Banking News

Faster cheque clearing: Omingo Magara, a Kenyan MP, and an institution known as Accountability International are lobbying to expedite the clearing of cheques at Kenyan Banks from the current four (working) days to 24 hours in an initiative known as “T+1”

Who wants to be a billionaire? Stanbic (Standard Bank of South Africa) and Equity Bank have both raised their share capital recently. Stanbic had a $10 million capital injection while Equity did theirs by converting 725 million in deposits into shares. Stanbic’s reasons were disclosed fully in South Africa as they intend to diversify into new areas; however the Equity one is a bit strange / troubling for its new shareholders. The mode of conversion is similar to what Daima is attempting – but what will happen if any of Equity’s 2,216 depositors wants to dispose of their shares?. The shares are expected to be floated on the Nairobi Stock Exchange by June 2005.

Utility Service (Water Bills):  Kenyans can now pay their bills at branches of Co-operative Bank – just take your water bill and the cash payment, or you can have the amount automatically deducted from your Co-op account. However with their long lines in the banking halls, and especially at their ATM’s, Co-op seems to be biting off more than they can chew. They may need to review their account maintenance requirements to ensure better service to the customers they desire.

Hillcrest Schools to be sold: Hillcrest School and Hillcrest Secondary School will be sold to settle a Kshs. 620 million loan to Barclays Bank according to the Nation (Feb 1). The Receiver Manager, DCDM firm, will sell the schools as a going concern and the new owner will have to grapple with high costs at the schools, including a monthly salary bill of Kshs 16 million at one school.