Chase Bank: The Business Daily has unveiled the results of the bidding for Chase Bank in an ongoing receivership exit process that has been organized by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) .. “France’s third-largest bank by assets, Societe Generale, and Mauritius-based SBM Holdings are the frontrunners to acquire troubled Chase Bank and its subsidiary, Rafiki Microfinance.. The two have emerged top of the list of investors, including KCB Group, I&M Bank, Stanbic Bank and South Africa’s First Rand, who had expressed interest in taking over the Kenyan lender.”
Dubai Bank: The bank is in liquidation and the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation is calling on all depositors and creditors of the bank to show up and file their claims. During the court process, before liquidation, few depositors showed up after bad debts stalled the closed bank.
Imperial Bank: A court has just granted a 90-day extension of the receivership. It is “without prejudice” which means that the extension does not imply an endorsement of any the ongoing discussions between the shareholders of the bank, the CBK, and the KDIC. The statement ends with “a tentative timeline will be issued in the coming days.”
This week, depositors at the closed Imperial Bank got some welcome news with the announcement that a third payment was going to be paid to them.
This comes after a first payment last December of up to Kshs 1 million per depositor that was paid through KCB and Diamond Trust banks and another one earlier this year of up to Kshs 1.5 million that was paid out by NIC bank.
This third payment is unique in that it targets the remains depositors many of who are believed to be large depositors. After the first payment, the CBK had expressed concern that some depositors had not bothered to claim the funds offered. But assuming that someone has funds of ~Kshs 50 million to Kshs 100 million at the bank, they were unlikely to be elated to received 1 million in the first or second rounds.
This time depositors can access up to 10% of the deposits, so the people above would get Kshs 5 or 10 million – still small, but much better- and depositors have a month to file claims at any NIC bank branches to receive the payments (deadline 31 Jan 2017).
The news also comes after a few days after newspaper stories that revealed the names and evidence of correspondence of CBK officials who may have benefited inappropriately from the largesse of the management of the bank that they were supposed to have supervises.
$1= Kshs 102
There are two or more sides to every story, and there are several at Imperial Bank. This is just one. The Central Bank (CBK) and the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) have accused the shareholders/non-executive directors of the bank of being negligent in allowing the fraud at the bank estimated at Kshs 34 billion (~$34 million), and collecting dividends from what was a shell institution. The shareholders have fired back in replying affidavits saying they were not party to the fraud and that, among other things:
- Documents they saw as directors (at board meetings). had been doctored by management of the bank (led by the late group managing director).
- CBK officials helped doctor the records for many years during their inspection audits.
- CBK officials received personal favours from Imperial Bank managers.
- CBK staff and Imperial managers conspired to prevent one shareholder from becoming an executive director of the bank, which would have created a second centre of power (other than the GMD) and which might have uncovered the fraud.
- The current CBK governor has made unreasonable demands on shareholders and failed to discipline his officers involved with Imperial – even appointing one of them as a receiver manager after Imperial closed.
Meanwhile, a judge issued a ruling that was interpreted differently and a group of depositors went back to court seeking a clarification of what the judge meant. It has been interpreted to mean:
- Shareholders: The receiver managers (CBK/KDIC) must share information with, and consult, them on decisions affecting the bank.
- Receiver Manager: Liquidation of the Bank can proceed liquidated.
- Depositors: Judge said to pay us 40% of our deposits immediately.
Hearings continue next week.
This morning, the Governor of the Central Bank met with depositors of Chase Bank. He reassured them that, even if the receivership process had been silent, they were his priority and that they were working as fast as they could to reopen the bank and give them full access to their deposits. He said there was a lot of support and goodwill (no one has sued him in this case, as has happened with other banks), and that the numbers at Chase Bank were not mysterious (unlike with other banks). He mentioned that they recovered Kshs 8 billion from directors within two weeks and that they were working to accelerated debt recovery and get non-performing loans performing.
He added that contrary to the perception that the bank should never have been placed under receivership other banks and that this has made investors lose faith in banking in Kenya, he said that other bankers tell him that the sector has gotten stronger, more stable and more credible as they believed it was important to clean up this sector and that laws were followed. He said that other countries were looking at Kenya and emulating actions e.g. Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique.
Phase three of the receivership now commences, and in the next few weeks, they are inviting final expressions of interest to invest in Chase Bank for them to review. They want serious investors who will have the resources (no Mickey-Mouse, or Johnny-come-Lately ones) to support the bank and take it higher even after the receivership is lifted which should be sometime in Q1 2017. He hoped that matter is wrapped up by the time the first anniversary (Chase Bank was placed in receivership on April 6 2016) comes round, and that Chase Bank becomes a case study for bringing a bank out of receivership and sustaining it.
There were lots of question from shareholders, on asking for timelines for full restoration of the bank, payments of any other tranches (no plans for that), that they should get paid interest for the receivership period (he said he’d rather work towards them getting full access to their principal deposits and have any discussion of interest with the new investors).
He thanked KCB and the hard working staff of CBK, and mentioned that a KPMG audit of Chase was still ongoing. He thanked the customers for their support which he said was indicative of their belief in the bank. 13,000 new accounts have been opened since the receivership was lifted and only a tenth of what they expected was withdrawn when the bank was reopened.