In May 2013 Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, and Rabo Development B.V purchased 60% of the bank. Actis welcomed this move, which took this important financial institution on to the next chapter of its story, serving the citizens and consumers of Uganda.