Kenya: CRB Listing of Loan Defaulters Resumes

1 October 2020

Nairobi — Listing of loan defaulters with Credit Reference Bureaus (CRB) has resumed after months-long break that had been authorized by the Central Bank to cushion borrowers against the impact of the coronavirus.

CBK governor Patrick Njoroge said the measures that were implemented by the banks 6 months ago to cushion distressed borrowers from the harsh economic environment occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic will end today.

" In terms of the measures that are ending, that I think is clear, so from October 1 the banks will begin accessing their borrowers, then you will have three months to regularize what you were not paying," said Njoroge during the post MPC briefing.

"The point here is to just emphasize that we are going back to the normal operations and that is where we will be come October 1," he added.

CBK announced the suspension of CRB listing for defaulted loans in April 2020, with the relief from being blacklisted lasting for six months up to September 30.

This was part of the stimulus packaged announced by the bank regulator on March 25 to cushion borrowers where many Kenyans were facing pay cuts while about 1.7 million were issued with redundancy notices during the pandemic according to a survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

On September 29, the Central Bank of Kenya announced that banks have restructured loans worth Sh1.12 trillion.

This represents 38 percent of the total banking sector loan book of Sh2.9 trillion by the end of August.

Personal and household loans topped the list with Sh271 billion reviewed since March.

Other sectors such as trade, manufacturing, real estate, and agriculture were offered relief of loans that amount to Sh849.9 billion.

In April, Kenya Bankers Association Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka in his submissions before the Senate Ad hoc Committee on COVID-19 said that the restructuring of loans by banks is likely to affect the flow of cash in the industry by an estimated amount of Sh10 billion.

Olaka told the Committee that the loan holidays will further affect the credit portfolio with the non-performing loan group increasing by 2 percent.

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