KENYA: REGULATION OF DIGITAL LENDERS IN KENYA

By Cynthia Amutete,Dominic Indokhomi Monday, April 04, 2022
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The Central Bank of Kenya (the CBK) is now set to fully regulate digital credit providers after publishing applicable regulations - The Central Bank of Kenya (Digital Credit Providers) Regulations, 2022 (the DCP Regulations).

The DCP Regulations have been issued under The Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Act, 2021 (the CBK Amendment Act), which introduced regulations for digital lenders. Please see our newsflash on the CBK Amendment Act here.

We highlight some of the key provisions of the DCP Regulations below:

Application

The CBK Amendment Act and the DCP Regulations apply to digital credit providers (DCPs) except those regulated under other laws.

Licensing

DCPs are required to obtain a license from the CBK. Existing DCPs have a 6 month grace period to apply for the licence.

Permitted Activities

DCPs may only engage in business activities permitted by the CBK and may not undertake deposit taking business or take cash collateral for loans.

Investment into DCPs

Certain thresholds of investments in, and financing of, DCPs will require prior approval of or notification to the CBK respectively.

Restrictions against the disposal of assets

Transactions involving amalgamation or transfer assets and liabilities of a DCP (other than in the ordinary course of business) require prior written approval of the CBK.

Corporate Governance

DCPs are required to observe sound corporate governance principles.

Data protection

DCPs are now subject to confidentiality requirements and compliance with the Data Protection Act Number 24, 2019.

Credit Information Sharing

DCPs are required to participate in credit information sharing with credit reference bureaus subject to certain restrictions set out in the DCP Regulations.

Conduct of digital credit business

DCPs are required to have their products and variations to product features approved by the CBK.

The DCP Regulations also have vast provisions regulating the manner in which DCPs should conduct their business, including provisions on lending, pricing, consumer protection, debt collection and anti-money laundering.