Upholding ethics is key to survival of business

A lot has been said in recent times on the ideal principles of corporate governance as a key ingredient for growth. At the core of corporate governance, however, is the need for ethical practice as the key to basic survival. Kenya, like many other countries, is replete with stories of organisations and enterprises that have miserably failed to meet their mandates. A cursory look at many of these organisations will establish a clear nexus between a lack of ethics and their ultimate failure. See, ethics breeds integrity, which in turn breeds profitability and mutual success. The opposite is undoubtedly true.

Insurers, saccos flock to CRBs for client reviews

The number of non-bank firms registered with credit reference bureaus (CRBs) to start reporting credit status of clients increased by nearly half in 2018 compared with a year earlier, regulatory disclosures show. Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) had approved 2,118 voluntary data providers as at December 2018 compared with 1,434 the year before. This means additional 684 third party institutions registered with the CRBs last year compared with 637 in 2017 and 472 institutions in 2016. “Most of the approved third party data sources are Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (saccos), credit-only microfinance institutions, trade institutions, and insurance companies,” the

Why desire to go continental could break banks’ safes

In 2015, shareholders of United Bank of Africa (UBA), one of the leading continental lenders, discovered that the financier had spent Sh3.5 billion (12.5 billion naira) on “other transportation equipment”, a euphemism for an aircraft. The bank had not bought the plane as an investment or stake but the private jet would help managers run a complex continental business that most players have failed to crack. GTB Bank, another West African lender that set out to conquer Africa, spent Sh2.3 billion (8.34 billion naira) to purchase an “aircraft” as reported in its 2015 annual report. Struggling retailer Choppies is also

Banks indecisive over ATMs as alternative convenience points

Customers are still clinging to automated teller machines (ATMs) despite the entrance of agency, internet and mobile banking, making lenders indecisive on whether to shut or open more. In age of the smartphone, mobile banking has seen a considerable increase in use because account holders who once depended on brick and mortar branches are increasingly taking up the use mobile phones and laptops for a variety of transactions. Despite the growing preference for digital account interaction, the convenience of ATMs still continues to drive consumers to use them as a main source of cash and account access. For many years,

LETTERS: Move to scrap CRB clearance fees welcome

The government’s move to scrap the amount payable to get the credit reference bureau clearance certificate, an employment prerequisite for fresh university graduates, is welcome. But a lot more needs to be done to meaningfully quash the hustle-rustle that ordinary Kenyan graduates endure when applying for jobs. By reducing the charges, a fairer ground for a common youth hailing from a hapless background to get an employment is ensured. Beyond a shroud of doubt, the move amplifies the possibility of competent youths whose only limitation is the ability to raise fees for the various clearance certifications as articulated under chapter

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