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EX-journalist wins Sh1 million from Stanbic for wrongful CRB listing

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The High Court in Nairobi has awarded former journalist Mwenda Njoka and his wife Ksh 1 million as damages in a suit in which he had sued CfC Stanbic Bank and a credit reference bureau for blacklisting them yet they had long cleared a loan they had borrowed.

Njoka and his wife, Hilda Kaari, had sued the bank and Credit Reference Bureau Africa Ltd on August 29, 2012, seeking special damages of Ksh 5 million , general damages for injurious falsehoods, costs and interest against the defendants on allegations the bank jointly and severally caused the listing of their names in the CRB as loan defaulters.

The listing caused Barclays Bank of Kenya to deny them a loan facility which was already on progress for the purchase of a house for which they had paid 50% deposit and had also met other financial obligations.

Njoka and his wife alleged that such listing was unlawful and malicious and that the CRB had a duty to verify the information it had received from the bank.

By the time the listing was made, they claimed that they had no outstanding balances with CfC Stanbic, hence this suit for the above remedies.

An attempt by the CRB to exonerate itself from liablity on grounds that it was premature for Njoka and his wife to sue it, and that in any event the information it maintains in its data base was provided by the Bank, which should be held liable for any misinformation or damages was on September 26, 2014 dismissed by Justice Eric Ogola.

CRBs have in recent times come under the spotlight amid calls for a change of rules that govern their operations.

On Tuesday, Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge said the apex lender will the CRB regulations to address concerns raised by citizens especially when they default.

“We realised that sometimes the system takes longer to refresh, and they are very quick to respond when you default but they are not so quick to respond when you make your payment,” he told journalists.

Dr Njoroge noted that when one is blacklisted for too long it might have huge effects in the future where one might be required to pay more than earlier borrowed.

“I could be blacklisted because I have not been cleared in the database but in the real sense, I have already cleared my loan this will, in turn, affect me in future,” he added.

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) President-Elect Richard Ngatia last week also called on CRBs to set a default limit over which an individual can be listed.

Ngatia said that KNCCI is in talks with the CRBs to come up with a certain limit which if surpassed, then an individual can be listed for default.

“We are finding ways to discuss with CRB to have a limit on listing of people with the agencies where an amount can be set as the limit which if surpassed then one can be listed,” said Ngatia during the inaugural Bizna Annual SMES Awards ceremony in Nairobi.

Read: Top editors quit Chris Kirubi’s radio station

Currently, one can be blacklisted for failing to clear amounts of Ksh 100 or less. Others are blacklisted for loans they never applied for.

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BT Correspondent
BT Correspondenthttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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Godfrey

Im facing the same. Wrong listing by Kcb. I need directions. It’s long I’m denied loans everywhere on a salary advance which was check off. I’m told I delayed. How? Three weeks down the line I’m not helped. I feel like suing them