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
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.
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