The Sacco regulator is eyeing more than Sh137 million from the over 180 new societies that have come under its oversight.
Non-withdrawable deposit-taking entities will start paying an annual fee to the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (Sasra) that will see the regulator raise at least Sh137.98 million every year.
The Saccos will be required to pay a levy of not more than 0.165 percent of their surplus annually. Sasra reckons the new levy currently being debated by stakeholders ahead of its gazettement will boost the regulator’s financial health at a time the Treasury has cut cash transfers to the authority.
The regulator has for the past few years been relying on an annual levy collected from the deposit-taking Saccos but this has not been enough to cover expenses after Treasury cut its funding.
“It is important to note that the donor support has substantially been scaled down or stopped altogether. As such, the authority must look for alternative sources of funding to execute its expanded mandate effectively,” Sasra chief executive officer Peter Njuguna said.
The fee is contained in the Sacco Societies (Specified non-deposit taking business) levy order 2022 that is undergoing public participation and is expected to be gazetted by June, setting the stage for the regulator to collect the levy.
Mr Njuguna said the levy on non-withdrawable deposit taking Saccos will be pegged on their surplus and at a maximum of Sh8 million.
Sasra had been regulating 175 deposit-taking Saccos and says it will now have to increase staff size and ramp up infrastructure in order to effectively monitor the additional 185 Saccos.
The regulator says that it received 199 applications from the Saccos with Nairobi accounting for 143 adding that this is a pointer on the need to raise awareness to the other counties in a bid to bring in more Saccos.
Sasra says the annual levy collected from deposit-taking Saccos has been insufficient to fund its operations, forcing it to operate below optimum levels since its establishment in 2010.
The new levy will be in addition to the Sh50,000 authorisation fee that new Saccos have to pay upon getting their licence. Saccos will be required to pay the levy within 30 days of assessment by the industry regulator.
The fee follows the expansion of Sasra’s mandate after enactment of the Sacco Societies (Non-Deposit Taking Business) Regulations 2020, which gave Sasra powers to regulate non-withdrawable deposit-taking Saccos with deposits of at least Sh100,000.