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Ten more digital lenders get the go ahead from regulator


The Central Bank of Kenya in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has licensed 10 more digital lenders bringing the number to 32 in a fresh round of approvals.

In January this year, a cumulative 22 digital credit providers had been licensed following the approval of 12 licensees in that month, as the sector regulator sought to increase scrutiny of the lending space.

The sector has been rocked by controversy in the recent past that saw digital lenders take more unconventional methods to recover bad debts amid increased defaults.

“The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announces the licensing of additional 10 digital credit providers (DCPs)... this brings the number of licensed DCPs to 32 following the licensing of 22 DCPs announced in January 2023,” said the CBK in a statement.

Read: Digital lenders book early wins from CBK licensing

The apex bank said it had received 401 applications since March last year, implying only eight percent of them have received the regulator’s nod so far.

“CBK has received 401 applications since March 2022 and has worked closely with the applicants in reviewing their applications. Additionally, CBK has engaged other regulators and agencies pertinent to the licensing process, including the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner,” read the statement.

Newly licensed fintech companies include Okolea International Limited, Anjoy Credit Limited, Asante FS East Africa Limited, Colkos Enterprises Limited, Little Pesa Limited and EDOMX Limited among others.

Extend Money Service Limited, Fourth Generation Capital Limited, Risine Credit Limited and Zenka Digital Limited also formed part of the list released on Monday.

The sector has also been accused of the usurious rates applied on mobile loans.

Read: Digital lenders protest CBK nod delay amid Google ban

“The licensing and oversight of DCPs were precipitated by concerns raised by the public about the predatory practices of the unregulated DCPs, and in particular, their high cost, unethical debt collection practices, and the abuse of personal information,” said the CBK statement.

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