NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 8 – The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has established a cash centre in Nyeri to ease the movement of transit cash from banks to CBK units which poses high risks.
This is one of the several centers that are due to be set up in major towns across the country following discussions with representatives from the banking industry in order to minimise the theft of Cash in Transit (CIT).
“The industry has engaged Central Bank in discussions to establish cash centers in order to cut CIT costs, lower cash movement risks as well as improve efficiency in cash management,” said a circular from the Kenya Bankers Association.
In the memo, Executive Director John Wanyela advised the association’s members that the Nyeri Currency Centre was now operational and they were free to use it.
“Normal currency operation requirements as presently obtain at the Central Bank remain applicable,” Mr Wanyela said and added that the installation of an email facility at the center was underway.
Once set up, the other centres will also enable banks to transport money at the close of business every day within minimum distance. Kisii and Nakuru have been identified as some of the regions which urgently require cash centres.
Last year, approximately Sh100 million cash in transit was stolen raising questions about how to protect banks particularly those that are in areas where there are no CBK units.
Such institutions have been engaging the services of CIT security firms to transport money in long distances. But despite a 2007 government directive to the firms transporting money to provide an extra vehicle to the Administration Police Officers escorting the cash, banks have continued to lose a lot of cash in ambushes.
The move to manage the cash in transit as a group and not as individual banks as a way ensure their efficiency and reduce the overall costs of the trips has also failed.
The Bankers Association is said to have commissioned a report late last year on how to deal with the issue.