Unregistered digital lenders get six months window to conform


Digital lenders operating in the country with out license will have six months to register their operations with the Central Bank of Kenya or face fines.

This follows the signing into law The Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Act Bill, 2021 by President Uhuru Kenyatta effectively giving CBK powers to regulate the space.

CBK is expected to establish among others, regulations for registration of digital credit businesses, management requirements, measures to curb money-laundering.

Digital lenders who fail to register with the regulator risk a three year jail term or fines not exceeding Kshs. 5 million or both.

According to a study by Geopoll, there were at least 120 digital lenders in Kenya proving short term loans.

CBK stated that borrowers of unregulated digital lenders had surged from 200,000 in 2016 to an estimate 2 million.

The Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Act Bill, 2021 also gives the regulator powers to determine capital adequacy for digital credit providers, minimum liquidity and suspend or revoke their licenses.


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