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Relief as Chase Bank’s large depositors access cash

Zachary Ochuodho @zachuodho

Chase Bank’s large depositors can now access a large portion of their frozen deposits after completion of the acquisition and resumption of business by SBM Bank (Kenya).

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge has lauded the opening of 50 branches which now normalises the operations of the bank under the new owner SBM Kenya.

Njoroge said that this is the first time that a bank has successfully been turned around in Africa. He said the success was because the process was private sector-driven. “This is one small step for depositors, but a giant leap for the stability of the financial sector,” he said.

SBM (Kenya) during the transaction agreed to acquire certain assets and assume certain deposits with respect to Chase Bank, which included 50 branches and majority of the bank staff. Njoroge said in a press statement that 50 branches opened their doors yesterday with customers being able to walk in and carry out the full range of transactions.

So far, 97 per cent of accounts have been fully paid since Chase Bank Ltd was placed under receivership on April 7, 2016.“On August 17, 2018, 75 per cent of the value of deposits that remained under moratorium at Chase Bank Kenya Ltd ​ in receivership (CBLR) were transferred to SBM Kenya, and from today customers have structured access to these deposits as announced on April 17, 2018,” the statement said.

Njoroge said CBK and the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) would continue working to recover and realise the assets that remain in CBLR. He said the issues being pursued include the assets that were illegally acquired from Chase Bank Ltd, adding: “CBK and KDIC will engage further with creditors in this process, as needed, with a view to maximise and hasten the recovery”.

SBM Holdings Ltd (SBMH, together with its subsidiaries, is a leading financial services group  in Mauritius, with a growing international presence currently extending to Madagascar,  India and more recently in Kenya, where the Group acquired Fidelity Bank in May last year, thereafter renaming it SBM Kenya.

SBMH is the third largest company listed on the  Stock Exchange of Mauritius with a market capitalisation of approximately $680 million (Sh68.62 billion), with the Government of Mauritius as a significant shareholder and total assets of  $5.8 billion (Sh585.28 billion) as at December 31, 2017.

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21 Comments

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