CHANGES to the existing micro-finance law will make more of these institutions sustainable by reducing their cost of doing business through convenience in transactions, an executive in the sector has said.
Rafiki Deposit Taking Microfinance’s marketing and communication manager Zak Syengo has said passage of that Bill and subsequent signing into law will boost the image of MFIs and improve business prospects. The Bill is now headed for a second reading in parliament.
“If it becomes law it will allow DTMs to give clients cheque books… at the moment sometimes clients have to literally withdraw money and thereafter deposit it in an account where they are making payments,” noted Syengo.
He said that lack of convenience was affecting operations of MFIs adding that the Bill which also seeks to change names of deposit taking MFIs to micro-finance banks will give customers a clear picture of what these institutions do.
“The mass market whom we target have a problem identifying with the naming,” Syengo said.
By Lola Okulo, The Star
By Morris Aron, Standard Digital News
Rafiki Deposit Taking Microfinance (DTM) and Zenith Steel Fabricators have launched a mortgage scheme targeted at the low middle-income group.
Under the arrangement, Rafiki DTM, which is a low-end deposit taking microfinance arm of fast rising Chase Bank, will offer the financing for the houses while Zenith Steel Fabricators will construct the houses. “With disposable income of between Sh15,000 to Sh35,000 Kenyans are spending on rent, the tenants can be converted to home owners through well-packaged mortgages,” said George Mbira, Rafiki DTM general manager.
“We have opened a window of financing homes construction on land anywhere in Kenya.” Rafiki DTM shall be offering low-end financing of the Zen houses within her branch network across Kenya while Zenith shall provide end-home construction of the Zen houses, as per the client specifications. Zen houses will be priced from Sh1.8 million to Sh2.2 million.
Speaking at the signing ceremony yesterday, Raheem Biviji, executive director, Zenith Steel Fabricators, said the Zen House is a steel frame system with insulated concrete wall panels.
The fixtures and finishing of individual modules of Zen house can be tailored to suit individual customer requirements. “The Zen Houses are designed such that they are quick and easy to construct on site. All modules of Zen House come complete with internal wiring and plumbing,” said Biviji. The houses will be constructed in 100 days.
“The fact that a majority of middle class cannot afford a home is the key driving force for us. We seek to finance ready units to end users or customers who want to do construction on their plots,” said Mbira. Estimated of housing demand stand at about 200,000 units with supply of only 50,000.
By David Mugwe, Business Daily Africa
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has licensed another micro-finance institution as it seeks to make financial services accessible to more people.
Rafiki Deposit Taking Micro-finance Kenya Limited, which is wholly owned by Chase Bank Limited, is also the first deposit-taking micro-finance (DTM) institution to belong to a commercial bank.
“Rafiki Deposit Taking Micro-finance Limited becomes the sixth deposit taking institution to be licensed following the licensing of four nationwide and one community-based deposit taking micro-finance institutions,” said Prof Njuguna Ndung’u, the CBK governor. The move would improve service to customers served by the institutions, he said.
“The emergence of commercial banks into the micro-finance arena will promote competition; enhance innovation, efficiency and outreach,” he said, adding that the growth of the institutions would boost financial inclusion.
The first such institution — Faulu Kenya Deposit Taking Micro-finance Limited was licensed in May 2009 followed by Kenya Women Finance Trust Deposit Taking Micro-finance Limited, which was licensed in April 2010.
Uwezo Deposit Taking Micro-finance Limited — the first community microfinance institution, which operates in Starehe division in Nairobi was licensed in November 2010. According to the CBK, the institutions can operate nationwide or as community based DTMs, the main distinction between the two being a minimum core capital requirement of Sh60 million and Sh20 million, respectively.
While a nationwide DTMs may establish operations in any part of the country, operations of a community DTM are restricted to specific administrative boundaries.
Small and Micro Enterprise Programme, a deposit taking micro-finance, was licensed in December last year followed by Remu, which was licensed in January this year.
Prof Ndung’u said that as at the end of April this year, the deposit taking micro-finance institutions had 47 branches nationwide, had mobilised deposits worth Sh9 billion with a total loan portfolio value of Sh15 billion.
The total number of active deposit accounts and loan accounts at the DTM’s stood at 1.3 million and 0.5 million, respectively.
By Morris Aron, The Standard
Central Bank of Kenya licensed Rafiki Deposit Taking Microfinance (K) Ltd to carry out nationwide deposit-taking microfinance business. The move brings the number of such institutions to six.
Of the six, Rafiki DTM is the first such institution to be wholly owned by a commercial bank – Chase Bank is a shareholder – licensed under Section 4(1) of the Microfinance Act. This allows commercial banks or financial institutions to establish wholly owned subsidiaries to carry out deposit taking microfinance business.
The granting of the licenses now allows Rafiki DTM to undertake a countrywide deposit taking, and joins four nationwide and one community-based deposit taking microfinance institutions.
Rafiki will have its head office in Nairobi, and flagship branches in Nairobi and Mombasa.
CBK has taken a robust decision to embark on deepening financial inclusion to boost the number of the un-banked population and bring them to the mainstream financial system.
“The growth of the microfinance industry is at the core of enhancing financial inclusion,” said CBK governor Prof Njuguna Ndung’u in a statement.
“The promotion of livelihoods through access to finance will go a long way in achieving.”
Statistics indicate that as of April, deposit taking microfinance institutions had 47 branches nationwide.
Further, DTM has mobilised deposits worth Sh9 billion, with had a total loan portfolio value of Sh15 billion.
The number of active deposit accounts and loan accounts stood at 1.3 million and 0.5 million.