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December 13, 2018

Imperial’s depositors now resort to prayers

Imperial Bank depositors hold placards outside the Westlands branch. /ENOS TECHE
Imperial Bank depositors hold placards outside the Westlands branch. /ENOS TECHE

Imperial Bank Limited depositors’ lobby group wants 100 per cent of their funds from the receiver.

 They await the outcome from Central Bank of Kenya and Kenya Depositors Insurance Corporation (KDIC) on assessment of received binding offer from KCB Bank Limited to acquire the assets and liabilities of the lender.

 KCB made an application on September 27 as part of the Expression of Interest (EOI) process that was announced on October 13, 2017.

 Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) which has Sh2.9 billion in deposits at the collapsed lender has however filed a case seeking transparency on the progress and the financial position of the bank.

 Depositors had asked CBK and KDIC to push KCB to give them a better deal after it emerged the latter had offered depositors less than 40 per cent of their deposits.

 In a message seen by the Star, the depositors want a total refund of their cash prior to CBK governor’s announcement.

 “We want to hold a prayer meeting for all depositors and also ask the CBK, KDIC and KCB to give us back 100 per cent of our funds as that is what is agreeable with us,” part of the message read.

 The lender collapsed three years ago after it emerged that it was operating two sets of books that cost the lender $449 million (Sh45.4 billion) in bad loans and customer deposits.

 The lender’s receivership, which has been under KDIC, was extended to January 2019 after an agreement between KTDA, CBK and the High Court. The depositors have also blamed the directors for the fraud , which was reported to be ongoing for 13 years.

 “It will be three years and we have suffered the tragic loss of our hard earned money due to the collapse of Imperial Bank. The Shareholders/Directors have blamed their own who has passed on and claim innocence. We depositors hold both parties to blame,” the message stated. 

Imperial Bank held Sh58 billion in customer deposits at the end of June 2015 and was classified as a mid-tier lender with operations in Kenya and Uganda. It had 52,398 deposit accounts at the end of 2014.

 Listed manufacturing company, Flame Tree Group reported in 2017 to have Sh10.1 million locked up at the now dysfunctional lender. Kenya Power also has Sh322.4 million held by the lender.

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