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Updated: 2018-02-10T12:20:19.670+03:00




Licensed Credit Reference BureausThe Central Bank of Kenya has licensed the following Credit Reference Bureaus whose details are: Creditinfo Credit Reference Bureau Limited  Physical Address: Spark Suites, Suite 12, 2nd Floor, Parklands Road, Nairobi Postal Address: P.O. Box 38941 – 00623, Parklands Email: Date Licensed: 29th April 2015 Credit Reference Bureau Africa Limited t/a TransUnion Physical Address: 2nd floor, Prosperity House, Westlands Road, Off Museum Hill, Westlands Postal Address: P.O. Box 46406, 00100 NAIROBI, KENYA Telephone: +254 730 651 000 Fax: +254 (0) 20 3751344 Email: Website: Date Licensed: 9th February 2010 Metropol Credit Reference Bureau Limited  Physical Address: 1st Floor, Shelter Afrique Centre, Upper Hill, Nairobi Postal Address: P.O. Box 35331, 00200 NAIROBI, KENYA Telephone: +254 (0) 20 2689881 Mobile: +254 727 413 733/ 732 774 666 Customer Service Centre: 9th Floor, Barclays Plaza, Loita St. Nairobi Tel: +254 709 834000 Email: Website: Date Licensed: 11th April 2011 [...]



Last month I made a deliberate attempt to obtain my annual free  credit report from the two licensed credit references bureaus Metropol and Transunion (Central Bank has since licensed a third – Creditinfo CRB Ltd).I did discover that it is surprisingly easy and hassle free to obtain reports from the two bureaus. 

From Metropol, I used their mobile phone based Crystobol product accessed through *433# which Metropol has been promoting the product it in the media extensively in recent times. After paying Kshs 100 to their paybill number a code was promptly sent to me which enabled me to access the report from their website. The *433# has other options including ‘Clearance certificate’ and ‘Borrow money’!

For Transunion, I downloaded the Individual Credit Report Request from their website filled it in and sent it to them after 5p.m. By 9 am the following day, the report had been sent to my email with a note that I could obtain a clearance letter if I paid KShs2200 via MPESA pay bill. It is worth noting that the company seems to have two websites at the same time the other being 

Both reports have similar content such as open and closed performing and non performing accounts, credit applications of up to 180 days, bounced cheques and reasons thereof and actual account balances in all the accounts. Accounts in dispute are also listed. For reasons I am yet to determine the Metropol report was up to date up to March 2015, the Transunion report was last updated in June 2014 which leaves a huge reporting gap. From my observation, it is theoretically possible to obtain a clearance report from one bureau even if listed on the other and vice versa.

The glaring difference between the two reports however is how the information is presented, the Metrolpol report seems more user friendly than Transunion. Metropol have gone further and have assigned a score to the report payment profile index. The score Metro-Score ranges from 100 (defaulter) to 900 (excellent payer) while the payment profile index ranges from M1 to M9. 
In my opinion, it would be useful if all the credit reference bureaus assigned scores for uniformity and comparison and probably do away with the need to have absolute account balances on the credit reports like happens in the developed world. 




The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has granted a licence to Creditinfo Credit Reference Bureau Kenya Limited to offer credit information sharing services in Kenya. Creditinfo Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) Kenya Limited becomes the third credit reference bureau to be licensed in Kenya after Credit Reference Bureau Africa Limited and Metropol Credit Reference Bureau Limited which were licensed in February 2010 and April 2011 respectively. 

Creditinfo CRB Kenya Limited is majorly owned by Creditinfo International GmbH, headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany. It has credit information sharing operations in fifteen other countries including Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Malta, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Iceland, Jamaica, Cape Verde, Tanzania and Guyana. Creditinfo International GmbH offers credit information services as well as customer support in risk management. 

In Kenya, the establishment of credit reference bureaus is governed by the Credit Reference Bureau Regulations, 2013. The Regulations, issued under the Banking Act and Microfinance Act (2006), empower the Central Bank of Kenya to licence and supervise credit reference bureaus (CRBs) in Kenya. CRBs in Kenya are authorized to receive credit information from institutions licensed under the Banking Act and Microfinance Act (2006) as well as other approved third party data sources. 

Credit information sharing in Kenya’s banking sector was rolled out in July 2010. Commercial banks then commenced submitting negative credit information on their borrowers to the licensed credit reference bureau in August 2010. Between August 2010 and January 2014 commercial banks were mandated to submit only negative credit information through the licensed CRBs. In 2013, the Credit Reference Bureau Regulations were amended to allow all commercial banks and microfinance banks to submit full file credit information (both positive and negative information) to the licensed CRBs effective 28th February 2014. A credit reference bureau receives, collates, compiles and disseminates to authorised users, information on borrowers’ credit histories from approved data sources. 

Since August 2010 to 31st March 2015, commercial banks and microfinance banks have accessed 5,609,725 credit reports whereas individual customers have accessed 96,245 credit reports. Under the Credit Reference Bureau Regulations, 2013, individuals are entitled to one free personal credit report per year from any licensed credit reference bureau. Enhanced services are accessible on commercial terms. 

Source: Central Bank of Kenya Press release.



LOAN GUARANTOR? You must be ready to pay in the event of default!Lending a helping hand to a friend is indeed extolled. But the pitfalls of doing so - particularly when it involves money - are often overlooked. This is particularly relevant while lending money or standing surety to a loan taken by a friend or a relative. In the latter, the guarantor will be under an obligation to make good the loan amount if the original debtor defaults. Liabilities of the borrower For the lending institution, the purpose of asking the borrower to bring in a guarantor is to secure itself in the event of default by the borrower. Therefore, in such a case, the lending institution can move against the guarantor to recover the dues. Moreover, the guarantor cannot insist that the bank exhaust other alternatives before serving the notice. "To an extent, the liability of a guarantor depends on the agreement he has signed. Depending on the contractual arrangement, the lender can initiate proceedings against the guarantor - independently or simultaneously with the borrower - even without exhausting all the other remedies available". This means that a bank need not wait till the process of staking a claim to the debtor's estate - if liable to be attached - is completed. Not just banks It is not just in the case of bank loans that most people seek guarantees from friends. There are also cases where employees seek guarantees from colleagues to avail of loans from employee co-operative credit societies. In such loans, the society obtains authorization to debit the contributions of the guarantor if the borrower defaults. There have also been cases where guarantors for loans from such co-operative credit societies have found it difficult to encash their savings and quit the society upon retirement only because loans for which they have provided guarantees are outstanding. Limited scope for recourse There is precious little a guarantor can do if the lending institution has followed the process mentioned in the agreement before initiating the proceedings. "Persuading the borrower to repay the dues is the only remedy. Otherwise, the guarantor will have to bear the loan amount," You could also try to get someone else to be the surety, but accepting or rejecting the proposal would be entirely up to the lending institution. Exercise caution Since there is little scope for recourse once the debtor fails to repay the loan, one should be extremely careful while giving consent to the terms and conditions of the agreement. "First and foremost, a prospective guarantor needs to determine the repayment capacity of the borrower. Second, a guarantor should be careful when an enhancement in credit limit is being granted. If the guarantor does not give his consent, his liability will be to the extent of initial loan amount.It is equally important to read the fine print of the agreement the lending institution wants you to sign. "The guarantors should ensure that the agreement does not bind them to an unlimited liability. They should be clear about the extent of their liability - for instance, if it will hold even in the event of a willful default". One should also insist on clarity in the procedure that will be followed, including the notice period to be served, that the creditor has to follow while invoking the guarantee. "In the agreement, the guarantor should insert a clause absolving himself/herself of the surety if the original debtor agreement is altered later, without guarantor's consent".From[...]



YOUR HOUSE IS NOT AN ASSET, MORTGAGES, NET WORTH E.T.C.“Your house is not an asset” famous words about home buyers from Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki. His basic take is that your property is really a liability, not an asset. It is a place an individual lives vs an defines investment as - “the investing of money or capital in order to gain profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.”  Can be argued that a house will appreciate in value.  But, to fit the definition, you must have bought it specifically for that purpose. Many personal financial advisors continue to peddle this school of thought. My take however is that this advice should be customized to each specific situation, this would primarily apply if you buy a house on mortgage and you live in Kenya where interests rate are currently at 23% p.a. Lets consider this scenario; Suppose you take a mortgage for property which you intend to live in worth Kshs 5 million today, at 20% p.a. for 15 years, Monthly payments will be Kshs 87,815/=. At the end of 15 years you will have paid interest of Kshs 10.8 M add to the Kshs 5 M principal and the total cost will be Kshs 15.8 M. Note; You need to be less than 40 years old and earning a net of at least Kshs 130K monthly to qualify for this mortgage.Now, being a middle level executive, you will not do much else until year 2030 (retirement) and you are stuck to your job unless you pay earlier or do something extraordinary. More woes if you have to pay service charge. Please don’t consider this an asset, it’s a darn liability. Sure you won’t sell your house on retirement even if it will have appreciated in value by five times.For clarity a 5 M property will be a 3 bed bungalow in Kitengela or a 2 bed apartment off Mombasa Road or a mansionaite closer to the CBD.  However, if you are a high roller then you can afford a Kshs 25 M house in the leafier suburbs’ for which you will pay Kshs 400 K monthly for 15 years!For most Kenyans, their road to house ownership is by purchasing a plot, building at their ‘respective rate of income’, all this using short term loans. Soon enough they become home owners.Home ownership has some distinct advantages such as the sense of security, and if not risk averse they can then leverage on the value of their home to actually ‘invest’ in other real estate or business. Having said that, the house will become your asset when you have substantially paid for it.People have this notion of computing their net worth based on the value of the property they live and especially when they have not fully paid for it. While net worth is a nice pretty number to figure out, it is almost useless. It is a fictional number that is usually based on over valued assets and unrealistic assumptions. It is useless because you can't spend your net worth the best you can do is borrow against it.[...]




I have been reviewing the Kenya Credit Bureau Information Sharing Initiative Progress Report 2008-2011 with interest here. The report has been prepared by Financial Sector Deepening Kenyaand the following are the key highlights;
  • That 4 banks make 90% of all enquiries.
  • That 9 banks make 97% of all enquiries.
  • That data submitted by banks composed of 203,000 individual consumers and 9,900 businesses.
  • Customer complaints very low, highest number was 9 in November 2010.
  • Banks using the credit bureau system as a ‘debt collection mechanism’ rather than a ‘risk management mechanism’.
  • Old and outdated data being loaded into the credit bureaus with the sole purpose of piling pressure on debtors to pay up.
  • There is a substantial difference between number of non performing loans reported to Central Bank and those reported to credit bureaus.
  • Highlights the fact the law only allows sharing of negative information only and by banks only.
The report recommends that as a priority Microfinance institutions and Saccos should be included in the initiative and that positive information should also be shared.

The Business Daily has also today reported on the same with a very informative interview with a credit bureau insider hereand that Kenyan banks have blacklisted 213,000 customers hereand that there are proposals by the Kenya Bankers Association  to have an arbiter on the disputes arising from the credit reporting process here




Recently an insurance agent tried to interest me to a unit linked policy of sorts and when I pressed for more information I got a very attractive write up on projected earnings over the years (if times are good), they even had an annual premium adjustment to take care of inflation! Not being very satisfied, I dug up some information.There are many views on the unit linked policies, some say that it is the future of the insurance industry to the extent that some insurance companies only have such policies e.g. Pan African Life, others say insurance cover should not be linked with investments.What has made investment linked insurance products grow very rapidly is trying to kill two birds with one stone, ie. having insurance protection and at the same time not missing an opportunity to participate in investment. However, it is vital to be aware that insurance and investment are two different things. People buying such investment linked products should have a clear understanding how the product works.The policies also come in many forms and are usually combined with life and education policies and have fancy product names in the line of Maxisave, Flexi, IncomeBuilder etc. So why the tie-up with investment-linked?  A unit linked (or investment linked) policy is one in which the benefits are determined by reference to the value of a collection of investments which are broadly identified and to whose fortunes the return is linked. Typically, this will comprise a portfolio of equities, bonds and, sometimes, real property. This arrangement might be thought of as similar to owning units in unit trusts or shares as direct investments, but legally the position is quite different. There is a contractual relationship between the policyholder and the insurer. The policyholder’s entitlement is governed by that contract, according to such events - death, maturity or surrender whole or partial - as the terms provide for. The sum payable may, subject to the nature of the event, depend on the value of the linked investments.Simply put, a unit linked policy consist of 2 major elements, the insurance elements and the investment elements. Think of it as a hybrid product between a Unit Trust and Conventional Insurance policy. Note that similar to any investment vehicles out there, the investment funds (part of your premium) is subject to growth and losses, based on the performance of the underlying investment activities of the funds. The fine print will normally contain the following “Investment-linked plans, like other types of investments, are exposed to investment risk. The unit price of an investment fund is linked to the total value of the plan, which fluctuates with the movements in the unit price. You may realise a gain or loss when you sell your units, and may even get less than what you invested. Past-performance of an investment-linked fund's track record is only a guide to future performance.”A portion of premium payment is used to purchase units in the investment linked funds managed by the insurance company. The protection coverage is provided by paying the insurance charges, fees and other related expenses via the deduction of the premium or sale of units from the investment funds.Unlike unit trust investments, the full amount paid may not always be allocated to purchase units. Before buying the unit linked policy, it is important to find out what percentage of your premium would be used to purchase units which in Kenya you are unlikely to be informed. Usually, from the beginning years a bigger portion of the premium paid is used to pay for the insurer’s expenses such as agent’s fees (typically 1st year-50%, 2nd year 30% etc) and administration costs. Hence smaller portion would be used to purchase investment units. These expenses decrease over time, the premium allocation increases to purchase units increases until it reaches 100% in later years. For mos[...]



–Written by Joe Mont, writer at TheStreet advisers are looking more at “behavioral finance” — how people’s thinking affects their money management.Successful saving and investing often comes down to having the right approach. But the right moves to make, on paper, often don’t translate into the actual steps we take. Emotions and personality traits can help or hinder investing and financial planning.“It is incredibly important, especially if you are a financial adviser, because so much of our industry looks at the really obvious things like age and income and demographics,” says Katie Libbe, vice president of consumer insights for    Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, of understanding the role habits and personality play. “However, there can be a big difference between a 60-year-old that has a pension but maybe was petty frugal versus a 60-year-old that may have gotten there via day trading and things like that. For financial advisers, it is really important for them to know the differences between emotional traits, values and things that aren’t so easy to discover by just looking at a fact sheet on your client.”An Allianz study, Reclaiming the Future, included research into how financial personalities affect retirement planning. That effort included a nationwide survey of 3,257 U.S. residents ages 44 to 75.  The report describes this group as “pragmatic and grounded,” and their portfolios show that. “They are financially independent, they are comfortable taking risks and they are confident that their income will last throughout their lives,” it says. “They tend to have large, diversified portfolios and, therefore, few financial concerns.”Another grouping with positive traits were dubbed “savvy.” They were described as “financially sophisticated,” confident and “in the know about most financial concepts.” They typically had the highest level of investible assets among the respondents, with large, diversified portfolios and the lowest level of debt. As a result, they were also the best prepared for retirement.Even positive traits can have a potential downside, though.  In 2004,    Merrill Lynch    commissioned a study of investing personalities and investment mistakes. Nearly one-third of those it surveyed were categorized as “measured investors.” Secure in their financial situation and confident they will have a comfortable retirement, they started investing early in life, rebalance regularly and don’t try to beat the market or over-allocate to a single investment. The study says they were “least likely to be plagued by the emotions that commonly cause investment mistakes, fear and anxiety.”Nevertheless, “even the most methodical and even-keeled investors make mistakes,” the study said, adding that “steadfastness is a virtue — up to a point. This personality type’s dedication to their investments often makes it difficult for them to let go of losing investments.”Libbe says it is important to realize that investing mistakes related to mindset and habits are far from unique. “Investors need to be able to understand that they are not that different from other people like them and that there are things they can be doing to get back on track,” Libbe says. The following are five personality traits that can hurt your investments and financial planning.1. The overwhelmedIn the Allianz study, the “overwhelmed” personality made up the largest segment of its respondents (32%) and, demographically, tended to have the lowest income and education level. One-third had been affected — directly or indirectly — by job loss, and they have a limited amount of investible assets.“This group tends to have high cred[...]



The conventional financial advice is that if you are employed or earning some income you need to put aside some cash for emergencies; for example loss a job, medical emergency etc. Personal finance experts advice that you keep 3 months to 6 months equivalent of monthly liabilities if form of cash.While it a good idea to set aside some cash for a rainy day, the whole idea of holding such cash needs to be rethought. Failure to have such amount of cash saved does not necessarily constitute a crisis. So if you haven’t, don’t worry too much because what really matters is your overall financial flexibility, that is; resources you can command too help you withstand a crises, however unexpected, severe or long lasting for the following reasons.1. Emergency funds take time to accumulateWith the tough economic conditions especially the biting inflation, household budgets are becoming tighter and tighter. With the numerous financial obligation and spiraling costs saving even a small amount is becoming a challenge and thus an emergency fund is hardly a priority. If at all you manage to save anything at all, it will be minute and will take you ages to actually save 6 months worth of living expenses cash.2. Unacceptably high opportunity cost of fundsLike mentioned above, your budget will have some priorities which are important for your overall financial well being. Items such as debt repayment, retirement saving, sacco savings and investment in a income generating venture will definitely have a higher priority than putting aside an emergency fund. Basically, you have more to gain from making such investments than having money sit around.3. Non emergencies become emergenciesWith idle cash in the bank, issues which you would not ordinarily consider emergency will become emergencies. For example when your idiot brother gets arrested and people look up to you to bail him out, if you don’t have money you will state that fact and suggest creative ways of raising the money. With idle cash lying in the bank creativity will feature less and you will just want to get on with your life. Of course your brother will never pay you back.Emergencies and financial crises can be managed by first having access to a credit line. That means you have a good financial reputation and you have been paying your debts promptly, be it to your friends, family or even financial institutions. Another way of dealing with emergencies is to liquidate some assets you may have invested in such as real estate or sacco savings. Yet another way to manage emergencies is by risk transfer which is basically use of insurance. Personal accident, comprehensive car cover, fire and burglary and especially medical insurance for your family can help you ride some of the difficult times.Therefore if you have the above mentioned basics in place and a zero emergency fund, you can sleep easy despite what the experts insist.[...]



By George Ngigi November 4  2011 Business DailyBanks should not blacklist customers whose dormant accounts run into negative balances, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has said. “Failure to close a bank account does not in itself amount to defaulting on a loan. However, it is important to note that credit facilities that had not been fully serviced or regularised when they became dormant may amount to non-performing loans,” said CBK in response to questions by Business Daily regarding the matter.Customers have accused banks of blacklisting dormant account holders whose balances slip into negative figures due to standing monthly charges.The lenders then deny the account holders access to credit, effectively lumping them in the category of loan defaulters. CBK has asked banks to adhere to conditions stipulated in the Credit Reference Bureau (CBR) regulations.Take advantageBank customers should take advantage of the free credit report copy that they are entitled to each year to check any inaccuracy, CBK said.Credit reference regulations allow customers to raise complaints in not more than 100 words on inaccuracies in the report. The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) intends to set up an office of an ombudsman to arbitrate conflicts between banks and customers.Sharing of borrowers’ loan repayment history started in July last year with the aim of cutting out serial defaulters. The system is expected to develop to levels where information on dormant accounts will be relevant but not necessitating black-listing.“As Kenya moves towards comprehensive credit information sharing, the financial profile of customers will become more pertinent.In comprehensive credit information sharing systems, information on account operations such as dormancy is a consideration,” said the CBK.The credit bureau system has specialised in gathering information on loan defaults, limiting wider public benefits that could accrue from the body and undermining some reasons for setting it up.One of the reasons for creation of the body was to allow clean borrowers to access cheaper loans under less stringent terms.KBA said it was working on modalities to encourage sharing of data on performing loans by next June.Bank customers have also been asked to update their personal data so that letters on their being black-listed reach them.[...]



By George Ngigi  November 1  2011 at  BusinessDailyBankers will create an ombudsman’s office to address customer complaints regarding use of credit referencing bureaus (CRB), the industry lobby organisation has said. The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) said the office will arbitrate on emerging issues on use of CRBs, such as the reported blacklisting of customers whose dormant accounts had fallen to negative balances due to accumulated bank charges.Some bank customers have also claimed they were black listed due to erroneous reconciliation of loan accounts, and did not have an avenue to have their issues resolved. “We are proposing amendments to the CRB regulations to introduce the office of an ombudsman who will listen to customer disputes that may not be resolved by the CRB and commercial bank as provided for under the current regulations,” said the KBA chief executive, Habil Olaka.The credit reference regulations currently allow customers to raise complaints in not more than 100 words of the aspects that he/she considers inaccurate in his report.The credit bureau is required by law to insert the statement to the borrower’s credit report while the reporting bank investigates the complaint in a maximum period of 15 days.If erroneous, the CRB deletes or amends it and within five days of having received the resolution notice, inform everyone who has accessed the report over the previous twelve months. But if no agreement is reached, the complaining customer will now appeal through the office of the ombudsman whose ruling will be final.“The decisions of the independent ombudsman will be binding on the banks,” said Mr Olaka.Mr Olaka saidthe association was preparing guidelines to be issued to banks clarifying on what constitutes a credit facility in order to prevent any misuse of the system. The latest Central Bank quarterly report indicates that commercial banks had requested 1,060,865 credit referencing reports by end of September indicating increased reliance of the reports in the process of loan appraisals.An individual is entitled to one free report in a year and to a free copy of the report within 30 days of being notified of their listing. By end of December 2010 only 434 credit reports had been requested by customers against 284,722 made by banks. “The challenge is to increase public awareness on the credit information sharing mechanism and the right to access a free credit report from a licensed bureau at least once a year by customers,” said the Central Bank industry report for the year 2010. Kenya Bankers association said it had also noted that much more sensitisation is required to assist all parties -lenders, borrowers and credit bureaus-clarify any grey areas and hence would be rolling out an awareness campaign early next year.Currently there are two registered credit reference bureaus in the country being CRBAfrica and Metropol Bureau. [...]



By George Ngigi  October 31  2011 Business DailyThousands of consumers who did not formally close previously held bank accounts have been included in the list of bad borrowers, adding a new twist to commercial banks’ use of credit reference in the lending market. The lenders said the consumers are being penalised for maintaining negative bank balances that add up to loan defaults, qualifying them as bad borrowers in the credit market. Also included in the list of bad borrowers are bank customers who have applied for credit cards but have not activated them — making it impossible for the banks to recover the initial cost. Kenya launched the credit referencing system last year to profile borrowers based on their loan servicing history as well as their dealings with utility companies such as water and electricity distributors. Some commercial banks acknowledged encountering similar problems when evaluating their clients for loans and advised them to clear with the banks that shared negative information before continuing with negotiations. “People have been put there unnecessarily. Some credit officers in the industry think CRB is a correctional measure for all that has gone wrong in the past but that is not the case; it is worse because it denies one access to credit,” said Jacob Ogola, head of credit administration at Commercial Bank of Africa. Banks have been increasing their reliance on credit reports with most demanding that all loan applications be accompanied by findings of the individual’s or business report. The latest Central Bank quarterly report indicates that commercial banks had requested 1,060,865 credit referencing reports by end of September. “The reports are now part of our credit appraisal process and negative listing is considered on a case by case basis,” said Suprio Sengupta, the general-manager at I&M Bank. “For personal financing, it becomes crucial but on secured loans it is negotiable,” he said.  The credit referencing guidelines for the banking industry indicate that lenders are expected to put more emphasis on each borrower’s character than their ability to repay or even to raise collateral. The CRB report is deemed to reflect the borrower’s character. Consumer complaints Credit reference bureaus admitted receiving consumer complaints over dormant account-related blacklisting but said commercial banks had submitted the information to the bureaus. “We are aware of cases where a customer left his or her account dormant and it went into negative balance not necessarily because of failure to service a loan but for overdrawn bank charges,” said Sam Mukoko of Metropol CRB. “This is the group of customers who are being taken by surprise when they apply for a loan.” Wachira Ndege of CRBAfrica, one of the first credit reference bureaus to get Central Bank licensing, said such surprises should not occur as commercial banks are expected to inform a person of his/her listing in the bad borrowers’ book within 30 days of registering a person as a defaulter with the credit bureaus. Mr Ndege said the requirement is expected to elicit a response from the listed borrower and set in motion a process to correct any errors in the report. “A customer can also request their status report and if there is any error a resolution procedure is in place,” said Mr Ndege. An individual is entitled to one free report in a year and to a free copy of the report within 30 days of being notified of their listing. Mr Wachira said that the law only provided for listing of individuals on the basis of outstanding debt obligations on a facility and not as a result of bank charges. Mr Mukoko said that customer complaints had led some banks to wr[...]



27th Oct. 2011 – TransUnion, a global leader in credit and information management, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with CRB Holdings Limited, the parent company of CRBAfrica to purchase a majority shareholding in CRB Holdings Limited, a credit risk management organisation with a presence in eight countries across Africa.The acquisition significantly expands TransUnion’s footprint in Africa. Building on its existing presence in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, TransUnion can now enhance operations in Botswana and extend its footprint into Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, bringing a wide range of credit reporting and risk management solutions to these emerging markets. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Closing of the transaction is subject to satisfaction of customary conditions to closing and regulatory approvals.“For TransUnion, broadening our presence in Africa is part of our strategy to open opportunities for both businesses and consumers, helping to fuel economic growth in these evolving credit markets,” said Edward Khoury, Group CEO TransUnion Africa. “We are delighted to be working with CRBAfrica and leveraging their experience and relationships within these countries to introduce to the local markets the many benefits of credit-information.In addition to supporting new retail and banking customers in the region, this will also enable our large customers in South Africa to launch operations further into Africa, whilst being assured of Credit Bureau support.”With a population of approximately a billion people and a strong gross domestic product, Africa is increasingly the focus of both local and international commercial interest and investment. The benefits of this investment are widespread, but the introduction and influence of credit bureaus in particular are expected to have a significant effect on the economies of Africa in the medium term and positively impact job creation, specifically at a Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) level. Moreover, at a social level, studies have shown that widening access to regulated credit fosters positive results for the distribution of wealth.According to Michael Karanja, Chairman of CRBAfrica, the synergies between the two companies will enable the combined business to offer clients an even more compelling value proposition. “With over twenty years’ experience in credit referencing and debt management in Africa, we have built strong relationships with our clients and pride ourselves on our high business ethic, as well as our commitment to our people and the region as a whole,” Karanja said. “As part of TransUnion, we will have the global reputation, expertise, systems and suite of solutions to dramatically enhance our services within the region.”Khoury and Karanja also stressed the point that there are no plans to make any changes to personnel or management, and that it is very much “business as usual”. Once the purchase is complete, the markets will begin learning and seeing a wider range of product and service offerings as the transition to the TransUnion brand occurs. About TransUnionAs a global leader in information and risk management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analysing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering high quality data, and integrating advanced analytics and enhanced decision-making capabilities. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, [...]



By James Ratemo, Business Daily Thursday, October 13  2011A friend of mine who has been using a credit card for several months was recently surprised at how far banks were willing to go to ensure his financial ‘comfort’.This friend, let us call him Jack, likes making purchases  using his credit card and repaying 100 per cent at the end of every month.One day,  he suddenly realised the bank had blocked his card.He was surprised because he had never defaulted on his payments. He went to  the bank for an explanation. “The bank official told me they had monitored my card and thought I was straining because after paying my monthly expenditures, my account remained almost  he suggested that I pay 50 per cent of my bills instead of the 100 per cent I was used to,” explains Jack. A critical look at what the bank wanted Jack to do reveals that the bank would be the ultimate beneficiary since paying the way they recommended means additional interest on the credit carried forward.Jack pays Sh2,500 as the annual fee for the credit card.If you pay 100 per cent promptly every month, there is no interest accrued meaning the only cost you incur is the annual fee, which in  Jack’s case is Sh2,500.However,  after Jack changed his repayment plan to 50 per cent, it meant the remaining 50 per cent is carried forward,  attracting a 3.5 per cent interest.This may sound logical since it gives Jack more time to repay but ultimately it proves expensive.Today,  banks are literally ‘hawking’ credit cards to clients in the hope of increasing their income portfolio.Most banks allow customers to repay anything between 5 per cent to 100 per cent. Of course, the longer you take to pay, the more expensive it becomes. So watch out. Credit cards  encourage you to spend more at very high interest rates which is why the card companies or banks coax customers to own one.Always endeavour to repay your credit in the shortest time possible. In fact it would be wise to repay 100 per cent every month to avoid paying interest. Otherwise the best option would be to use cash instead of entering a cycle of  indebtedness.According to one online financial advisor, by spending more than they can actually afford each month, individuals end up paying very high interest charges each month.Because you are only billed once a month, it is also very easy to forget about purchases you have made using a credit card. You may end up with a very unwelcome surprise at the end of  the month once you see just how many purchases you signed for during the past 30 days! Any unpaid balances are charged very high interest rates that will quickly add up.If you continue to pay only the minimum amount, your unpaid balance can easily become unmanageable.Credit cards can be dangerous for people who are not good at budgeting.It  is very easy to overspend because you don’t need to pay for your purchases upfront.  Somehow,  signing a piece of paper at the time of purchase doesn’t always feel like you are actually spending money.Financial experts argue that if you cannot trust yourself with a large credit limit then call your provider and demand it to be lowered.Spending when abroadWhenever you use your credit card abroad, depending on your bank,  you can be charged around 2.75 per cent for the foreign exchange loading fee and then a handling fee of around 2.5 per cent if you draw money out from a cash point machine or bank.According to Mr Steve Kamau, Group Business Development manager, Credit Reference Bureau of Africa Ltd, out of the total loan defaults reported between August last year and this year, 23 per cent were credit card[...]

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For most people, a car is a necessity. We often depend on our vehicles to get us to and from work every day, transport children to events, and even for pleasure. Because they are such an important aspect of your life, you want a vehicle that is reliable, comfortable, and maybe even a bit stylish. The vehicle choices are almost endless, so finding the right combination of wants and needs with an affordable price tag can be challenging.Some people never buy a car, as they simply cannot afford one or they live in cities where public transportation and conveniently located shops, schools, and businesses make having a car a luxury, not a necessity. But if you need a car or you think you simply can’t live without one, there are some financial issues to resolve before you go car shopping.The first is how much car you can actually afford. Because you may be able to finance your car with a loan if your credit is good and you have a steady income, you usually don’t have to come up with the entire cost in cash. (Then again, if you can wait to pay cash, it’s not a bad idea.) But if you’re borrowing, you will probably need a down payment in cash, usually about 10% - 30% of the total price. And you need to know how much of your monthly budget you can allot for installment payments on a car loan, plus the cost of fuel, insurance, and maintenance. One test to determine whether you have too much car (beyond your means) is if your monthly car loan repayment costs, insurance financing, maintenance and fuel costs (cost of car ownership) exceed the amount you are able to save in the month.The second is, how important is having a car versus other financial goals? Like saving for retirement, house ownership, further education etc. Buying a car can actually make a big dent on your net worth being a depreciating ‘asset’ which requires maintenance. Vehicles depreciate rapidly, so if you finance the full purchase price, you often find yourself upside down on the loan immediately. Being upside down simply means that you owe more than the car is worth, as opposed to buying real estate for example.Another consideration is the type and number of cars. Now, think about buying a super expensive luxury car or buying two cars because you’re married and you both work. Now you’re making mortgage size payments just to have something to drive you around.Remember that not all vehicles are created equal. Some cars will hold their value over time better than others, and some cars have notorious maintenance issues. Do your research before buying your next car and don’t just buy something because it looks good in the commercials. You can not only save some headaches down the road by picking a reliable car, but if it retains its value you will take less of a hit when it comes time to sell.Long story short, it’s up to you to decide how you want to spend your money. A vehicle may be a necessity, but it doesn’t have to negatively impact your financial future. If you aren’t careful, a vehicle can erode your wealth faster than anything else. Unfortunately, most of us need a car. That’s just the reality of it all. But you can take some steps to make sure that you’re keeping your car costs as low as possible so that you can focus on building wealth, not just maintaining a vehicle year after year.Be smart about your vehicle costs. It might be nice to drive around in something a little fancy but is it worth the negative impact it may have on your long-term financial goals? That’s for you to decide.[...]



By Peter Kamuri - East African StandardWith the rising cost of living, many people are growing desperate for money to help meet their expenses.As a result, many of them are turning to extreme means of funding their budget deficits. They care less about the costs that come with such kind of finances. One such plan is approaching a commercial bank for a personal loan. Indeed, these commercial banks are aware people are desperate for money. They have thus come up with innovative ways of luring customers to borrow from them. Although getting a personal loan from a bank is one way to get through tough financial times, it is not necessarily the best solution to all your financial miseries.However, if you do not have another way out of your financial limbo other than securing a personal loan from a bank and other financial institutions, you must be aware that hasty decisions can make you lose your money at the end. This can bring about more anguish than the problems you already have.Kennedy Bosibori, a financial expert working with a micro-finance institution in Nairobi says that before you consider going for a personal loan, one should start by asking himself or herself whether there is enough income to honour the obligation.Available options"Some people borrow money even when their disposable income cannot allow. Although you may be desperate for money to get you through tough financial times, lack of a regular income to service the loan can only get you into a deeper hole," says Bosibori.He advises, "Then ask yourself: is going for a personal loan the only option available for me to get out of my financial woes? You might be surprised to discover that some options like cutting down on your expenses can help you significantly spare some money, eliminating the need of going for a loan." Bosibori says that before you make a rash decision to fill out a loan application form, take time to find out whether there are alternatives of getting the money rather than going to the bank. Bank charges in terms of interest are high and if they can be avoided, the better."Think about getting money from friends or family members. Although in some cases you may be expected to pay some interest on such money, the rates are quite low," he advises.Tough times"In addition, establish whether you can do something to improve your daily, weekly or monthly income. There is a possibility that what you need is not a loan but a boost on your income. Look for creative ways in which you can supplement your income. Try part-time jobs for extra pay and you may be surprised that this is just what you required not a personal loan," says Bosibori. Financial experts say experiencing financial problems does not necessarily mean you have to go for a personal loan. You might be shocked to learn that you are just a poor manager of your finances and what you need is a financial advisor to show you how you can successfully manage your finances. That is why it is advisable to talk to a financial expert before you fill in the loan application form. However, if you are convinced that you indeed require a personal loan, it is important that you choose your lender well. Choosing the right bank that can fulfill all your financial needs is the most important decision while applying for a loan. Avoid going to loan sharks or lenders who will take advantage of your situation."If you decide to get money from a bank, do not just go for one that will not just give you banking and lending services only, but one that will offer support, advice and guidance among other services. The bank should then tell you how soon you should get the loan and whether t[...]



By CHEGE MUIGAI Business Daily Sunday, August 21Kevin Ndabi, a city lawyer, owns a BMW and lives in an impressive house in South C, Nairobi. Armed with a pricey smartphone and an Apple iPad, Ndabi admits that he has been spending money beyond his means.“It’s a trap of the times,” he says. “It’s all vanity I agree. But without building a super image in this day and age, it would be impossible to do well career-wise and in my personal life. The girl I wish to marry wants to see cool stuff to respect me.Without spending money on myself to look good and on her too — upkeep, clubbing and all — she would never give me a second look.”Mr Ndabi is part of a growing list of Kenyans, trapped in a consumer culture and who are getting into serious debt as a result.“Kenyans have a spendthrift culture,” says economist Dr Tabitha Kiriti, a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi .“With all the easy loans being advertised around, Kenyans dive right into them without any forethought or fore planning. Because of the lack of specific projects, when the money comes, there is misuse.”As a result, the economy is paying the price.Kenyans love to express themselves materially and most of the money gets lost in unnecessary expenses like gadgets, outfits and cars. These are all consumables that lose their value fast,” says Dr Kiriti. “It is a cultural thing.”She adds that this habit is weighing down on the economy, killing the shilling’s value and contributing to the high cost of living.“When people save, they are able to invest. Such investments in turn contribute to economic production, which means more wealth for the country.But if the society is only spending and not investing, it means wealth is being exported. It also means that the country’s currency is vulnerable because of the relatively bigger import than export flows, which is the case with our shilling currently.” Anne Gichanga, managing director at financial planning firm Regnum agrees: “Everything is significantly more expensive.It would be impossible for most people to save now. Overall though, even in much better times, Kenyans have not been saving as much as is necessary. It is more of a lack of financial discipline than anything else.” Ms Gichanga says that the cycle of debt that many people have sunk into is very hard to get out of. “If you spend before you can earn, that is an emergency financial situation,” she says.“Living within your means and spending only what you earn is the first step to a successful financial life.”The plight of Generation Y worries Ms Gichanga too. “The young people coming to employment now have a very lopsided approach to financial success. They want to get rich instantly, live a very high life and are ready to cut corners to get there.” She adds: “It is not uncommon to see some guy only two months into his job living in a house that eats up half of his salary, has an iPhone and is seeking a car loan. All of these are well and good. But none has the potential of generating a sustainable income. Ms Gichanga says the way out is for people to adopt responsible spending habits at the personal level.  “As much as possible, a portion of any income should be channelled into profit-making projects,” she adds. That, says Ms Gichanga, is hard work that calls for sacrifices.“Nobody ever became successful without great financial discipline, denying themselves many luxuries and having taken a 360 degrees view on their spending. But you mostly see people going about their lives without caring about the future. T[...]



By GEOFFREY IRUNGU   Thursday, August 18  2011 Business DailyThe Central Bank’s latest move to stabilise the shilling by mopping up liquidity in the financial system came under scrutiny as the overnight borrowing rate shot to 15.68 per cent, raising fears of a surge in the cost of government borrowing. File  The Central Bank’s latest move to stabilise the shilling by mopping up liquidity in the financial system came under scrutiny as the overnight borrowing rate shot to 15.68 per cent, raising fears of a surge in the cost of government borrowing.The CBK discount window rate rose sharply for the third day in a row from Tuesday’s 13.87 per cent and Monday’s 11.34 per cent. Wednesday’s rate was above all interest rates that the State is paying on Treasury bonds. The highest yield on Kenya’s 30-year bond is trading at around 15.50 per cent.Fred Mweni, a member of the informal CBK advisory group comprising top traders of government securities, said the regulator appeared “overly concerned” with the exchange rate and was using the higher short-term interest rates as a way to defend the currency. “The government and even other actors in the economy are likely to experience increasingly higher borrowing costs because the Central Bank has raised the over-night borrowing window in its attempt to defend the Shilling,” said Mr Mweni.He added that interest rate bids in the oncoming treasury security auctions were likely to be more aggressive.The government has suffered under-subscriptions in the past few bond and even T-bill auctions because of a liquidity crunch caused by CBK’s recent tightening stance.Mr Mweni said the defence of the currency through tightening was not necessarily going to succeed — in view of an overall dollar shortage, a view also shared by Joshua Kagia, head of treasury at Consolidated Bank. “The Central Bank appears to believe that commercial banks are hoarding foreign currency. The CBK is tightening so that they can release it to the market. This should then strengthen the Shilling as dollars are offloaded into the market,” said Mr Kagia.“My personal view is that there are no dollars in the market and tightening may not achieve the intended objective. So what might happen is that short-term rates are just continue rising even though lending rates are not likely to go up in the short term,” said Mr Kagia.He said the inter-bank rate was up mainly because there was not enough liquidity in the market as institutions held bonds that were difficult to dispose of without making a loss in the currency interest rate environment.“Banks have high liquidity but this does not mean that they have actual cash and they are not selling the bonds to get cash because it would lead to losses as interest rates have shot up,” said Mr Kagia.He said government securities holdings at the end of last week were down to Sh116 billion from Sh126 billion the previous week because institutions did not roll over their maturities into the new treasury bills and bonds – thus explaining why last week’s paper was not fully subscribed.[...]



Even if you have made money mistakes in the past, you can rebuild your credit history and become a borrower in good standing. It is important to have a good credit history if you want to borrow money. The better your credit report and score, the better the terms of your loans and credit will be (e.g. lower interest rates). However, you have harmed your credit history and score if:you did not pay at least the minimum balance on your debts you made late payments you went over your credit limit you missed one or several payments you stopped making payments altogether you have too much credit and you use it your debt was referred to collection you made a consumer proposal you declared bankruptcy. A bad credit report and score can mean you do not get approved for a loan, or you do not receive the best loan terms (e.g. higher interest rate). How to rebuild your credit history Make at least the minimum payment by the due date. If you cannot pay off your balance in full each month, make at least the minimum payment on each of your debts on time. Late payments will count against you and negatively impact your credit score and credit report. Do not apply for too many credit and loan products. Having too much credit can also negatively affect your credit report. Keep your available credit at a minimum. Do not fill in too many applications for credit and loans because every time you do, your credit history is checked. Each credit check can affect your credit score. Review your statements. When you are in debt, avoiding your monthly statements may cost you. Mistakes happen and you only have a limited time to correct them. Always review your statements to make sure there are no transactions charged in error and that your payments are recorded correctly. Report any mistakes as soon as possible. Check your credit report annually. You are entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report annually from the credit rating agencies. Check your credit report annually for errors and get them corrected as soon as possible. Prepaid cards do not help you build credit. You may choose to use a prepaid card as a payment option, but its use is not tracked by the credit rating agencies.Use credit responsiblyThere are no quick fixes to repairing your credit history. You have to prove you are a responsible borrower to lenders, and that may take time. Whether you are rebuilding your credit history, or trying to maintain a good credit score, you should always use credit responsibly.[...]



By  from Business Daily  Friday, July 15 2011Mr Daniel Adero, a Maseno University graduate, is yet to get gainful employment, two years after he graduated. But Mr Adero, just like thousands of his colleagues who are still looking for jobs, receives an e-mail monthly from the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) that not only reminds him to start repaying his loan but also informs him of a Sh5,000 fine on top of the interest his loan is attracting per month. Even though his argument that the education financier should give him time to get a job so that he can start offsetting the debt is shared by most of the defaulters the Business Daily interviewed, the board maintains that once any student completes his/her university education, they should use the knowledge gained to generate some income.Nevertheless, Mr Adero reckons that the new measures have made it indeed very expensive for a beneficiary of the government loan to continue ignoring repayments. Currently, loanees are required to start repayment a year after completing studies, and the board can shorten the grace period if it finds it fit. For instance, Mr Adero’s fines in the past 10 months are now in excess of Sh50,000, which is eight times more than the Sh8,600 interest his 12 per cent interest rate per annum his loan has attracted in the same period, making the fines emerge as the most effective punitive measure that will push the education financier to overcome its greatest nightmare — recovering loans — as it races towards self-reliance. According to data from the State corporation established to finance needy university students, more than 76,000 beneficiaries who are due for repayments are yet to commence repayments amounting to Sh7.9 billion, meaning that the financier is netting at least Sh3.8 million in fines alone monthly. Should the board defy the mounting pressure against these fines and continues, as is the case in the developed world, then Helb is sure of a fresh source of quick cash to support its huge demand for loans. For instance in the US, defaulters are penalised up to Sh18,000 ($200) a month if they don’t pay.The board is also looking to tap into the expertise of professional debt collectors to complement the current services of the Kenya Revenue Authority to track down defaulters of the government university loans in an effort to maintain the growth in its loan recovery now in excess of Sh200 million a month. “The process of picking the debt collectors is currently on as per the public procurement law, there has been drastic increase of loan payment by individual payers not attached to any employer,” the board’s head of operations, Richard Kipsang told the Business Daily. “We have seen more than 100 per cent increase of collections from this group,” Dr Kipsang said. Latest figures show that the stringent measures the board has introduced to encourage repayment have started to bear fruit after it reported a 21 per cent growth in loan recovery in its last financial year. It collected Sh2.3 billion in 2010 compared to the Sh1.9 billion the previous year — a 60 per cent of the annual loans disbursement to students ­— while tripling the growth in its individual collections to Sh457 million in the period under review. The growth means that the financier’s revolving fund will be able to cope with reducing Government financing even as it ropes in more students into the scheme.This year, it is planning to lend Sh4.1 billion to 100,000 students, [...]



Question. Who is an auctioneer? Answer. An auctioneer is a qualified individual holding a valid auctioneering license issued by the Auctioneers Licensing Board pursuant to the provisions of the Auctioneers Act No. 5 of 1996 Laws of Kenya. An auctioneer's license is strictly issued to an individual and it is not transferable.Question. Is the auctioneering business rooted in the Law? Answer. The auctioneers Act No. 5 of 1996 and Rules of 1997 regulate the business of Auctioneering. For a person to perform the duties of an auctioneer he must hold a valid Auctioneers License issued by the Auctioneers Licensing Board pursuant to the provisions of the Auctioneers Act No. 5 of 1996. The Licensing Board based at Milimani commercial courts Nairobi maintains a record of all the licensed auctioneers.Question. What are the duties of a licensed auctioneer?Answer.  A licensed auctioneer is authorized under the Auctioneers Act to undertake the following dutiesTo levy Distress for rent against defaulting tenants pursuant to the provisions of the Distress for Rent Act Cap 293 laws of Kenya.To attach for sale any movable or immovable property pursuant to a court order made pursuant to any written law or contract.To repossess property pursuant to any written law or contract.To carry out evictions pursuant to a Court order.To realize charged securityTo offer for sale any movable or immovable property through public auction or any other mode of sale by competition.It is a an offence punishable under the Auctioneers Act and the Penal Code for anyone to undertake the above duties in Kenya without a valid Auctioneer's license issued by the Kenya Auctioneers Licensing Board. Only licensed auctioneers are authorized under the law to undertake these tasks. You should always ask to see the identification badge and the current practicing license of the auctioneer you intend to engage and if in any doubt, please always contact the Auctioneer Licensing Board based at Milimani Commercial Courts Nairobi or the Auctioneers Association. Quetsion. Why should I engage the services of a licensed auctioneer and not any other person?Answer. A good citizen adheres to the laws of the land. By engaging a licensed auctioneer you are acting within the law. Lately, there has been a trend where the Courts are awarding debtors huge sums of money in form of damages and other reprieves against creditors who engaged unlicensed persons to perform the duties of a licensed auctioneer. Many property sales, realization of securities and repossessions have been reversed / nullified by the courts for this reason alone.Question. Can an auctioneer enter my property without my authority?Answer. Yes. A licensed auctioneer is under the law authorized to enter into any property to enforce a court order or instructions from third parties against your property in the course of his duties. An auctioneer may request for police escort where he predicts resistance or intimidation by the debtor or where he has to break any door to gain access to property. This will always be at the expense of the debtor / owner of the property to be executed against.Question. Is there a code of conduct for auctioneers? Answer. Yes. All licensed auctioneers are required to follow the laws of Kenya and particularly to carry out their business in accordance with the provisions of the Auctioneers Act No 5 of 1996, Auctioneers Rules 1997 and the Auctioneers Practice Rules of 2009. Auctioneers Practice Rules 2009 outlines the[...]



"Neither a borrower, nor a lender be," cautions Shakespeare in Hamlet. The reality is, most of us carry debt. From a money management standpoint, that is not necessarily bad. Sometimes debt is good. Sometimes it's downright ugly. The key is to carry the right kind of debt, and not too much of it.  Good DebtGood debt is generally debt that can provide a long-term financial payoff. An educational loan, either for your children or perhaps career education for yourself, is a good example. The improved earning power from the education should more than pay back the cost of the loan. Mortgage/real estate debt is another "good" debt. To begin with, few consumers can afford to pay cash for a home. Also, a mortgage is good debt in the sense that a home is considered an investment, as most homes will appreciate in value over time. Debt for business growth, expansion or working capital is also “good” debt especially for established businesses; the same cannot be said about financing a startup with debt. Bad DebtThis tends to be short-term debt in which the loan lasts longer than the item you bought with the debt, and for which there is no financial payback. Most credit card debt falls into this category. People pay for everything from dinner to toys to clothing to vacations on their credit card and they're still paying for them long after the vacation is done or the toy is broken. Also, credit card debt tends to be very expensive-18 percent or more is common.Loans for furniture, appliances, cars and other personal needs also can be fairly expensive, though usually not as high as credit cards. Save for these items, whenever possible, and pay for them in cash.  Ugly Debt Some people would lump credit cards in this category especially in this part of the world. But I reserved this category for the really expensive debt that comes from what's commonly called "fringe banking." This includes "payday loans," interest on pawned household items and furniture (Shylocks). Interest rates for some of these loans can run 25 percent to 200 percent or more.[...]



On the 11th of April 2011, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) granted a licence to Metropol CRB to offer banking sector credit information sharing services in Kenya. Metropol Credit Reference Bureau Ltd, which is a wholly-owned Kenyan company, is the second licensed credit reference bureau in Kenya after CRB Africa Ltd which was licensed in February 2010. The licence has been granted pursuant to the Banking (Credit Reference Bureau) Regulations, 2008 which empower the Central Bank of Kenya to licence and supervise credit reference bureaus (CRBs) in Kenya. CRBs facilitate information sharing among institutions licensed under the Banking Act. The licensing of Metropol CRB is expected to enhance competition in the credit information sharing market. This will lead to increased choice for banks and product variety. Customers will also have more options in accessing their credit reports.

April 2011 - Usage of the CIS Mechanism amongst Lenders & Borrowers


Since the roll out of credit information sharing in July 2010, commendable progress has been made so far with banks having already submitted over 760,000 records to date. Banks have also started accessing credit reports from the licensed bureau for credit appraisal purposes. Since August 2010, banks have accessed 442,128 reports from CRB Africa. The monthly average number of credit reports accessed by banks currently stands at 63,161. On their part, customers have accessed 865 reports since the rollout of the credit information sharing mechanism. It is noteworthy that individuals are eligible to access one free credit report per year from licensed credit reference bureaus.