Chase, Imperial depositors to wait longer for cash as buyout deals delay


CBK governor Patrick Njoroge. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Customers of the troubled Chase and Imperial banks will have to wait longer before accessing their cash as an acquisition deal is hammered out.

CBK governor Patrick Njoroge says Mauritian lender SBM Holdings, which was on January 8 given the green light by the regulator to take over Chase Bank, is still engaged in trying to carve out assets and liabilities of the bank to pave way for their access by depositors.

“These things take time. It’s a mechanical issue not a policy issue. We expect that this would be completed shortly and an announcement would be made,” said Dr Njoroge on Tuesday referring to the ongoing Chase Bank sale.

“The carve out (process) involves a portion of the moratorium deposits being moved over and access being provided over to (Chase depositors) by SBM,” added Dr Njoroge.

The governor said Imperial Bank bidders had sought more time to study the Chase Bank’s books before submitting formal proposals.

“They requested a bit more time to analyse this whole process which we granted them. We are at that (stage) now where we are finished in terms of their assessments and we have to make our assessment based on their bids,” he said.

READ: SBM gets regulator nod to acquire Chase Bank

“That I also expect there’ll be some announcement when this is concluded and this will also be quite soon.”

Early this year, CBK gave Mauritian lender SBM Holdings the green light to take over Chase Bank. As part of the deal, the regulator said SBM will acquire the bank’s carved out assets and liabilities.

“It is expected that this transaction will inter alia ensure the transfer of 75 per cent of the value of deposits currently under moratorium and the transfer of staff and branches of the existing Chase Bank operations,” said CBK earlier.

Imperial Bank was placed under receivership in October 2015. This was followed by the suspension of the lender’s banking activities, which included the locking up of customer deposits that the lender held.