about history
About us

Brief History

It all started in 1838...

A group of traders, led by James Blyth, see the need for a second bank in Mauritius. They establish 'La Banque Commerciale de Maurice' which starts business on 1 September 1838 in premises situated at the Rue de Paris (now Sir Seewoosagur Street) in the capital, Port Louis. In 1839, Queen Victoria grants a Royal Charter to the newly established bank for a period of twenty years under the name of 'The Mauritius Commercial Bank' (MCB). The charter is renewed every twenty years until 18 August 1955 when the Bank becomes a limited liability company. Five years later, it moves to the current location of its headquarters at Sir William Newton Street (at the time, Rue de l'Eglise).

The early years

The first hundred years are rough and the Bank encounters serious financial difficulties on several occasions. In spite of various national financial crises, fierce competition over the years from ten other commercial banks, two world wars and natural catastrophes, MCB succeeds in expanding its activities, trebles its capital and opens its first branch in Curepipe in 1920.

Building a network

Curepipe is the first step in the weaving of a nationwide network. MCB has become the first bank to set up branches in rural locations: Mahébourg in 1955, Flacq in 1958, Triolet in 1959, Goodlands in 1963... Today, the network consists of 40 strategically located branches and helps assert the Bank's leadership in the retail market. 

Helping businesses grow

MCB has always been dedicated to helping people with ideas become entrepreneurs and businesses grow. The Group has been the lynchpin of the country's economic development. Drawing on its intimate local knowledge and business relations, the Bank has supported agriculture, trade and industry. Since the country's independence in 1968, however, the Bank has amplified its response to the more varied and diverse needs of the country. MCB has thus been crucial in ensuring the take-off of a number of sectors which were, at inception, considered either unfashionable or risky. From tourism to textiles, local manufacturing to Freeport activities, from information & communication technology (ICT) to seafood, MCB has always been present to support bright ideas and turn fledgling segments into pillars of the economy.

Pioneering innovations

MCB has achieved several market firsts throughout its history: ATMs, mobile points of sale, junior savings accounts, SWIFT, TCR machines, phone, Internet Banking and mobile Internet Banking among others.

A regional leader

With a dominant market position on the local side, MCB is well inspired to expand beyond the shores of Mauritius as early as 1991. Today, on the strength of its sustained international expansionary drive and regional rebranding initiatives, the MCB brand is visible in Madagascar, Maldives and Seychelles. The Group has also consolidated its presence namely in Réunion, Mayotte and Paris through its associate, BFCOI and in Mozambique via its other associate Société Générale Moçambique. MCB opened representative offices in Paris (France), Johannesburg (South Africa) and Nairobi (Kenya). Moreover, the Group is actively involved in project and trade financing in various countries of the sub-Saharan region, while being engaged in other markets such as India.

Beyond banking 

In line with its strategy to diversify its markets, MCB expanded into non-banking financial services, a sector where it is now considered as a benchmark player. A comprehensive range of investor services is offered by MCB Capital Markets Ltd and speciality driven subsidiaries. In addition, MCB also proposes leasing, factoring and microfinance solutions.

The Bank of Banks

MCB is also actively pursuing its market development drive on the basis of its 'Bank of Banks' strategy, positioning itself as a regional focal point for handling trade finance, payments and cards operations outsourcing, amongst others.

Gearing up for the future 

During FY 2015/16, investments in MCB Seychelles and MCB Maldives have been transferred from MCB Ltd to MCB Investment Holding Ltd. MCB Madagascar will follow the same course once regulatory approvals are obtained. On another note, Société Générale Moçambique has become an associate of MCB Group Ltd. This follows the acquisition, by Société Générale, of a stake in the former subsidiary, i.e. MCB Moçambique, in October 2015, towards boosting the entity’s operations and market expansion. Regarding the ‘Non-banking financial’ cluster, MCB Microfinance Ltd, whose aim is to help the smaller entrepreneurs get easier access to loans, has lately been launched as a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCB Group Ltd.