By Donald Kogai
Kenya Commercial Bank and Safaricom
committed to support customers in financial
distress, making available more affordable
lending and cutting transaction costs on mobile
as part of the measures to assist as the country
grapples with the effects of the Coronavirus
The announcement—which follows a meeting
hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi
on Wednesday, bringing together banking
industry players— will see KCB Bank set aside
KShs. 30 billion in a stimulus fund for onward
lending to KCB M-PESA customers during the
next 90 days.
The fund will allow for higher borrowing limits
for qualifying customers and extended
repayment periods for borrowers with existing
Other relief measures available to individual
customers, and small business owners will
include renegotiations of the loan contracts to
either allow repayment moratoriums, or
extending the repayment periods up to one year.
The Bank will foot the legal costs associated
with the loan restructuring.
“We stand with Kenyans and all our customers
at this time as our country and the world
grapples with the pandemic.
Our firm priority remains ensuring that our
employees, customers, business partners and
the entire population remains safe and free
from the virus,” said KCB Group CEO and MD
“We have a role to continue supporting the
economy and stimulating growth.
The best remedy as our economy starts to slow
down is to support our customers to get along
with their lives, and to protect jobs by providing
We have been in crises before, but if we pull
together, even in this environment, we will get
the solutions Kenya needs” he added.
The bank and Safaricom will also open the door
to customers who had been blacklisted at the
Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) but have
since cleared their facility.
“We shall open credit limits to those customers
who had been listed because of defaulting on
small amounts, but who are now repaying their
Customers who need relief are advised to get in
touch with us to work out the respective
support areas,” said Mr. Oigara.
KCB has more than 22 million customers who
borrowed KShs.212 billion in 2019 on its KCB-
MPESA mobile lending platform which is
operated in partnership with Safaricom .
These measures are additional to the zero-
rating of bank to mobile and mobile to bank
transactions in order to increase the usage of
digital channels as opposed to cash in order to
reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.
“Our goal remains ensuring that our customers
and our nation comes out of this storm strong
together to continue the work of nation building.
This is the time to stand shoulder to shoulder,
to ensure that no one is left behind when this is
all over,” said Mr. Oigara.