Frequently Asked Questions
A commercial bank means a company which carries on, or proposes to carry on, banking business in Kenya and includes the Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited but does not include the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
Banking business means:-
A financial institution means a company, other than a bank, which accepts from members of the public money on deposit repayable on demand or at the expiry of a fixed period or after notice; and employs the money held on deposit or any part of the money, by lending, investment or in any other manner for the account and at the risk of the person so employing the money.
A mortgage finance company means a company (other than a financial institution) which accepts, from members of the public, money:-
a) on deposit repayable on demand or at the expiry of a fixed period or after notice; or
Commercial banks in Kenya are licensed, supervised and regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) as mandated under the Banking Act (Cap 488).
Yes. CBK also licenses and regulates non-operating holding companies of banks, non-bank financial institutions, mortgage finance institutions, foreign exchange bureaus (forex bureaus), money remittance providers, microfinance banks, credit reference bureaus (CRBs) and Representative Offices established in Kenya by foreign banks. CBK also regulates and supervises Building Societies, which are licensed by the Registrar of Building Societies under the Building Societies Act.
A complete list of licensed commercial banks and mortgage finance companies regulated by the CBK can be accessed on the CBK’s website under the link: https://www.centralbank.go.ke/index.php/bank-supervision
The Banking Act, Central Bank of Kenya Act, Microfinance Act, 2006, National Payments Systems Act and Building Societies Act together with the regulations and prudential guidelines issued thereunder grants the CBK statutory powers to oversee the smooth entry (licensing), operations (surveillance) and exit of financial institutions falling under its purview.
CBK carries out both on-site surveillance and off-site surveillance. On-site surveillance involves routine inspections conducted by CBK officers (inspectors) at the institution’s places of business to examine business records to confirm the institution’s state of compliance with the legal and regulatory requirements. Off-site surveillance entails the review of the periodic returns submitted to the CBK by the institutions. Both on-site and off-site surveillance are based on predetermined programmes and ratings criteria. Any instances of non-compliance noted necessitate appropriate supervisory action as stipulated in the relevant legislation.
A non-operating holding company of a bank is a company permitted under the Banking Act to own more than 25% of the shareholding of a bank unlike any other company or person, which are not allowed. CBK approves and regulates non-operating holding companies of banks pursuant to the Prudential Guideline on Non-Operating Holding Companies, which became effective in October 2013. The aim of approving non-operating holding companies of banks is to free banks to concentrate on their core business of mobilizing deposits and advancing loans and leaving the business of capital and risk management for banks in a group to the non-operating holding company.fety of depositors’ funds held by banks or other deposit taking institutions in order to ensure safety and soundness of the banking sector.
Are banks allowed to undertake other financial business services other than deposit taking, lending and the generally known activities of a bank?
Yes. Pursuant to the Prudential Guideline on Incidental Business Activities, banks are allowed to act as distribution channels for other financial services such as insurance, securities brokerage and other financial services classified as incidental business to the banking business. Banks can only act as distribution channels for non-banking products based on approval by CBK and also based on an approved contractual arrangement with the primary financial service provider. The guideline contributes to the ongoing initiatives of enhancing financial inclusion by taking financial services closer to the public.
CBK has adopted consolidated supervision, which entails supervising a bank as an individual as well as a member of a banking group. Where a bank has affiliates (a holding company, subsidiary, associate and other affiliates), CBK’s regulatory and supervisory purview spans across the entire group of companies since risks that may affect the stability of the bank may emanate from any of the members of the group. Further, CBK together with the East African Community member states and other regional Central Banks have embraced the concept of supervisory colleges as part of the supervisory framework for regional banking groups. A supervisory college is a forum of banking supervisors to share knowledge and information on regional banks. Through supervisory colleges, CBK and other regional Central Banks are able to promote the stability of the regional banking system.
Just as a policeman ensures the safety of the members of the public, a bank inspector’s role is to ensure the safety of depositors’ funds held by banks or other deposit taking institutions in order to ensure the safety and soundness of the banking sector.
The frequency of inspections is determined by the risk assessment of the institution. High risk rated institutions are inspected more frequently following the adoption of the Risk Based Supervision (RBS) Model which requires that more resources are dedicated to more risk-prone institutions and/or activity areas.
This is determined by the size and risk profile of the institution; however, on average it takes four weeks to inspect a bank.
Bank inspectors produce various reports; fundamentally after each inspection an on-site inspection report is produced and is presented to the bank's Board of Directors and Senior Management. The reports are confidential due to the sensitive nature of the banking business. However, banks are required to disclose some of the findings in their quarterly published financial disclosures.
A representative office of a foreign banking institution is an office established by a bank licensed in another country for purposes of marketing its products and services in the country where the Representative Office is established. The Representative Office acts as liaison between the foreign institution and its clients in the country where the Representative Office is located.
In Kenya, Representative Offices are authorized by the Central Bank of Kenya as mandated under section 43 of the Banking Act and the CBK’s Prudential Guideline on Representative Offices in Kenya (CBK/PG/17). Representative Offices in Kenya are not permitted to transact banking or financial business. Any banking or financial business sourced through the Representative Office has to be booked in the country where the foreign institution is licensed to undertake banking business.
Section 43 of the Banking Act, Cap 488 of the laws of Kenya, empowers the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to grant authority to foreign institutions to open representative offices in Kenya.
The following key steps are followed in applying for authority to open a representative office in Kenya:-
a) Submission of a formal letter to the Central Bank from the foreign institution expressing intention to seek authority to open and operate a Representative Office in Kenya.
i. A duly completed Application Form for Authority to Establish a Representative Office of a Foreign Bank or Financial Institution (Form CBK/RO 1-1-Page 423 of Prudential Guideline on Authorisation of Representative Offices in Kenya) with the relevant supporting documentation:-
ii. Duly completed Fit and Proper Application Forms for the proposed Chief Representative Officer, proposed managers and senior officers for the proposed Representative Office (Form CBK/RO 1-2-Page 426 Prudential Guideline on Authorisation of Representative Offices in Kenya) with the following relevant supporting documentation:-
• A notarized copy of the nominee’s valid passport (for foreign nationals).
Note: A senior officer at the Representative Office is the Chief Representative Officer or other officers who are likely to take part in decision making.
c) All documents submitted should be in the English language. Certified English translations should be provided for all submissions originally rendered in a language other than English. Translation certificates should be attached to the translated documents and should state, as a minimum:
The Central Bank reserves the right to request additional information, statements or documents as it shall deem necessary for purposes of determining an application.
d) In processing an application by a foreign institution to open a Representative Office in Kenya, the Central Bank shall have the right to object to the name under which the prospective Representative Office proposes to operate in Kenya if the Central Bank deems such name to be inappropriate, ambiguous, potentially misleading or confusing to the public.
A complete list of the authorized representative offices of foreign banks in Kenya can be found on the CBK’s website under the link: http://www.centralbank.go.ke/index.php/representative-offices-of-foreign-institutions-in-kenya.
Agent banking is an arrangement by which licensed institutions (banks and microfinance banks) engage third parties to offer specified banking services behalf of the on the institution. In Kenya, agent banking is governed by the Prudential Guideline on Agent Banking (CBK/PG/15) and Guideline on the Appointment and Operations of Third Party Agents by Deposit Taking Microfinance Institutions (CBK/DTM/MFG/1) issued by the Central Bank.
Agent banking model was embraced as an avenue to taking banking services closer to the unbanked or under banked sections of the population. Banks engage agents to offer specified banking services on their behalf in areas with business opportunities which may not necessarily merit the institutions’ physical presence.
The responsibility of appointing agents rests with the licensed institutions who undertake the vetting guided by the criteria stipulated under the Prudential Guideline on Agent Banking and Guideline on the Appointment and Operations of Third Party Agents by Deposit Taking Microfinance Institutions. Prior to banks appointing agents, they must obtain approval from CBK to roll out their agency networks and once they identify suitable entities they propose to appoint as agents, they are required to notify CBK before commencing business under the agency relationship.
Duly registered commercial and non–commercial entities engaged in lawful commercial activity or non-commercial activity may be contracted as bank agents. Commercial entities need to hold valid business licences at the time of application to become agents. Further, it shall be established that, for commercial entities;
? The entity has not been classified as a defaulter in the financial sector at the time the agency contract is to be signed. That status must be maintained for the duration of the contract.
Examples of entities that are eligible for appointment as agents include; limited liability companies, sole proprietorships, partnerships, societies, co-operative societies, state corporations, trusts, public entities, faith-based organisations, not-for-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions.
Both prospective and existing agents have to meet the suitability conditions stipulated in the Prudential Guideline on Agent Banking and Guideline on the Appointment and Operations of Third Party Agents by Deposit Taking Microfinance Institutions.
Licensed institutions are required to periodically publish an updated list of all their agents on their websites and in such other publications as they may deem appropriate. The publications containing the list of their agents should be disseminated to all their branches and agents. Specific agents’ status may be determined from these lists, or through inquiries made at the institutions’ branches.
An agent shall show on request by a customer a copy of the approval letter issued by the Central Bank, a copy of the appointment letter from the institution and the current license for the commercial activity being undertaken by the agent.
A bank agent may offer any banking service as may be specifically agreed in writing, in the agency agreement, between the agent and its principal institution. However, it is worth noting that it is the responsibility of the principal institution, based on agent risk-assessment, to determine which banking services a particular agent will provide. All permitted and prohibited services should be explicitly stated in the agency contract, including the requirement that all monetary transactions conducted through an agent should be denominated in Kenya Shillings.
Yes. An agent may be contracted to provide agency banking services by a number of institutions provided that the agent has separate contracts for the provision of such services with each institution and provided that the agent has the capacity to manage the transactions for the different institutions. Exclusivity is legally prohibited under the Prudential Guideline on Agent Banking and Guideline on the Appointment and Operations of Third Party Agents by Deposit Taking Microfinance Institutions.
Bank agents are required to issue receipts for all cash deposit and withdrawal transactions. Additionally, the principal institutions are required to have in place adequate agent identification arrangements and customer feedback mechanisms to aid in the verification process. Further, bank customers are at liberty to verify the status of particular agents from local branches of principal institutions before using the services of any agent.
In the case of deposits, the principal institution’s mode of acknowledging agent collections from customers should be satisfactory to the customer, who may verify the same through balance inquiries. However, if in doubt, customers are best advised to deal directly with the principal institution. Prudential requirements also mandate that transactions conducted through agents be processed on a real time basis.
Where an agent acts as a receiver and deliverer of documents, an acknowledgement should be provided by the agent for all documents received or delivered on behalf of the principal institution.
The principal institution shall provide a dedicated customer care telephone line for lodging complaints by customers. Complaints should be addressed within 30 days of reporting or lodging the complaint. Customers can also use this telephone line to verify with the institution, the authenticity and identity of the agent, its physical location and the validity of its agent banking business.
For complaints on service quality, you should first report your complaint to your bank for necessary action. In case of unsatisfactory response from the institution concerned, you may write to the Central Bank of Kenya using the address given at the end of this brochure.
Foreign Exchange (forex) Bureaus
A foreign exchange bureau, a forex bureau or a bureau de change is an entity licensed under the Central Bank of Kenya Act and the Central Bank of Kenya Forex Bureau Guidelines to transact foreign exchange business.
The Central Bank of Kenya shall issue a forex bureau licence to an applicant who has fulfilled all the licensing requirements within 90 days.
No, the Central Bank of Kenya regulates forex bureaus it has licensed and which have premises that have been approved by the Central Bank.
A licensed foreign exchange bureau will have a current licence issued by the Central Bank of Kenya displayed prominently at each of the bureau’s business premises. The business name of a licenced forex bureau should incorporate the words “Forex Bureau”, “Foreign Exchange Bureau” or “Bureau De Change”.
The non-interest bearing deposit serves as a security against any penalties and other charges that may be imposed on a forex bureau for non-compliance with the regulatory framework and can be forfeited in case of contravention of the regulations under which the license is issued or failure to pay an assessed penalty.
Licensed foreign exchange bureaus are not authorized to take deposits from the public and are also prohibited from lending money.
Further, forex bureaus are neither a deposit taking nor lending institutions within the meaning of the Banking Act, the Microfinance Act, 2006 or the SACCO Societies Act and therefore are not subject to any deposit protection.
Yes. Forex bureaus are permitted to open outlets/branches upon fulfillment of all requirements. Where a forex bureau has more than one outlet/branch, it shall designate one of the outlets as its head office.
Yes, a forex bureau shall for every transaction issue a receipt which should contain as a minimum the full names of the customer, identity card number, type and amount of currency, transaction number, nature, time, date, name and address of the bureau, name of officer serving the customer and a brief statement on source or purpose of the foreign currency.
Yes, always carry with you your identification documents (identification card, passport, birth certificate or driver’s license) and present them to the cashier when requested to. Forex bureaus are required to obtain and retain a copy of your identification document.
Yes, you are required to declare the source of money you are exchanging at the forex bureau.
Ordinarily a forex bureau should give you Kenya shillings or the foreign currency you seek to obtain in cash; however customers may be issued with cheques if required.
Yes, there are no restrictions and therefore you can open a forex bureau anywhere in Kenya.
Money Remittance Providers (MRPS)
Money remittance business means a service for the transmission of money or any representation of monetary value without any payment accounts being created in the name of the payer or the payee, where –
A money remittance operator/provider is a person licensed by the Central Bank pursuant to the Money Remittance Regulations, 2013 to undertake money remittance business.
Money remittance providers are authorized to deal in:
1) inbound and outbound international money transfer transactions.
Money remittance providers are not authorized to:-
(a) act as authorized dealers in gold;
No. Money remittance operators are neither deposit taking nor lending institutions within the meaning of the Banking Act, the Microfinance Act 2006 or the SACCO Societies Act and therefore are not subject to any deposit protection.
A Microfinance Bank is an institution that offers financial services such as credit, savings, insurance, foreign exchange transactions and money transfer services to the poor, low income households and Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) who do not qualify for, and lack access to other formal financial institutions. The Central Bank has broadly categorized microfinance banks into deposit taking and non-deposit taking.
Microfinance is not the panacea to alleviating poverty; however, it is an important part of the solution. Microfinance provides opportunities for beneficiaries to generate a stable and sustainable source of income that enables them climb steadily out of poverty, while providing better living conditions and opportunities for their families.
The distinction between the two is that microfinance banks (deposit taking) are licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya and are permitted to mobilize and intermediate (or lend) deposits from the general public. Non-deposit taking microfinance banks are not allowed to mobilize public funds and can only lend their shareholders’ funds or borrowed funds.
Non-deposit taking microfinance banks are overseen by the National Treasury.
The major differences between commercial banks and Microfinance banks are outlined in the schedule below:-
Microfinance Banks charge higher interest rates than commercial banks to cover transactional and credit delivery costs which are higher for small transactions. A Kshs 100,000 loan, for example, requires the same personnel and resources as a Kshs 2,000 loan, thus increasing unit transaction costs. Interest rates are also largely influenced by the rates Microfinance Banks themselves pay for borrowing the funds that they in turn lend to their clients.
The advent of Microfinance Banks in Kenya in 2008 (then described as deposit-taking microfinance institutions) is expected, in the long-run, to lower the general interest rates charged by Microfinance Banks as they can now legally tap into the alternative and cheaper sources of financing e.g. mobilised savings, and capital markets, among others.
Microfinance Banks licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya are required to use the term ‘Microfinance Banks’ in their business name and display their licenses in all their places of business.
The Central Bank shall also publish the names of newly-licensed Microfinance Banks in the Kenya Gazette. Further, the Central Bank annually publishes the names of all licensed Microfinance Banks in at least two newspapers of nationwide circulation.
The public may also access the list of licensed Microfinance Banks in the Central Bank website: http://www.centralbank.go.ke/index.php/microfinance-institutions/14-bank-supervision/83-list-of-licensed-deposit-taking
Credit Reference Bureaus
Credit Information Sharing (CIS) is a process where credit providers submit information about their borrowers to a credit reference bureau so that it can be shared with other credit providers.
A credit reference bureau (CRB) is a company licensed to collect and collate (combine) credit information on individuals from different sources and provide that information upon the request of a credit provider in form of a credit report. Credit providers can only request a report on a borrower who has actually applied for a loan from them.
Currently, the Credit Reference Bureau Regulations, 2013 restrict authorized users of credit reports issued by licensed credit reference bureaus to institutions licensed under the Banking Act (commercial banks, mortgage finance companies and non-bank financial institutions) and those licenced under the Microfinance Act (Microfinance Banks).
Currently, commercial banks, mortgage finance companies and microfinance banks are obligated to submit both positive and negative information to licensed CRBs. Positive information refers to any favourable data pertaining to a person's credit history, that is, history of fulfilling one’s credit and financial obligations.
Negative information means any adverse customer information relating to a customer and it includes:-
However, it is worth noting that banks can voluntarily share their customers’ positive credit data with consent from their customers.
Banks submit credit information on their customers to licensed Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) periodically on a cumulative basis. Currently, banks in Kenya are required to update the information at least on a monthly basis. Banks then subscribe to the licensed CRBs for them to be able to request credit reports on their existing or potential clients as and when they apply for bank facilities.
Lack of information on borrowers results in two problems:
Information obtained from a credit reference bureau (CRB) by licensed institutions is used to assess the likely performance of potential borrowers in meeting their credit obligations. A CRB will compute a borrower’s credit score on the basis of past credit performance and communicate the same in a credit report to authorized users upon request. Unsatisfactory past credit performance will therefore be reflected in unsatisfactory credit scores which lenders will take into account in assessing new credit applications. Banks will consider the credit performance of potential borrowers when appraising new or renewing existing credit applications.
The Credit Reference Bureau Regulations, 2013 require that CRBs meet international data security standards in both the transmission and storage of information in their custody. CBK confirms this before licensing a CRB and on a regular basis through data security audits aimed at ensuring that customer information is protected against unauthorized access, use or disclosure.
Yes. Under the Credit Reference Bureau Regulations, 2013 customers have the legal right to know what information a particular institution has submitted to the CRB on their accounts. To facilitate this, customers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report at least once every calendar year from a CRB (upon a written request) and within thirty (30) days of receiving an adverse action notice. In other instances, customers can also request their credit reports at any time from the CRB upon a written request, but will have to meet the relevant costs as agreed between the CRBs and the subscriber banks.
Yes. The Credit Reference Bureau Regulations, 2013 set out the procedures for resolution of dispute between CRBs and aggrieved customers. Under the CRB Regulations, 2013, a customer has a right to dispute information held by a CRB, which the customer believes to be incorrect, by notifying the CRB in writing of the disputed information. On receiving such notice, the bureau is required to initiate and conclude investigations into the alleged inaccuracy within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the customer’s complaint. Where investigations reveal an error, the bureau should correct the error and inform all persons who may be affected by the information, including the customer. If any dispute is not satisfactorily resolved within twenty one days after the customer has notified the CRB of his objection, such disputed information shall be removed from the database of the CRB.
Yes. A bank should notify the customer within one month before a loan becomes non-performing that the institution shall submit to a CRB the information on the loan immediately it becomes non-performing. However, for loans whose repayment interval or period is less than one month, the notice shall be served two weeks before the loan becomes non-performing.
Licensed CRBs are required under the CRB Regulations, 2013 to hold information on non-performing loans and other negative information submitted to them by banks for at least 5 years after the date of final settlement of the amount in default.
The list of licensed CRBs can be accessed on the Central Bank website via the link: http://www.centralbank.go.ke/index.php/credit-reference-bureaus/14-bank-supervision/85-licensed-credit-reference-bureaus.
In addition to issuing credit reports, CRBs are also authorized to carry out the following commercial activities:
a) credit scoring;
Financial inclusion is the delivery of formal financial services in a reliable, convenient, affordable, continuous, and flexible manner to those without access to financial services. These include individuals, households, micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. Through increased access to formal financial services such as savings accounts, credit, insurance, and payment services, the poor can build financial security, manage risks against unforeseen events such as sudden unemployment, illness or natural disasters, and even invest in new business opportunities.
An inclusive financial system:
As a government agency, the CBK is charged with overseeing the soundness, stability and overall growth of the banking sector, which is a key part of the financial sector. With more of the population having access to financial services, individuals and households can obtain reliable tools for managing their money. By borrowing and saving, individuals and households can meet basic consumption and long-term investment needs.
There are no standard measures of financial inclusion/exclusion. Different countries and institutions define financial inclusion differently. However, policymakers (such as the Central Bank of Kenya) use three main approaches to measure financial inclusion. These are:
While there is no standard measure of financial inclusion/exclusion in use, one is generally considered to have/lack financial access if, he/she has/lacks convenient, affordable and reliable access to formal financial services such as savings, credit, insurance and related financial products due to barriers beyond one’s control such as geography, cost or incapacity to utilize the service.
To promote financial inclusion in Kenya, the Central Bank of Kenya has undertaken a number of initiatives including the following:
? Licensing of lower-tier depository institutions with lower capital requirements and lower operating costs than conventional banks to facilitate provision of low-cost service offerings that are accessible to low-income consumers.
Under the Banking Act and CBK Prudential Guideline on Consumer Protection CBK/PG/22, consumers have the following rights from institutions:
? The right to be treated equitably, honestly and fairly in all dealings with an institution.
A customer has the obligation to:
? provide a service provider with full details on the service required and one’s personal financial circumstances (including subsequent changes after signing up) to enable the service provider provide advice that is suitable and appropriate to the customer’s circumstances
Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing
Money laundering is defined as any attempt to disguise the proceeds of criminal activity so as to make them appear to have been obtained from a legitimate source or activity.
Sources of laundered money can be traced to criminal/illicit activities referred to as predicate crimes. These include:
Money laundering normally takes place in three stages:-
Financing of terrorism is the willful provision or collection, by any means, directly or indirectly, of funds with the intention of providing financial support to terrorists or terrorist organisations, so as to facilitate terrorist activity.
Financing of terrorism encompasses use of legitimate or clean funds to commit or attempt to commit, facilitate or participate in the commission of both national and international terrorism.
Some of the effects are:-
Yes, currently the Proceeds of Crime and Anti Money Laundering Act, 2009 comprehensively addresses the issue of money laundering. The Act:
• criminalizes money laundering and provides measures for combating the offence.
The FRC is the principal authority charged with addressing suspected money laundering activities in Kenya. All transactions deemed suspicious are reportable to the FRC, whose role is to gather and collate financial intelligence for use in the fight against crime, illicit activities, money laundering and terrorist financing to protect the integrity and stability of Kenya’s financial system. The main functions of the FRC are to:-
(a) receive and analyze returns from reporting institutions, on suspicious transactions and to forward the same to the relevant authorities for appropriate action, and
A suspicious transaction is one that departs from the normal patterns of account activity usually associated with a given account. Any complex, unusually large transaction (s), or unexplained pattern of activity may be considered suspicious. In determining whether a given transaction/activity is suspicious, one should consider all the known circumstances relating to that situation, and assess how likely or odd the situation at hand is.
Yes. All reporting institutions including banks, mortgage finance companies and microfinance banks are required to report to the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) all cash transactions equivalent to or exceeding US$ 10,000 or its equivalent in any other currency whether they appear to be suspicious or not.
The Financial Reporting Centre is the agency mandated under the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act to receive, collate and analyse all reports on suspicious transactions, and cash transaction reports and where necessary forward to the relevant Government agency for further investigation and relevant action.
The Central Bank does not regulate institutions that do not take deposits from the public and those that lend their own funds (Credit Only Institutions). These financial institutions falling outside CBK’s supervisory mandate include insurance companies (regulated by the Insurance Regulatory Authority), the Nairobi Securities Exchange, stock brokers, investment banks, investment advisers, fund managers and collective investment schemes (regulated by the Capital Markets Authority), savings and credit co-operatives (SACCOs) regulated by the SACCO Societies Regulatory Authority and retirement benefit schemes (regulated by the Retirement Benefits Authority).
No, you cannot. The words, ‘’bank’’, ‘’finance’’ or ‘’microfinance’’ are protected and their use requires the approval of the Central Bank. Derivatives of these words such as ‘’banking’’ or ‘’financial’’ are also protected and their use requires the approval of the Central Bank.
No. You may start a business using your own capital to lend to others, so long as you don’t take deposits from the public. In this case, you would not require a license from the Central Bank. But you must ensure that you do not use the protected words, ‘’bank’’, ‘’finance’’ or ‘’microfinance.’’ However, it is worth noting that under the Microfinance Act, the Cabinet Secretary to the National Treasury has the power to prescribe regulations applicable to credit only microfinance institutions.
The Central Bank does not regulate pyramid or ponzi schemes and cannot therefore compensate you for your lost funds. Depositors in institutions regulated by the Central Bank are protected by the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC). In the event of collapse of a regulated institution, KDIC pays each depositor a maximum of Kshs. 100,000. It is therefore important to ensure before you place your funds in any institution or scheme, that it is regulated. Lists of the institutions licensed and regulated by the CBK are available in the CBK website, www.centralbank.go.ke. Remember, “if the deal is too good to be true, it probably is’’.
The public needs to be aware that any one taking or mobilizing deposits from the general public without a license from the Central Bank is committing an offence under the Banking Act and Microfinance Act. The general public is, therefore, strongly advised not to risk losing their money by depositing or placing it in unregulated entities like pyramid schemes claiming to be legitimate investment vehicles or financial service providers.
For further queries on applications, licensing and supervision of all financial institutions regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya, please contact:
You may also obtain more details on the above and related matters from the Central Bank of Kenya’s website: www.centralbank.go.ke.