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Big saccos await Sasra verdict on compliance

John Mwaka, Sasra CEO. file photo | nmg
John Mwaka, Sasra CEO. file photo | nmg 

The fate of 11 deposit-taking savings and credit co-operative societies (saccos) whose temporary licences expired on June 30 will be known by the end of this month when the industry regulator, Sasra, issues its verdict on their compliance with capital and corporate governance rules.

Sasra [the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority] in January issued the credit unions — including the giant Moi University Sacco and Telepost Sacco — with provisional permits to operate for the first six months of 2017 pending a review.

The list of saccos whose licences have expired includes CMC Holdings’ Comoco Sacco, Nitunze Sacco, previously known as Mumias Outgrowers Sacco, Rachuonyo Teachers Sacco, and Akamba Handicrafts’ Uchongaji Sacco.

Sasra spokesperson said the regulator will make its decisions public in the Kenya Gazette by the end of this month. “We have 30 days after lapse to audit their compliance. Some will have the conditional licences extended while some will not,” Sasra said.

Official data from Sasra shows that the 11 credit unions jointly held Sh5.7 billion in assets, Sh3.2 billion in member deposits, and a loan book of Sh3.55 billion as at December 2015. They have a combined membership of about 70,000 savers.

Also in the list of saccos with interim permits expiring in June are Nandi Hekima Sacco, Mombasa-based Jitegemee Sacco, Bomet-based Kenya Midland Sacco, Neco Sacco of Nanyuki, and Orient Sacco (formerly Thika District Teachers Sacco).

Miliki Sacco’s licence was, however, restricted to July 31, 2017, according to a gazette notice.

Sasra regulations require deposit-taking credit unions to maintain a minimum 15 per cent liquidity ratio, and are compelled to file a report at the end of every month detailing the liquid assets as well as the balance of liquid liabilities.

Saccos are also required to maintain a core capital of not less than Sh10 million,  maintain a core capital to total assets ratio of 10 per cent, and core capital to deposit as well as institutional capital to total assets at eight per cent each.

Moi University Sacco, which has more than 3,000 members and a loan book of Sh610.4 million, said it is yet to finalise the sale of a building in Eldoret town from which it expects to raise between Sh800 and Sh900 million.

David Kiptoo, chief executive of Moi University Sacco, said that the organisation is owed more than Sh40 million by Moi University, which has not been remitting members’ contributions for the last seven months.

“We advertised in May but the response was slow. We’ll re-advertise in September,” said Mr Kiptoo.

“Moi University has been retaining our contributions for the last seven months. We hope to receive at least a third of this.”

Sasra issued 163 deposit-taking saccos with full licences at the beginning of the year.

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