Absa Bank Kenya PLC responded to Central Bank of Kenya – CBK suspension of its forex trading licence for failing to report specific foreign exchange trades it conducted in March.
In a statement posted on the CBK Twitter account, CBK governor Patrick Njoroge said Absa is required to cease transactions as an authorised foreign exchange dealer in the Kenyan market for seven days.
Absa responded and said that they have noted the Central Bank of Kenya’s press statement this morning in which it announced the suspension of Absa Bank Kenya’s foreign exchange dealer license from 9 April 2020 until 15 April 2020. Absa Bank Kenya has also received official notice of same.
Absa said in a statement, “Absa Group and all its subsidiaries embrace a culture that endeavours to comply with national and international regulations at all times. We have stringent and world benchmarked Anti-Money Laundering CFT policies which are applied rigorously in all our operations. When the Central Bank of Kenya raised its concerns, pending resolution of the concerns raised, we decided to cancel the two foreign exchange forward transactions concerned.”
Absa further said that these were being executed on behalf of highly reputable global financial institutions, which are regulated in line with best international practice. The transactions were executed at prevailing market rates. This was done to demonstrate our willingness to address fully the concerns of the regulator.
Absa further said in a statement, “We are in ongoing consultations and discussions with the Central Bank of Kenya to fully resolve all matters raised in the shortest possible time. We remain committed to being a constructive participant in Kenya’s financial markets and to contributing to its further developments in the interest of all customers and stakeholders.”
The bank had earlier in April signalled its intention to roll out Wezesha Biashara program where entrepreneurs can access up to Sh10 million unsecured loan.
The lender also targes SMEs, the largest sector in Kenyan economy with LPO financing of up to Sh12 million, unsecured invoice discounting of up to Sh50 million and unsecured bid bonds of up to Sh10 million.
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