Monday, October 11, 2020 – The Central Bank of Kenya has struck once again after it ejected more than 337 unregulated digital mobile lenders and micro financiers from the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) blacklisting.

In a statement, CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge barred the mobile lenders from forwarding the names of loan defaulters to credit reference bureaus (CRBs).

According to CRB, the number of firms allowed to blacklist defaulters with the bureaus has dropped to 2,254 in September from 2,332 in May last year.

The drop is linked to the directive by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) delinking unregulated digital mobile lenders from CRBs following public outcry over widespread misuse of the credit information sharing (CIS) mechanism.

Firms such as Tala and Branch were locked out at a time when the bulk of accounts negatively listed with the CRBs — Metropol, TransUnion and Creditinfo International — are linked to mobile digital borrowers.

“The withdrawal is in response to numerous public complaints over misuse of the CIS (credit information sharing) by unregulated digital and credit-only lenders, and particularly their poor responsiveness to customer complaints,” the CBK said in an earlier statement.

Under the new rules, only defaults above Sh1,000 will be shared with CRBs.

Borrowers who had been blacklisted for lower amounts are now required to be cleared unconditionally.

More than 3.2 million Kenyans had been negatively listed as loan defaulters in an economy where job cuts and near stagnant wages have left thousands of people in a debt trap.


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