Cops go af­ter blog­gers over ‘at­tacks’ on banks

Fam­ily Bank con­vened a press brief­ing to dis­pel “ru­mours” it is fac­ing liq­uid­ity chal­lenges fol­low­ing NYS Sh791m scam

The Star (Kenya) - - News - STAR RE­PORTER @TheS­tarKenya

Po­lice are pur­su­ing blog­gers and so­cial me­dia users spread­ing re­ports that some banks are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing cash flow chal­lenges, the Kenya Bankers As­so­ci­a­tion warned yes­ter­day.

The lobby said the Bank­ing Fraud In­ves­ti­ga­tion Unit, based at the Cen­tral Bank, has in­ten­si­fied in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the sources of the “ma­li­cious” re­ports.

Those found cul­pa­ble will be held re­spon­si­ble for “prop­a­gat­ing such dam­ag­ing claims”, KBA chief ex­ec­u­tive Ha­bil Olaka said in a state­ment to news­rooms.

“In light of the ru­mours cir­cu­lat­ing through the so­cial me­dia about the sta­bil­ity and liq­uid­ity of var­i­ous Kenya Bankers As­so­ci­a­tion mem­ber banks, KBA ad­vises the bank­ing pub­lic not to en­gage on ru­mours or spec­u­la­tion which are un­founded,” he said.

Mid-tier Fam­ily Bank last Tues­day con­vened a press brief­ing to dis­pel “ru­mours” it was fac­ing liq­uid­ity chal­lenges.

The re­ports fol­lowed on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the loss of the Sh791 mil­lion at the Na­tional Youth Ser­vice. Fam­ily Bank is among 28 other lenders be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for their role in pro­cess­ing huge NYS-re­lated trans­ac­tions with­out fol­low­ing due process.

“There were neg­a­tive state­ments telling peo­ple that Fam­ily Bank is suf­fer­ing from liq­uid­ity prob­lems, there­fore cus­tomers should take pre­cau­tions with their de­posits; that was in the so­cial me­dia,” bank’s chair­man Wil­fred Ki­boro said. “We are work­ing with in­ves­tiga­tive au­thor­i­ties in track­ing down the source of these ma­li­cious state­ments and can con­fi­dently re­port that they are clos­ing in on the source.”

KBA yes­ter­day em­pha­sised the in­dus­try, com­prised of 42 com­mer­cial banks and 12 mi­cro-fi­nanciers, was sta­ble and ro­bust.

“Main­tain­ing pub­lic trust re­mains para­mount in en­sur­ing sta­bil­ity is sus­tained,”Olaka said. “It is with this re­gard, that we urge the gen­eral pub­lic to re­frain from per­pet­u­at­ing base­less claims about bank­ing in­sti­tu­tions.”

The mas­sive run on Chase Bank, which was placed un­der re­ceiver­ship on April 7, was largely blamed on so­cial me­dia re­ports that caused panic among de­pos­i­tors. This was af­ter ex­ter­nal au­di­tor Deloitte is­sued a qual­i­fied opin­ion on the bank’s books.

/ ENOS TECHE

KBA di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions Nuru Mugambi, chief ex­ec­u­tive Ha­bil Olaka and di­rec­tor of pol­icy and re­search Jared Osoro at a press brief­ing in Nairobi on Au­gust 25

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