News

Treasury, November 2, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech
Imperial Bank could be re-opened next month but only after the owners meet a raft of conditions set by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), including fresh capital injection after new revelations of massive plunder by top managers.


That move would be a reprieve for thousands of customers who will have the opportunity to access their deposits, estimated at Sh58 billion. A meeting between the CBK and the shareholders of the bank held on Tuesday last week resolved to a change in top management and capital injection, following revelations that the lender’s financial position was grossly overstated.
“CBK expressed its expectation that an agreement with shareholders should be reached enabling the bank to reopen in a month’s time,” reads a statement from the regulator in part. In its opinion, the bank was still viable and could survive the fraud perpetuated by its management, led by former managing director, the late Abdulmalek Janmohamed.
Small depositors would be granted a priority to withdraw their funds if the shareholders meet the requirements spelt out. Large depositors-with more than Sh100,000 in the bank, will be repaid in ‘a structured schedule,’ according to CBK’s proposal.
More than 55,000 depositors have been locked out from accessing their funds after the bank was closed earlier in the month after revelations of gross abuse of sector guidelines. Last week’s development came only a day after the shareholders of the bank moved to court seeking to recover over Sh34 billion irregularly lent to firms associated with the late Janmohamed.
Details held in the suit show Janmohamed colluded with 20 companies to siphon billions from the lender, where he was a founder and among the top shareholders.
Among the property that the shareholders want frozen include 35 companies where the late Janmohamed had a direct interest in via Janco Investments Limited.

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