Category Archives: CBK

Spire Bank Capital Injection

Spire Bank shareholders will hold an extraordinary general meeting at the end of November 207 to approve an increase in bank capital that has been eroded by recent losses at the bank.

At the November 27 EGM, shareholders will approve the creation of 100 million new shares, worth Kshs 500 million that will be allocated to Equatorial Commercial Holdings. Kenyan banks are to have a minimum core bank capital of Kshs 1 billion, and as at June 2017, Spire’s capital was down to Kshs 1.6 billion and the bank had a half-year loss of Kshs 307 million coming on the back of a 2016 loss of Kshs 967 million. Spire had Kshs 13 billion assets, Kshs 6.4 billion loans, and Kshs 7.6 billion deposits as at June 2017. But interest income and total income at the half-year was sharply down from that in June 2016 which could point to their performance trend for the end of 2017.

In 2015, Mwalimu SACCO one of the country’s largest credit societies bought out and rebranded the former Equatorial Commercial Bank as Spire. Equatorial had itself been formed from a merger between Southern Credit and Equatorial banks in 2010. 

Mwalimu SACCO has Kshs 37 billion in assets and Kshs 3 billion profit in 2016 and has over 70,000 members as owners.  This is the second bank capital injection by Mwalimu at Equatorial after another with the buyout. The shares will be allocated among Equatorial Commercial Holdings which owns 98% of Spire bank has shareholders including Mwalimu National Holdings (75%), Yana Towers (10%), A.H. Butt (8%), Yana Investments (6.75%, and who also own 11% of CBA) and N.N. Merali (0%).

SBM Offer for Chase Bank

On Monday, October 9, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) issued a statement about their receipt of a non-binding offer from the SBM Holdings (State Bank of Mauritius – SBM) for parts of Chase Bank.

It came after another meeting last Friday to update Chase Bank depositors about the progress of the expression of interest (EOI) with depositors, and which was then followed by some news articles that prompted some alarm over the ‘loss’ of deposits at Chase from the SBM takeover.

The statement mentions SBM’s offer to acquire some assets (i.e. loans) that are matched (i.e. equal) to some liabilities (i.e. customer deposits at Chase)  and went ahead to mention that there would be a substantial recovery of deposits and retention of staff and branches of Chase Bank.

The bank, which was expected to be a quick receivership, and concluded in April this year, now has a hole of Kshs 35 billion and the estimate is that SBM will support the recovery of 75% of the deposits as at when Chase Bank was closed in April 2016. One third of the funds will be available on January 1, another third will be available in a savings account that will earn interest (it was a sore point for depositors to hear that their funds in the bank that was known for great rates had not been earning interest since it was closed in April 2016), and a third will be available in installments over the next three years.

The final amount will be recovered by suits and fraud cases against the defaulters who may include directors and managers (insiders) at the bank.

While CBK had earlier reported that 12 banks had replied to the EOI (three Kenyan banks, four foreign banks, and five financial consortiums), the standard quotes the CBK Governor, Dr. Patrick Njoroge, as saying “All the investors in the end indicated that they were not interested in taking up the bank, save for one who was only interested in carving out some assets and liabilities and not an entire acquisition.

SBM has a substantial Government of Mauritius shareholding, and this will be the second bank that SBM is buying in Kenya, after they took over Fidelity Bank and one story is that their rescue of  Fidelity was tied to some assurance that they would also get Chase, ahead of other bidders.

SBM will do due diligence on what branches and staff it wants to retain going forward. The Chase recovery seems similar to one that Imperial Bank shareholders had initially proposed when they found a hole at their bank – one of staggered access to funding, immediate, then some spaced over three years.

Barclays Kenya Previews IFRS9

Barclays Kenya held a workshop session in Nairobi today to explain about the coming of IFRS9, a set of new accounting standards that will replace IAS 39 on January 1, 2018. which will have a great impact on banks, their capital, customer assessment and ultimately their profits.

Some of the highlights of the day:

Compliance Impact

  • Even as banks are still digesting the impact of interest rate caps, along comes IFRS9.
  • All institutions will adopt the impairment standard in 2018.
  • One challenge will be on how to report for impairment: Banks will have to do three sets of accounts, one for impairment according to Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) rules, one for the Kenya Revenue Authority to calculate taxes on profit after impairment, and another for Impairment according to IFRS9. This makes compliance a costly affair.
  • IFRS9 is data intensive, so auditors will be concerned with the quality of data and reconciling it to bank financial statements. They will have to trust that management is providing the right data to make decisions, and if not, they will engage with the bank board, then the bank regulator (CBK).
  • Banks need systems that are able to capture a lot of this customer data and products and come up with impairment models.
  • Banks will use predictive analytics, and big data to manage risk in customer lending.  

Customers

  • IFRS9 brings cross-product default, and if a customer defaults on one loan item like a credit card, a bank has to provide for impairment across all products advanced to them
  • Expect a change from the current practice of using credit reference more from the negative  perspective (a blacklist of borrowers) to a good one (banks will check to see who has been paying on time and offer them better rates)
  • Collection strategies will become very important, given the financial impact of IFRS9 for defaults over 30 days and 90 days.
  • Kenyan bankers are working to enable customers to get access to their own data and shop for products that will be easy to compare across different banks. This will be an enhancement of the loan calculator that the bankers association rolled out earlier.
  • IFRS9 seems to give an incentive for banks to lend shorter duration loans. 

    IFRS9 gives incentive to shorter loans

Profits

  • With IFRS9 banks estimate the credit risk of an instrument, at the point of origination – so losses are recognized earlier.
  • Previously, under IAS 39. banks only recognized a loss once an event occurred e.g customer does not pay a loan for many months. Now banks will have to expect and estimate some defaults and recognize the loss upfront.
  • Under IFRS9, accounting provisions are expected to be higher than the current regulatory provisions.

Financial Statement Changes

  • From day one of IFRS9, there will be an impact on retained earnings and a reduction in Tier 1 capital at all banks
  • Under IFRS9, letter of credit, financial guarantees, performance guarantees, unused credit cards, non-traded government bonds will also be used to calculate impairment.
  • Studies show that IFRS9 running concurrently with IAS 39 can impact on the capital of a bank by between 25 to 100 basis points.
  • Are government securities still risk-free for local traders and investors? Not so under IFRS9. But since Kenya has never defaulted on debt so IFRS9, provisioning will be minimal compared to bonds of some other nations

Way Forward

  • On 1 Jan 2018, international accounting standard IFRS9 will replace IAS 39.
  • Kenyans banks are at a fairly satisfactory stage in terms of getting ready for IFRS9 with Tier I banks, and those with global parentage at an advanced stage compared to local indigenous banks e.g. Barclays has been working on IFRS9 for two years
  • ICPAK (Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya) is working on. rules for the consistent and uniform application of the IFRS9 standard and these will be ready by the end of October.
  • ICPAK will have other forums to further explain IFRS9 as will the Central Bank. 
  • CBK will come up with new classification of loans to replace the current measures of normal, watch, sub-standard, loss etc..

Cement, Sugar, Governments contribute to Bad Debts in 2017

In a press conference this week the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) governor spoke about non-performing assets i.e bad debts and highlighted manufacturing, real estate and, trade sectors.

This comes after the half-year 2017 bankers credit survey released by the CBK noted that the ratio of gross non-performing loans to gross loans increased from 9.5 percent in March 2017 to 9.91 percent in June 2017. The increase in the gross non-performing loans was mainly attributable to a challenging business environment

  • Non-Performing Loans: Generally, the commercial banks expect an increase in the levels of NPLs in the third quarter of 2017 with 42 percent of the respondents indicating so. This expected rise in NPLs is attributed to the industry’s perception of increased political risk in light of the upcoming general elections.
  • Credit Recovery Efforts: The banks expect to tighten their credit recovery efforts in eight out of the eleven sectors.

The Governor said that in manufacturing, the bulk of the Kshs 5 billion of bad debts increase could be attributed to a sugar company, two cement companies, and a plastics firm, while  In real estate, Kshs 3.9 billion was due to two projects – one a golf course, and the other was a housing one. But he added that, for all of these projects, the banks that had financed them were working to resolve the loan performance.

On trade, he said that Kshs 2.8 billion increase of bad debt loans was spread across many banks and that a lot of it relates to delayed payments by government – both national and county ones – to suppliers.

Imperial Bank EOI

Today the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has invited investors (PDF) in an expression of interest (EOI) offer to buy into Imperial Bank, in a move that echoes another ongoing one at Chase Bank.

Imperial, Kenya’s 18th largest bank, was shut in October 2015 following revelations that only emerged after the sudden death the sudden death of Imperial’s group managing director (GMD), Abdulamek Janmohamed, in September 2015.  The bank had assets of Kshs 56 billion and officially had about Kshs 47 billion of depositor funds as at December 2014.

Since the closure, thousands of small depositors have been paid off the but many wealthy depositors  including the elderly, Italians and Asians families and business people still have tens of millions of shillings in deposits there – funds that they had placed for the high returns offered at the previously solid (apparently), fast-growing, business-friendly, and award-winning bank.

It appeared that the bank was headed for liquidation, but for a sudden change of plan and decision to salvage Imperial Bank three months ago. A new timetable was posted and the CBK Governor met depositors of the bank to reassure them of the new process, and they have been keeping track since.

 

The deadline for the EOI is September 29, three weeks away, after which short-listed investors will be invited to see confidential data on the bank. This is despite a long forensic audit and data mining process that was started after the GMD died, some results of which have been cited in court documents and media reports – and which paint a shocking picture about the tenure of Janmohamed and oversight by regulators at the CBK.

Proposals from the short-listed investors are expected in January 2018 for further discussions with a single preferred bidder in February along with other consultations with the shareholders, depositors, and creditors of Imperial Bank.

KPMG has been appointed as a transaction advisor for the Imperial Bank EOI as they also are in the Chase Bank one.