KENYA COMMERCIAL BANK INITIATE DEBT RELIEF MEASURES

DEBT RELIEF MEASURES AT KENYA COMMERCIAL BANK

By Donald Kogai

KCB Bank Kenya has restructured facilities

worth over KShs. 115.1 billion to cushion

customers against the effects of the COVID-19

pandemic.

The debt-relief measures have seen customers

apply for their loans to be restructured, credit

lines expanded and loan tenures extended to

keep them financially afloat.

Since mid-March, the Bank has approved the

restructuring of KShs. 91.3 billion worth of

corporate loans and an additional KShs. 20.4

billion in loans to mortgage customers. A

further KShs. 3.4 billion for retail customers has

also been approved.

The debt-relief measures have seen customers

apply for their loans to be restructured, credit

lines expanded and loan tenures extended to

keep them financially afloat.

KCB Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara said

customers can still seek deferment of loan

payments on their personal, business, corporate

and housing loans for disruptions caused

directly by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We made a promise after the pandemic that

we would walk the difficult journey ahead hand

in hand with our customers. We are therefore

offering relief to our customers, upon

application so that they are able to weather this

storm that was unforeseen the world over. We

believe this will not only cushion businesses

but create a multiplier effect that will ultimately

help to save jobs,” said Mr Oigara.

“We know that the pandemic has affected

everyone and we are offering extended financial

assistance to provide additional relief to our

customers to meet their needs and ambitions.

We believe this will go a long way in helping

them navigate through their most urgent and

challenging situations.

The relief accommodation is being extended to

distressed customers upon request and on a

case-by-case basis, based on their

circumstances arising directly from the

pandemic.

For personal check-off loans and scheme loans,

upon request by the individual borrower and the

employer (corporate) respectively, the

customers can enjoy an extended moratorium

benefit for a period by 3 months.

Residential and commercial mortgages

customers are getting a moratorium on the

principal or both principal and interest for 3-6

months with interest being capitalized monthly

as it falls due. However, the Bank could still

extend the moratorium for a maximum of 12

months, depending on the severity of the

COVID-19 effects on the customer’s business.

On the other hand, micro, small and medium-

sized enterprises (MSMEs) can opt for

repayment moratorium of 3 months; waived

negotiation fee for restructured facilities; and

extension of period for up to 3 months as part

of their debt relief accommodation.

Corporate customers can opt for capitalization

of principal and interest in arrears as at March

31, 2020, as well as capitalization of future

interest for 3-6 months based on cash-flows.

Further, the Bank also avails a 3-6 months’

moratorium on principal on deserving sectors.

The Bank will meet all the costs related to the

extension and restructuring of loans.

Customers who wish to access the relief are

encouraged to contact the Bank either through

their relationship manager or contact centre or

by visiting any of our branches.

To facilitate increased use of mobile digital

platforms, KCB has waived all charges for

balance inquiry and for transfers between

mobile money wallets and bank accounts.

During the period, the Bank has also extended

KShs. 10 billion in loans to customers under its

mobile banking platform and KCB M-PESA, a

facility the Bank runs with Safaricom.

The measures aimed at cushioning customers

were made in addition to the KShs. 150 million

contribution the Bank made to the Kenya

COVID-19 Fund, where Mr. Oigara sits as a

board member and another KShs. 20 million

which went to the public health awareness

campaign.

Further, KCB is part of the banks disbursing

social welfare funds to vulnerable members of

society under the government’s Inua Jamii

Cash Transfer Programme.

In the current disbursement round, the Bank is

handling KShs.4.5 billion. Since inception in

2015, the Bank has disbursed KShs.72 billion to

the cohort.

“We will continue monitoring the situation in

Kenya and across all our business in the region

and driving more awareness to ensure that we

are not only prepared to deal with the economic

impact of the pandemic but also protect our

customers, staff and stakeholders from any

potential risk,” said Mr Oigara.

“We are most definitely troubled by the turn of

events and are possibly worried about what will

happen next. In the midst of the crisis, we need

to find solace and forge forward as a humanity.

Our goal is to ensure that our customers and

the nation at large come out of this stronger

together,” Mr. Oigara said.

The Bank remains committed to implementing

the various emergency measures announced by

the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to mitigate the

adverse effects on the borrowers from the

COVID-19 crisis.

The Bank has also temporarily suspended

listing of customers who default on their loan

obligations with the Credit Reference Bureaus

with effect from April 1, 2020, in line with the

government directive.

As the fight against this pandemic continues,

KCB said it will continue to take measures

internally to protect its stakeholders, in line with

the guidelines issued by Government agencies

and other subject matter authorities across

markets.

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