The Reserve Bank of Malawi has awarded a licence to Centenary Group and the Catholic Church Archdiocese of Lilongwe to carry out banking operations in Malawi.
The name of the new bank is Centenary Bank Limited, with Centenary Group holding majority shareholding and the Catholic Church Archdiocese of Lilongwe holding minority shareholding of the Bank’s shares.
Centenary Bank will be launched on 23rd March 2023 in Lilongwe.
Commenting on the development on Thursday, 09 March 2023, Centenary Group Chairperson Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu said: “We are excited that we have been granted a license to commence banking operations. We thank the Reserve Bank of Malawi for all the support it has extended to us.”
“Centenary Bank will from the onset adopt an agile approach to operations, scaling customer centric propositions that will allow the Bank to create highly personalized solutions and regain their position within the Malawi market,” Prof Ddumba-Ssentamu added.
The expansion of the Centenary brand beyond the borders of East Africa is the first of its kind in Uganda’s history and speaks to the growth of financial services provision expertise of the Centenary Group. Centenary Group is committed to ensuring equitable and accessible financial and digital services to all citizens across the nation of Malawi
Centenary Group owns Centenary Rural Development Bank; the Bank with the largest customer base in Uganda.
Centenary Bank has over 2.6 million customers including 12,000 SACCOS and over 46,000 Village Saving and Lending Associations (VSLA) based in rural areas.
The Bank has an extensive branch network of 80 branches covering all regions of Uganda supported with 189 Automated Teller Machines and over 5,200 Bank agents’ country wide making the largest footprint in the country.
The Group also owns Centenary Technology Services Limited (Cente-Tech), the Group technology company, with a combined professional ICT experience of over 90years.
As the group technology company, Centenary Technology Services provides technology leadership to the group subsidiaries to enable them grow and provide meaningful services to the rural poor. Another company owned by Centenary Group is known as Centenary Foundation.
The Foundation works with social investors and partners with a common social development purpose as Centenary Group and focuses on implementing programmes that improve the social welfare of its beneficiaries. The Foundation’s focus areas are: Education, Environment, Financial Literacy, Health and the Social Mission of the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Lilongwe is a Roman Catholic diocese located in Lilongwe. It covers seven districts of Malawi’s Central Region. It has seven ecclesiastical deaneries, 46 parishes and 620 outstations.
Currently, the Archdiocese of Lilongwe is under the leadership of Archbishop George Desmond Tambala. The Archdiocese owns several institutions in Malawi, including education institutions, hospitals and companies, in addition to owning several commercial properties within Lilongwe and surrounding districts. It has total assets of over USD. 30million. The Archdiocese also runs several community and social justice projects for the benefit of Malawi’s most marginalized people.
The unique combination of the Bank’s new shareholders will enable the Bank to deliver on its financial inclusion agenda and reach out to all the unbanked people across the country to change their lives thereby contributing to the achievement of the Malawi Government Agenda 2063