The High Court has opened doors to former depositors of Charterhouse Bank to pursue their money from the collapsed lender after a judge directed former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo to publicise a case he has filed in the local dailies.
Justice Dorah Chepkwony allowed Mr Kabogo to publish the case in two local dailies for any depositors of the lender, which was placed under statutory management in 2006 and later closed over claims of malpractices including tax evasion and money laundering, to join the case.
Mr Kabogo filed the case last year seeking to secure his deposits, arguing that he and other depositors were on the verge of losing deposits and assets after Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) started liquidating the collapsed lender.
Justice Chepkwony rejected the application for the case to be a class action suit but said any willing depositor may join the case.
“However, any depositor willing to be joined as a plaintiff in the suit is at liberty to apply to the court to be made a party and the plaintiff granted the liberty to advertise the suit so as to notify willing depositors to be joined in the suit,” the judge said.
KDIC started the process of paying depositors who had up to Sh500,000 in the collapsed lender in June 2021, ending a 14-year freeze.
KDIC’s immediate payout will leave just about 705 accounts waiting for liquidation proceeds from a bank that had a Sh4 billion asset base and a loan book of Sh2.9 billion.
“However, taking into account that the suit seeks to enforce depositors’ rights to be reinstituted of their deposits, it is inevitable that at some point the determination of the suit will bear some financial obligations and it is imperative that the depositor willing to be joined as plaintiffs give a written consent or authority to extend,” the judge said. It was shut with Sh2.9 billion deposits in 4,699 accounts.