Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has issued Choice Microfinance Bank with conditional approval to conduct business.
The microfinance institution, started by a group of Kenyans living in the US, says it will seek to facilitate investment of diaspora funds into small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in marginalised areas of Kenya.
Diaspora remittances have risen significantly over the past few years. In the eight months to August, cumulative remittances stood at Sh82.5 billion, compared to Sh73.8 billion over a similar period last year.
“The Central Bank of Kenya has granted Choice Microfinance Bank a conditional approval in principle to conduct microfinance banking business,” said CBK in an email to the Business Daily.
“This is not a licence to conduct microfinance banking business. Choice has to meet various pre-licensing requirements before being granted a licence.”
CBK said it would make further announcements once Choice meets the requirements.
“We have a lot of businesses and emerging opportunities in marginalised areas. We also have people in the diaspora with enough funds and are willing to invest back home....’’ said Choice chairman Ben Kamiri in a statement.