From today’s papers, we have news on two groups applying for licenses to open banks. One is by a group that denies it has any tribal conotations despites it’s MEGA name while the other hopes to be offer the Sharia banking services.
The first conjures up memories of dark days of the 1970’s when tribal empowerment groups sent shivers across the rest of the country. The Bank should not be licensed because it does not serve any purpose or group that it not already accessing banking services.
The second has a clearer purpose, and will join Barclays which started a similar service last year, but given the level of paranoia among many Kenyan Christians about anything-Islam, as witnessed during the 2005 referendum, the group efforts might also come up short.
Banking is about inclusiveness (for a fee), not discrimination or controversy – and it is in the best interests of the banking sector if these banks are not licensed.