The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has granted permission for the proposed merger of NIC Group (NIC) and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA).

After the merger, which will be effective 30 September this year, all subsidiaries will operate under a non-operating holding company, NCBA Group.

The merged institutions will operate under the brand name NCBA Bank Kenya.

The merger of both banks will create the country’s third-largest bank by assets.

According to the country’s central bank, all account holders, creditors, depositors, employees, and other stakeholders of the existing firms will now work with NCBA Bank Kenya and NCBA Group.

In a statement, the CBK said: “The merger will strengthen both institutions leveraging their combined market share of 9.9% and customer base of over 40 million in four East African countries.”

CBA Group managing director Isaac Awuondo will act as the chairman of NCBA Bank Kenya.

Awuondo stated: “Soon we shall be announcing the brand which is a reflection of both banks’ values, borrowing from the best of both and building new strengths to deliver better banking experience.”

The merger was first announced by the respective boards in December last year. The deal secured shareholders’ nod in April this year.

As part of the next phase of the merger, the parties will combine their businesses in Uganda Tanzania, and Rwanda, after securing regulatory approvals in these countries.