Nigeria’s Access Bank has received regulatory approval to acquire 93.57% stake in Transnational Bank in Kenya, Bloomberg has reported.

The nod by Competition Authority of Kenya will mark Access Bank’s foray into the Kenyan market.

Other Nigerian lenders including Guaranty Trust Bank and United Bank of Africa are already operating in the Kenya.

However, Access Bank and Transnational did not confirm the deal.

Transnational Bank is a commercial lender that offers personal and business banking services in Kenya.

Last year, the bank reported an annual pre-tax loss of KES98.5m ($951,690). Its non-performing loans also soared by 58% KES1.85bn in the same period.

The Transnational Bank acquisition comes at a time when consolidation efforts in the Kenyan banking industry are gathering pace.

With a population of around 50 million, Kenya is served by more than 40 banks.

Last month, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) gave its go-ahead to the NIC Group (NIC) and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) merger. This merger created the country’s third-largest bank by assets.

Earlier this year, Access Bank merged operations with domestic peer Diamond Bank. The deal, first announced in December last year, made Access Bank Nigeria’s biggest lender with more than 600 branches.

Access Bank currently operates in 12 countries and boasts around 31 million customers.