MPS WANT KENYA’S 2015 BANKING BILL QUICKLY SENT TO PRESIDENT FOR ASSENT

A number of Kenyan Members of Parliament have asked the Attorney-General, Professor Githu Muigai, to act with speed and send the Banking Amendment Bill 2015 to President Uhuru Kenyatta for assent.

The MPs, led by the representative for Kiambu, Jude Njomo, said here Thursday that although the Bill — which provides for limits on the interest rates which commercial banks may charge their customers — was passed two weeks ago, it had yet to reach the head of state.

The legislators also read mischief in Wednesday’s announcement by the banks to lower interest rates noting that the financial institutions were only keen to maintain the status quo by trying to hoodwink Kenyans through promises.

Members of Parliament recently appealed to President Kenyatta not to be hoodwinked by the many promises being made by banks of their intention to lower interest rates.

Njomo said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) being proposed by the banks must be anchored in law for it to be acceptable.

The legislators have asked banks to stop intimidating Kenyans with warnings that capping interest rates will lead to market distortions and make credit inaccessible to small borrowers. They note that a promise of making 30 billion shillings (about 296 million US dollars) available for lending tp s,all and medium-size enterprises had come too late in the day.

They accused banks of pursuing oligopolistic tendencies within the banking sector to the detriment of Kenyans in need of credit.

Njomo said interest rate-capping had worked in other countries, including Canada, adding that the Bill was not populist but a response to calls from Kenyans to rein in the banks.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK