The Link between Financial Synergy and Financial Performance of Commercial Banks: A Case of Kenya


  • Sammy Machoka Oira Kenyatta University, Kenya
  • Job Omagwa Kenyatta University
  • Farida Abdul Kenyatta University



Despite the significance of commercial banks in Kenya, their financial performance has been fluctuating over the last decade. The overall trend of financial performance (measured by Return on Equity in year 2018 to year 2022) has been inconsistent and largely erratic, with the lowest ratio recorded being 14.1% in 2018: this improved slightly in year 2019 then rose to 14.9% before dropping to 13.9% in 2020. The highest Return on Equity (at 25.6%) was recorded in the year 2022. Although the banking sector has documented growth in Assets, financial performance (in terms of Profitability) has been declining in the recent past. Empirical evidence linking financial synergy and financial performance of commercial banks documents mixed results on the nature and type of relationships. However, it remains an issue for further empirical investigation as to whether financial synergy has a significant effect on the financial performance of commercial banks in Kenya. Hence, the study sought to assess the relationship between financial synergy and financial performance of commercial banks in Kenya. The theories underpinning the study are: synergistic mergers theory and tax incentive hypothesis theory. The target population comprised 13 commercial banks which had undergone mergers and acquisitions in Kenya over the 11-year time scope (2008-2019). Positivism research philosophy and explanatory research design were adopted. The study was a census of the 13 Commercial banks. Panel data was used-the data was obtained from the audited financial statements, and Central Bank of Kenya supervisory reports. The study finds a positive and significant link between financial synergies and financial performance (P = 0.001). In view of the findings, the study recommends that institutions critically evaluate the overall business and operational compatibility of the merging institutions and focus on capturing long-term financial synergies, as this has a positive effect on financial performance.

Keyword: Financial Synergy, Financial Performance, Synergistic Mergers Theory, Tax Incentive Hypothesis Theory, Return on Equity and Leverage Ratio.

Author Biographies

Sammy Machoka Oira, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Doctoral Student

Job Omagwa, Kenyatta University

School of Business, Economics and Tourism

Farida Abdul, Kenyatta University

School of Business, Economics and Tourism


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How to Cite

Oira, S. M., Omagwa, J., & Abdul, F. (2023). The Link between Financial Synergy and Financial Performance of Commercial Banks: A Case of Kenya. Journal of Finance and Accounting, 7(11), 16–29.