Chase Bank has attracted the interest of at least five suitors keen on acquiring the bank that was placed under receivership last week, said the Central Bank of Kenya Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge, on Friday.
Although the Governor did not disclose the interested parties, he said offers have come from both local and international firms. He added that the Central Bank is evaluating the interests and is working towards a quick reopening of the bank.
Chase Bank was placed under statutory receivership by the regulator after allegations of irregular and substantial loans emerged caused panic leading to massive withdrawals by depositors. This came six months after another bank, Imperial Bank, was placed under receivership by the Central Bank.
“We need a credible plan on how it will be reopened and stay open. Time is of the essence. We want to reopen this institution as soon as possible,” said the Governor.
CBK said Chase Bank has an interesting DNA focusing on women, youth, SME and small investment groups. It has 170,000 customers spread across 62 branches depositing Sh73.9B with over a half of its clientele being corporate (53 percent).
Dr. Njoroge said liquidity management and governance are the main issues facing the lender.
“If the bank would have done a better job on management we would not be where we are now,” explained the Governor.
Days after Chase Bank was placed under receivership, the regulator set up a liquidity support fund to boost lenders facing extreme liquidity needs as well as inject confidence in the financial sector.
The Governor sought to explain the volatility in the financial sector has brought about transparency in the banking sector.
“Institutions have cleared their balance sheet. Numbers now mean what they say.”