Central Bank of Kenya freezes licensing of new commercial banks

Kenya's central bank has put a moratorium on the licensing of new commercial banks, the bank said in a notice published in newspapers on Wednesday.

"The Central Bank of Kenya has, with immediate effect, placed a moratorium on the licensing of new commercial banks until further notice," it said, adding that the moratorium "does not apply to cases relating to resolution amalgamation and acquisition of banks."

The notice did not give a reason for the moratorium.

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Last month, the central bank placed privately owned Imperial Bank under receivership after Imperial's board alerted it to malpractices at the lender.

The central bank said later it had unearthed fraud within Imperial Bank, but that the bank was still viable and shareholders were considering a proposal to inject capital.

Last week, it said it was concerned that the shareholders of Imperial Bank were not acting quickly enough to come up with a plan to revive the mid-sized lender.

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CBKImperial Bank of KenyaDubai BankGovernor Njoroge