BPR finds its origin back in 1975, when the people of Nkamba, a village in the current Eastern province felt the need to have a savings and credit scheme, to help them grow financially and achieve better livelihoods. This is how the first Bank Populaire was born.
Subsequently, other community based savings and credit schemes were established in other areas of Rwanda becoming various autonomous "Banques populaires."
In 1986, as these autonomous savings and credit schemes grew bigger and stronger, an umbrella bringing them together was put in place, with its headquarters in Kigali, under the name "Union des Banques Populaires du Rwanda (UBPR). These entities were tied together as cooperatives mainly to serve their members.
33 years along the road, the experience gained in providing financial services to the people, the growth that had been realized, but also the potential for growth that was inhibited by being a cooperative, called for upgrading. In 2008, UBPR transformed to become a commercial bank but while retaining its cooperative roots. 65% of the shares were retained by the former cooperative members, while 35% were acquired by a strategic partner, Rabobank. The latter having the main mission to help upgrade "BPR” into a fully-fledged retail bank.
THE PEOPLE’S BANK.
Banki yacu, Hafi yacu.
Since 1975 BPR has been known to many as a cooperative membership bank. It has continued to assure new and existing account holders of its financial stability even after recently transforming into a commercial bank with recognizable partnerships with RABO Bank. The bank has created a genuine sense of belonging for its account holders and welcomes all people in Rwanda regardless of financial status.
The core activity of BPR is acting as the engine for driving agribusiness and rural development through banking. Our account holders are then able to emancipate themselves from the limitations and restrictions of their lives due to lack of cash. The overall lifestyle improvement of our clients is critical in supporting Rwanda’s Vision 2020 agenda of turning Rwanda into a middle class economy. BPR has been extremely successful in helping hundreds of small depositors mature in banking practices to become large-scale depositors with substantial net worth and financial stability. Thus, interlinking and building relationships in the community at large. At the same time, the bank is fully committed to being socially responsible by promoting community initiatives and preserving the beauty of Rwanda’s landscape.
BPR was the first bank to educate the Rwandan community on the basics of money management. We will continue to provide our clients with unique products and services tailored to their growing needs. Our clients want to bank differently, so we are working hard to provide them with the hands-on practical banking training they need to adapt to advanced modern banking technologies and to give them more options including e-banking (phone use, ATM, and other channels). Our banking services allow our clients to spend less time at the bank and more time attending to their other daily business matters or personal interests.
To offer a full range of financial services in the urban and rural areas in a market driven and financially sustainable way; based on cooperative characteristics. Special attention will be given to farmers, agribusiness enterprises, private individuals and micro as well as small and medium enterprises.
To be the leading retail bank of Rwanda
BPR has a large network of 191 offices, 1600 staff, 100.000 credit files and 1.3 million clients. Due to its large –rural- outreach, BPR is the only partner for the government and NGO’s for program lending.
BPR is a community-based bank that has always represented a symbol of wealth creation for almost everyone in the greater community of Rwanda. BPR has always been known as the neighborhood bank with the largest branch network countrywide.
BPR started out by teaching the people of Rwanda the basics of money management to save cash, acquire net worth and gain access to credit for self-sustainability at home and work.
BPR has characteristics of both a Micro Finance Institution and a commercial bank. A large part of its lending portfolio can be considered as microfinance. Most customers are salaried workers and micro business men.
Recently we added our commercial focus on the food and agriculture sector.
The expand of additional distribution channels will be used to facilitate our customers in executing their financial needs.