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Transact looted public funds at your own peril, CBK Governor warns banks

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Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge has fired a warning to banks, saying that the monetary regulator will not hesitate to sanction them if found culpable of transacting looted public money again.

The governor who spoke during the 7th Bankers Association Annual Banking Conference in Nairobi on September 27, appealed to banks to steer away from being used as conduits of ill-gotten funds.

“The Kenyan people demand integrity from us and will treat us very harshly if we look the other way,” said the CBK Governor.

Dr. Njoroge also lifted the lid on the intrigues that led to exposing the banks that transacted the funds siphoned from the National Youth Service (NYS).

“Two weeks ago we informed the Kenyan people on the action we took against some of you because of non-compliance with integrity laws. Make no mistake it was not easy. We considered all the possible negative outcomes that could be triggered by those actions and we will not hesitate to do it again under similar circumstances, said Dr. Njoroge.

On September 12, CBK fined five banks which were involved in the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal after they were found to have illegally transacted over Ksh 3.5 billion of the loot.

The investigation established that Standard Chartered Bank transacted over (Ksh 1.6 billion), Equity Bank (Ksh 886 million), KCB (Ksh 639 million), Cooperative Bank (Ksh 263 million) and Diamond Trust Bank (Ksh 162 million).

The lenders were fined a total of Ksh392 million for the violations.

Standard Chartered Bank was fined (Ksh 77.5 million), Equity Bank (Ksh 89.5 million), KCB (Ksh 149.5 million), Cooperative Bank (Ksh 20 million) and Diamond Trust Bank (Ksh 56 million).

CBK further stated that the findings have been shared with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (ODPP) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) who are currently investigating criminal culpability by senior managers of the banks in question.

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