Kenya’s Central Bank Directs Financial Institutions To Go Soft On Borrowers Due To Coronavirus

By  |  March 18, 2020

To mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus in Kenya, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has negotiated with commercial banks in the country to become more lenient towards the borrowers they currently have in their loan net.

To alleviate the effects coronavirus may have on Kenya, banks will now be providing relief for borrowers on personal loans based on their individual circumstances. As such those whose loan repayments were up to date as of March 2, 2020, will be given an extension of up to one year.

Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and corporate borrowers are advised to contact their banks for this extension, in order to be better assisted. All the costs that come with the restructuring of the loan periods will be shouldered by the banks, who will also now waive charges for balance inquiry.

“While the extent of the adverse effects are still evolving, it is already evident that some of the impact on customers may be severe,” CBK says in reference to how coronavirus might make is harder for borrowers to repay their loans in time.

This move comes hot on the heels of a free M-PESA transaction policy aimed to promote the use the mobile money and not cash now that the pandemic is causing a stir in Kenya.

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The Cabinet Secretary of Kenya’s Health Ministry, Mutahi Kagwe, reported today that the country has confirmed three additional coronavirus cases, bringing to the number to an official 7. “All these are imported cases from outside the country. Of the 3 is a couple from Spain & a Burundian from Dubai,” he said.

Kenya has been taking some drastic measures to contain the spread, as schools and institutions of higher learning are to be closed this week. Meanwhile, Kenyans have been urged to work from home.

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