List of Licensed Commercial Banks in Uganda

In this article, as we are still on the business side of Uganda, our next focus here is checking out some of the legendary list of licensed commercial banks in Uganda.

What are Commercial Banks?

Commercial banks are financial institutions that provide a range of services to individuals, businesses, and governments. Their primary functions include accepting deposits, providing loans, and offering various investment and financial products.

Commercial banks play a critical role in the economy by mobilizing savings and allocating capital efficiently. They also contribute to the overall stability and growth of the financial system by ensuring liquidity and providing various financial services.

Major Roles and Functions of Commercials Banks

Here’s a breakdown of their key roles and functions:

Accepting Deposits

  • Demand Deposits: These are funds that can be withdrawn at any time, such as money in checking accounts.
  • Time Deposits: These are deposits that cannot be withdrawn before a certain period without incurring a penalty, such as fixed deposits or certificates of deposit.

Providing Loans

  • Personal Loans: Loans given to individuals for personal use, like home loans, car loans, or personal credit lines.
  • Business Loans: Loans to businesses for various purposes, such as working capital, expansion, or purchasing equipment.
  • Mortgages: Long-term loans specifically for purchasing real estate.

Facilitating Payments

  • Payment Services: They offer services like electronic fund for transfers, issuing checks, and managing payment gateways for businesses.
  • Credit and Debit Cards: Issuing cards that can be used  transactions and accessing funds.

Investment Services 

  • Advisory Services: Providing investment advice and managing portfolios for individuals and businesses.
  • Wealth Management: Services tailored for high-net-worth individuals to manage their wealth and investments.

Foreign Exchange

  • Currency Exchange: Offering services to exchange one currency for another.
  • Foreign Trade Financing: Providing letters of credit and other financial products to facilitate international trade.

Safekeeping Services

  • Safety Deposit Boxes: Providing secure places for individuals and businesses to store valuable items.
  • Custodial Services: Holding and managing securities on behalf of clients.

Financial Intermediation

  • Liquidity Management: Managing the flow of money between savers and borrowers, thus ensuring liquidity in the economy.
  • Risk Management: Assisting clients in managing financial risks through various products like insurance and derivatives.

Advisory Services

  • Financial Planning: Helping clients with budgeting, tax planning, and long-term financial strategies.
  •  Corporate Finance: Advising businesses on mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate finance matters.

Licensed Commercial Banks in Uganda

As of 2024, Uganda has a diverse array of licensed commercial banks operating within the country. Here is a list of some of the major licensed commercial banks:

1. ABC Capital Bank Limited
2. Bank of Africa Uganda Limited
3. Bank of Baroda Uganda Limited
4. Barclays Bank Uganda (now Absa Bank Uganda)
5. Cairo International Bank
6. Centenary Rural Development Bank
7. Citibank Uganda Limited
8. DFCU Bank
9. Diamond Trust Bank Uganda Limited
10. Ecobank Uganda Limited
11. Equity Bank Uganda Limited
12. Exim Bank Uganda
13. Finance Trust Bank
14. Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank)
15. Housing Finance Bank
16. I&M Bank Uganda
17. KCB Bank Uganda Limited
18. NCBA Bank Uganda
19. Opportunity Bank Uganda Limited
20. PostBank Uganda
21. Salaam Bank Uganda
22. Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited
23. Standard Chartered Uganda
24. Tropical Bank
25. United Bank for Africa (UBA) Uganda Limited

These banks offer a range of financial services including deposit accounts, loans, and investment opportunities. The banking sector in Uganda is regulated by the Bank of Uganda, which ensures the stability and efficiency of financial institutions in the country.

Licensing Banks in Uganda

Licensing a bank in Uganda involves a comprehensive process overseen by the Bank of Uganda (BoU), which is the central regulatory authority for the banking sector.

Here’s an outline of the requirements involved in obtaining a banking license in Uganda:

Minimum Capital: As mentioned, the minimum paid-up capital requirement for commercial banks is set at 25 billion Ugandan shillings.

Governance Standards: Banks must adhere to corporate governance standards set by the Bank of Uganda, ensuring a sound and effective governance structure.

Regulatory Compliance: Ongoing compliance with prudential regulations, including capital adequacy, liquidity requirements, and reporting standards.

The Economic Life of Uganda

Uganda’s financial landscape has seen significant improvements over the years, but it still faces several challenges. Here’s an overview of Uganda’s financial health:

Positive Aspects

  • Economic Growth

Uganda has experienced steady economic growth over the past decade, with GDP growth rates often exceeding 5% per year.

  • Financial Inclusion

The financial inclusion rate has improved, with more people having access to formal financial services. Mobile money services have played a crucial role in this improvement, significantly increasing the number of people with access to financial services.

  • Banking Sector

Uganda’s banking sector is relatively stable and diverse, with a mix of local and international banks offering a variety of services. The presence of major banks like Stanbic Bank, Standard Chartered, and Equity Bank provides a solid foundation for financial services.

  • Regulatory Framework

The Bank of Uganda (BoU) provides a robust regulatory framework that helps maintain stability in the financial system. The BoU has implemented measures to enhance financial stability, including policies to manage inflation and support economic growth.


There is a long list of challenges battling Ugandan financial life. Many of these are stated below in comprehensive terms:

  • Low Financial Literacy

– Financial literacy remains low, which hampers the ability of individuals to make informed financial decisions. Efforts to improve financial literacy are ongoing but need to be scaled up to reach a larger portion of the population.

  • Access to Credit

Access to credit, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is limited. High-interest rates and stringent lending criteria make it difficult for many businesses to obtain the financing they need to grow.

  • Poverty and Inequality

Despite economic growth, poverty and income inequality remain significant issues. A large portion of the population still lives in poverty, which affects their ability to save and invest.

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