An Analysis of the effect of business diversification on the financial performance of Commercial Banks in Kenya
Kitisya, Daniel Tamale
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This study sought to investigate the effect of business diversification on the financial performance of commercial banks in Kenya. The study was based on the fact that the banking sector in Kenya is highly regulated with significant business restrictions and attendant disclosures which have created incentives for the banks to diversify. However, the effect of business diversification on financial performance remains inconclusive with diverse studies finding minimal or no relationship while others finding positive significant effect. The study used a mixed research design where descriptive and quantitative research designs were used. The population for this study was all the forty two commercial banks in Kenya. Sources of data were both secondary and primary where quantitative techniques were used to undertake data analysis. To determine the relationship that existed between the variables, both multiple regression analysis and chi-square tests were adopted. The study found that business diversification significantly positively affected how the commercial banks in Kenya performed. The exact effect was however established to be largely dependent on bank-size. Business diversification significantly improved financial performance for small banks. Under medium sized banks category, only location diversification affected financial performance in a significant manner. For large banks all the four forms of business diversification did not have a significant effect on their financial performance. Respondents perceived business diversification to positively affect financial performance of commercial banks in Kenya to a moderate extent. The study was limited by examining financial performance by use of the CAMELS model in a developing country and being conducted in a single industry. Further, CAMELS was measured using a constructed index by data being obtained from the commercial banks’ annual audited reports. The study highlighted the need to develop business diversification strategies specifically tailored for each of the tiers of commercial banks with a focus on all forms of diversification for small banks, location diversification for the medium-sized banks and enhancement of existing forms of diversification among large commercial banks.