Absa Bank Kenya seems to have stopped giving loans to its mobile banking clients as per complaints and explanations given to clients.
“We are currently reviewing your available loan limit as part of regular business process. We are therefore not able to process your loan request at the moment. All other Timiza services are however available”, Timiza loan replies to every complaint of inaccessible loans that way
Kenyanbusinessfeed.com has received complaints from Absa Bank clients who after clearing the loans they had, they found themselves ‘locked out’.
“Timiza why are you behaving so unprofessionally? Like Okash and the rest? I pay my loans on time and when I request for another loan, I am denied!”, Kibiwott Christopher asked on Twitter.
The response was the same, ‘…the bank is reviewing…”.
Asked if they are cutting down on lending on Timiza, Absa Bank did not respond.
Below are some of the other responses we sampled:
There were complaints of the bank behaving like the other unlicensed lenders in the manner of its loan collection.
Clients have complained about incessant phone calls asking them to clear their loans.
“Sometimes Timiza loan collections call me throughout the day asking me to pay up Sh11,000 loan balance I took from them. I’ve told them am unable now but will clear as soon as I get the money. Despite making some payments, to show goodwill, they still harass me. I’ve even resigned to the fate of being listed on CRB but they keep on calling”, stated a client of Timiza who did not wish to be named.
Timiza’s competitor, Tala, has not yet resumed lending even with the easing of restrictions in the economy. The company too has not communicated why but experts say it’s because of the ‘uncertain future ahead of the Kenyan economy”.
In March 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a “temporary suspension of the listing with Credit Reference Bureaus of any person, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) and corporate entities whose loan account falls overdue or is in arrears, effective 1st April 2020.”
The grace period expired but people have not gotten on the feet yet, thus necessitating loan defaults.
Yesterday, the below tweet by a shocked Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) governor ignited debate
Absa Bank may be cutting on lending because of the above, a shrinking economy.
However, our research noted that the incessant calling has not been done but other banks such as KCB Bank Group and NCBA. In nagging clients into paying loans, Absa is opening old wounds.
Absa Bank doesn’t have a good history with Kenyans.
In the past, in early 1990s, while it was still Barclays, it chased away clients by forcefully closing those accounts that did not have a minimum operating balance of Sh10,000.
The regulator, CBK has in the past spoken about aggressive nature in the way digital lenders collect loans that led to suicide by a couple of Kenyans.
“In November last year, a lady came to the Central Bank to explain to us that her husband had committed suicide after getting involved with one of these lenders,” CBK Deputy Governor Sheila M’Mbijjewe said.
The loan collection from defaulters by such digital lenders were pegged on shaming the defaulter by sending messages to their close contacts revealing that their relative or friend has failed to pay loans.
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