NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7 – Dozens of Rafiki Microfinance Bank customers could be seen stranded outside the Biashara Street Branch Thursday, hoping to get a sensible explanation on why they could not access their funds.
A section of them confirmed to Capital FM Business that they had been unable to access their funds and were told to wait until they are notified on when to.
“I have been unable to withdraw my money. One of the bank’s attendants has asked me to instead fill up a form and the bank would follow up,” John Kamau, a depositor of the microfinance bank said.
Fear could be seen stained on their faces as they whisper among each other over what to do next.
Some know of the relationship between the bank and its mother company Chase Bank, which owns 75 percent in shares of the bank and had been placed under receivership at day break.
“I hope the fate that has fallen on Chase Bank does not fall on us. It would be too big a blow,” he added.
Another customer who chose to remain anonymous admitted that he did not know of the relationship between the two banks since the sinking of Chase Bank began a few days ago.
“A friend of mine called me last night asking me to rush here and withdraw my money after she learnt of the troubles related to Chase Bank. It was only then that I learnt of the relationship.”
Trouble probably began brewing for Rafiki Microfinance Bank’s mother brand about a week ago following the announcement of the bank’s Sh792 million loss for the year ended 2015.
Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge tried to salvage the situation Wednesday when he said that the situation at the bank was under control.
By the time of posting this story, Rafiki Microfinance Bank was yet to address the situation leaving customers grieved.
– Faith in the regulator –
Asked on whether the turn of events that has fallen on Chase Bank and feared to follow Rafiki Microfinance Bank, Eric Omondi a Rafiki Microfinance customer said that he now has more faith in Central Bank following its bold move.
“Although I am a customer here, I now have more faith in the banking system in the country more than ever before. For me it is a sign that things are finally working, hidden corruption cases are finally being discovered and action is being taken.”
Another customer applauded Central Bank Governor Njoroge saying real work had began being seen in the industry since he took and that failure by his bank to protect his money should not be reflect on Njoroge’s work ethic.
Some like Jacob Kioko were however not so supportive of the regulator saying they faulted it for having not warned customers of the impending danger before it happened. He said Central Bank should be put to task and held accountable for the increasing drowning cases of Kenyan banks.
In the last 12 months, two other banks have been put under receivership – Imperial Bank and Dubai Bank.