CBK warns digital lenders over customer exploitation


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Unlicensed and unregulated digital lenders have been put on notice as the government moves to protect consumers from fraudulent dealers.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge raised concerns over the increasing number of mobile loan apps that may be exploiting Kenyans.

The banking watchdog boss has asked the public to be on the lookout to avoid being duped by unscrupulous operators who are exploiting consumers’ ignorance.

“All financial services and products will soon have a label of approval by the CBK to be able to guide users on which products to use,” he said.

The governor who spoke during the rollout of Stawi loan app at Kondele market in Kisumu underlined the need for digital lenders to be guided by the interest rates caps introduced in 2016.

“As the body which regulates commercial banks and deposit-taking microfinance institutions, we will ensure that merchants don’t take advantage of Kenyans who are seeking quick loans,” said Dr Njoroge on Wednesday.

The Stawi mobile loan is backed by five commercial banks that target small and mid-size enterprises. The banks behind it are Commercial Bank of Africa, Cooperative Bank, DTB, KCB and NIC.