About 42 million out of 378 million records in the Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) in Kenya are blacklisted. Of these, 13 million are being blacklisted for amounts less than Sh1,000.
This is even as the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) barring unregulated digital mobile lenders from forwarding the names of loan defaulters owing less than Sh1,000 to the CRBs after an outcry from the public. “The withdrawal is in response to numerous public complaints over misuse of the CIS (credit information sharing) by unregulated digital and credit-only lenders, and particularly their poor responsiveness to customer complaints,” the regulator said in a statement yesterday.
On April 8, 2020, a new set of regulations were put in place for Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) and Kenya’s Credit Information Sharing (CIS) system to prevent lenders from using the CRBs as a punitive “blacklisting” tool that bars Kenyans from getting loans, instead of using it to access their credit history to get better pricing of loans.
The new regulations will provide licensing and supervision of CRBs by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), and a new framework for the exchange of Kenyans credit information between the lenders and CRBs.
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