CBK to quarantine money from banks, relaxes grace period for some borrowers

By Joel Muinde On Wed, 18 Mar, 2020 11:16 | < 1 min read
new currency
President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) looks at the new currency notes as CBK governor, Patrick Njoroge, looks on. PHOTO | PD

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has said that it will quarantine all hard currency from banks for a week, Governor Patrick Njoroge announced on Wednesday.

This is one of the measures effected by the Central Bank to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Dr. Njoroge said the CBK has already effected the emergency measures discussed earlier during their meeting with financial sector stakeholders.

“Charges on transfers from banks to mobile wallet have been eliminated. It means I can treat my wallet as a bank account and my bank account as my wallet,” Dr. Njoroge told President Uhuru Kenyatta at a media briefing on Wednesday.

The CBK governor said that all personal loans that are current by March are eligible for extensions up to one year, but each assessment will be made on an individual basis.

“The cost of all these extensions will be borne by the banks,” announced Dr. Njoroge.

He said that banks will also waive all charges for bank balance inquiries.

SMES relief loans

Small and medium enterprises and other businesses have also been urged to get relief loans, especially those who had taken loans to import supplies but are yet to receive them.

Because of the travel bans worldwide, the tourism sector is expected to be among the worst hit.

President Kenyatta urged businesses to be humane with some of them set to temporarily lay off workers.

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