Bankers anxious as new notes run out

In Summary

•A manager with a leading institution said that they had been forced to shelve their plans to calibrate their ATMS following the current crisis

•KNCCI's former Nakuru chairman says the move to disburse new notes, though noble, was rushed

The new look Kenyan currency notes.
The new look Kenyan currency notes.

Bankers in parts of the country are now calling on the Central a Bank of Kenya (CBK) to urgently address the acute current shortage of the new currency.

According to them, the currency mainly the Sh1,000 note run out of stock two weeks ago with ATMs that had been calibrated to dispense the new notes been dormant.

According to some of the managers interviewed, major towns like Nakuru, Naivasha, Gilgil and even in the nearby Nyandarua county had run out of the currency.


A manager with a leading institution said that they had been forced to shelve their plans to calibrate their ATMS following the current crisis.

“We saw the new currency in the first week after they were launched but since then we have been forced to dispense the old currency,” he said.

Another manager said that they were going through untold suffering as they had calibrated their ATMS only for the stock to run out.

“We are having a hard time explaining to our customers that the ATM cannot dispense the new Sh1,000 currency and they have to withdraw from the counter,” he said.

An Mpesa agent Agatha Nyawira also confirmed that they were no longer receiving the new notes from their customers and even banks.

She said that in the first two weeks after the launch of the currency, their customers were eager to cash in or withdraw their new notes.

“We don't know what exactly happened as the currencies are no longer in circulation and we have been forced to retreat to the notes we were used to,” she said.


Former Nakuru chairman Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry Njuguna Kamau termed the idea of the new notes as noble but was quick to note that it had been rushed.

Njuguna warned that if not well handled it could have major economic repercussions in the country as confusion continued over the new notes.

“The idea was well thought but barely a month down the line major banks do not have the new currency and there is no explanation from the CBK over the same,” he said.

But the CEO Kenya Bankers Association Habil Olaka downplayed the crisis saying that it had not been raised with them.

Speaking on phone, Olaka said that the problem was not that acute adding that this could be an operational problem by the banks headquarters.

“The deadline for the use of the old Sh1,000 note remains 30th September and we are not aware of any bank that has a problem with its ATM,” he said.

He added that they were working closely with the Central Bank adding that the association was ready to address the problem if it persisted.