Mwalimu National SACCO has announced its full acquisition of Spire Bank from businessman Naushad Merali of Sameer Group, for an undisclosed amount.

The bank, formerly known as the Equatorial Commercial Bank (ECB) traded 50% stake to Mwalimu National SACCO for Ksh.500 million. This was following approval by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK).

On 10th October 2014, Mwalimu National SACCO signed an agreement on to buy the banking and investment arm of ECB. The SACCO then became the majority shareholder in the Bank, having acquired a 75% stake at the cost of Ksh.2.6 billion. This was in the plan of the Sacco to acquire 51% and 24% stake in the second phase.

Mwalimu National SACCO continued with its ECB acquisition after clearance from parliament and the Commissioner for Co-Operatives. However, a Government probe into the Mwalimu National SACCO-ECB transaction has been kept under wraps to this moment. At the time of its acquisition, ECB was already in the red with a pre-tax loss of Ksh.326.4 million in the year ending December 31st, 2014, accelerated by bad loans made ahead of the controversial buy-out by Mwalimu SACCO.

The Bank’s acting CEO Brian Kilonzo said, “The transaction which was completed at the end of November 2020, opens the door for a strategic investor to come on board.”

In June 2010, Equatorial Commercial Bank merged with Southern Credit Banking Corporation, creating a new bank under the Equatorial Commercial Bank brand. The merger gave ECB critical mass to further develop & grow in a dynamic & competitive market place. In 2016 ECB rebranded to Spire Bank.