Absa bank Kenya is accused of acting like a shylock in the manner it seeks to collect its loans.
The Bank which was formerly Barclays is being accused of harassing those who have delayed paying its loans despite the 3 month grace period given by the government still being in force.
In March 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a “temporary suspension of the listing with Credit Reference Bureaus of any person, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) and corporate entities whose loan account falls overdue or is in arrears, effective 1st April 2020.”
After this, the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Safaricom Plc committed to supporting customers in financial distress, making available more affordable lending and cutting transaction costs on mobile as part of the measures to assist as the country grapples with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
KCB, we learnt, has not been calling or threatening defaulters with consequences.
NCBA has also followed the govt directive, it announced, “CRB listing of M-Shwari customers will be suspended for the next 90 days. NCBA and Safaricom will continue engaging and working with customers during this time to ensure they can manage loan repayments.”
On the other hand, KenyanBulletin.com has received information that the Absa Bank which doesn’t have a good history with Kenyans in the past has not left its posturing past, and continues to threaten Kenyans with a CRB listing.
Barclays bank (which is now ABSA) chased away clients in the early 1990s by forcefully closing those accounts that did not have a minimum operating balance of Sh10,000.
Kenyans have not forgotten this. This impunity must stop.
And as now, we are receiving complaints that clients who have defaulted, some are even paying their loans slowly, are being called every hour to pay up or be listed on CRB.
This is insane.
Central Bank of Kenya jolted
In February, 2020, it was reported that the Central Bank of Kenya was jolted, it was due to a story that a middle-aged man took his life after failing to withstand harassment and public shaming by an unnamed digital lending application, has ignited debate on the radical evolution of the many platforms that disburse loans via mobile phones.
“In November last year, a lady came to the Central Bank to explain to us that her husband had committed suicide after getting involved with one of these lenders,” she said.
The aggressive nature with which online lending firms deploy to collect what they advanced has become so alarming that no less than the CBK wants new laws to stop cyber shaming by these cloud-based facilities.
ABSA is behaving exactly like this lender in calling every hour and threatening clients.