Business people have complained of having been locked out from accessing credit or loans from financial institutions because of being registered by the CRB’s, in some cases by error. And even after clearing the loans, CRB may deliberately fail to issue Loan Clearance Certificates in time to enable individuals access credit
The Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) has become a deadly nightmare to thousands of Kenyans seeking positive credit ratings in order to borrow funds from commercial financial institutions in the country.
It is emerging that the CRB has become a crippling financial ogre that is killing local entrepreneurs’ efforts to access funds to grow their businesses. Hundreds of thousands of enterprising businesspeople both men and women are now locked out of accessing credit or loans from the financial institutions because of being registered at the CRB in some cases by error. Even after clearing the loans, CRB may deliberately fail to issue Loan Clearance Certificates on time to enable individuals to access credit.
The worst aspect of the whole imbroglio is the fact that even if you borrowed as little as Kshs. 1000 from your Mshwari account of Safaricom, and for some reason failed to pay it within the stipulated period, you will be faced with all manner of threats, then listed by the CRB, once that happens, you are done.
Mr Kasuleka said the financial institution (name withheld) instructed him to get a clearance certificate from the CRB, but it denied him the certificate saying he had not cleared a Kshs. 1000 loan from his Mshwari that he claims to have completely forgotten about, in the end he lost out
Business people seek loans to boost their enterprises across the country or even to go beyond the borders depending on the entrepreneurs’ dream, or simply some emergency loans to sort issues.
A victim who was set to start a food processing plant in Nairobi, Jonathan Kasuleka said: “I applied for a business loan from one of the leading financial corporations of more than Ksh 2 million to boost his enterprise but I was denied the loan because of the CRB mess.”
Mr Kasuleka said the financial institution (name withheld) instructed him to get a clearance certificate from the CRB, but it denied him the certificate saying he had not cleared a Kshs. 1000 loan from his Mshwari that he claims to have completely forgotten about.
He said that after pleading with the Bureau’s employees who declined to advise him on the way forward, he was forced to clear the Mshwari loan he had forgotten about. The businessman’s trials and tribulations are being experienced by a wide range of entrepreneurs and ordinary people across the country.
The Weekly Vision sampled residents of Nairobi, Central, Rift Valley, Eastern, Nyanza, Western and Coast provinces most of whom have gone through this harrowing experience from CRB. The majority of them are an angry and frustrated lot for being blocked to access multi-billion shillings loans to invest in their dream enterprises.
That is despite the fact that last year the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) issued fresh regulations to tackle and streamline challenges the loan seekers had been facing with the CRB over the years after its establishment.
The problem is not only rife affecting the country’s major commercial institutions, internal and external, the Savings and Credit Cooperative (Sacco) societies, micro and macro-financial institutions but also the over proliferated so-called Car Log Book Loans entities that claim to give credit to applicants in a matter of hours.
“Mungu tenda miujiza yako. Mambo KCB, Mpesa wamenifanya sijui, nilikopa 3000 mda si mrefu wakanipeleka CRB, only for 4 month nadaiwa 14000 zenye sijui zilitokea wapi, ata kama ni charges! -Wilson Mumia
Another loan Josephine Cherono a professional with a corporate organization from Eldoret said: “I lost in a road accident early this year and had to go for an emergency loan from my bankers of more than 15 years, though I had a historic clean record with them they told me I had to get clearance from the CRB where I was black listed.”
Ms Cherono said that she had been either erroneously or maliciously been blacklisted over a Kshs. 150, 000.00 she had secured and cleared in 2018 July, but her name remained on the CRB black books which denied her an emergency loan, it took her nearly a year for her name to be cleared.
Wilson Mumia had this to say: “Mungu tenda miujiza yako. Mambo KCB, Mpesa wamenifanya sijui, nilikopa 3000 mda si mrefu wakanipeleka CRB, only for 4 month nadaiwa 14000 zenye sijui zilitokea wapi, ata kama ni charges!
(God unleash your miracles, what KCB and Mpesa have done to me I don’t know. I borrowed Kshs. 3000 and in a very short time they forwarded my name to CRB that is only within 4 months they are demanding Kshs. 14, 000, I don’t know how they arrived at the figure, even if it means charges), I’m still crying.
A senior layer Counsel John Kizzilah said Kenya is a developing economy and CRB should be totally banned, there is no money in Kenya, let those companies stop killing the nation’s enterprises for greed and corruption.
According to the CBK new credit regulations are intended to protect borrowers especially those at risk of being blacklisted on credit reference bureaus (CRBs). It states that there are so far only three registered CRBs led by Metropol Credit Reference Bureau Limited. They said about 16 million borrowers with active loans are being encouraged to update their Credit Reference Bureau profiles by restructuring their loans to accommodate the six-month loan repayment amnesty.
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