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Chase Bank owners want CBK assurance of fairness in sale

Depositors queue to withdraw cash from a Chase Bank ATM. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Depositors queue to withdraw cash from a Chase Bank ATM. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Chase Bank shareholders have sought audience with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) over plans to sell the lender to strategic investors.

In a letter to CBK and the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC), the shareholders through their lobby want assurance that the process to bring on board a strategic investor safeguards the interests of depositors, creditors and long term lenders.

“We urgently seek an audience with you to understand what strategy the CBK and KDIC have to safeguard depositors’ interests and what is being proposed given that the receivership is slowly edging to the six month final extension,” they say in the letter dated August 31, signed by Muthoni Kuria, chairperson of the lender’s shareholders committee.

In July this year, the CBK governor Patrick Njoroge said the sale of Chase Bank to strategic investors, which was to be completed by the end of this month, was facing delays after some bidders sought more time to study the lender’s books before submitting formal proposals.

“They (the shortlisted bidders) asked for more time. The deadline for that was June 9.

‘‘That’s the timing we gave them, but actually they asked for more time (and) we gave them until June 19,” said Dr Njoroge on July 17.

In the letter the shareholders reiterate an earlier claim that the CBK had kept them in the dark on the process.

“Apart from media updates, there has been no communication from the CBK or KDIC to the shareholders,” they say in the letter.

Dr Njoroge had earlier denied claims by some shareholders that the regulator had kept them in the dark on the sale process.

“I cannot comment on any rumours or any of those things, all I can say is we are in touch with the shareholders. They understand the timelines, they support all those things,” Mr Njoroge said.