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NBK snubs Parliament audit queries team

National Bank of Kenya
A National Bank of Kenya branch in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

National Bank of Kenya’s (NBK) #ticker:NBK management Tuesday failed to appear before Parliament to explain its unwillingness to submit its financial statements to the Office of the Auditor-General.

The Clerk of the National Assembly had directed that NBK’s management appears before the Public Investment Committee (PIC) without fail.

The directive came following reports that the bank has declined numerous audit requests from Auditor-General Edward Ouko.

“NBK management had indicated that they would come, but (Tuesday) evening, the CEO said he was unable to come due to personal matters that had arisen,” said PIC chairman Abdulswamad Nassir.

PIC had invited the bank’s top officials to among other things shed light on NBK’s shareholding, asset base, liabilities and the takeover bid by the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).

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In its 19th report of audited accounts of State corporations, the Public Investments Committee (PIC) observed that NBK was not being audited.

This is despite the government and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) having joint shareholding in the bank of more than 50 percent.

The NSSF and the government, through the National Treasury, are the principal shareholders of NBK with 48.1 percent and 22.5 percent stakes respectively.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi recently directed the Finance committee to look into NBK’s Sh6.1 billion takeover bid by KCB.

Last week, Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge noted NBK’s core-capital position had deteriorated from Sh10 billion in 2016 to Sh2 billion as at March this year, reflecting an 80 percent drop.

Dr Njoroge linked the poor performance to mismanagement, political interference and a poor business model.

He said he is in support of the takeover bid since it is the most viable option to move the troubled bank to safety.

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