The Central Bank of Kenya, which provides for the licensing and supervision of Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) thorough the CRB regulations, has announced ) the publication by Gazette Notice of the Credit Reference Bureau Regulations, 2020 (CRB Regulations), to replace the Credit Reference Bureau Regulations, 2013.
The CRB regulations 2020 have been redeveloped through a consultative process aimed at strengthening Kenya’s Credit Information Sharing System (CIS). Among the key reforms include:
- A minimum threshold of Ksh.1,000 has now been set for negative credit information that is submitted to CRBs by lenders. Borrower’s information regarding nonperforming loans of less than Ksh.1,000 will therefore not be submitted to CRBs, and borrowers that were previously “blacklisted” only for amounts less than Ksh.1,000 will
- First-time CRB clearance certificates will be provided by CRBs at no charge. This is particularly beneficial to Kenyan youth and graduates who are seeking employment.
- SACCO societies regulated by the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) have now been included as authorized subscribers of credit data to CRBs. These SACCOs will now submit borrowers’ information to CRBs and also receive credit reports directly from them
CBK has also announced that from now henceforth, unregulated digital (mobile-based) and credit-only lenders will not be granted approvals as third party credit information providers to CRBs, following numerous public complains. This implies that they will no longer submit credit information on their borrowers to CRBs.
Published by Gazette Notice also is the recommendation by CBK and National Treasury is suspending listing of negative credit information for borrowers whose loans were performing previously but have become non-performing from April 1, 2020, for a period of six months. In so doing, the loans that fall in arrears from April 1 to September 30, 2020, will not lead to the “blacklisting” of the borrower on the CRBs, thanks to COVID-19 pandemic.