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Saccos have up to end of June to comply with new rules

BUSINESS NEWS
By Kirsten Kanja | February 3rd 2021
CS Peter Munya (PHOTO: Wilberforce Okwiri)

NAIROBI, KENYA: Non-deposit taking Saccos holding deposits worth Sh100 million and above have up to the end of June to apply for an authorisation to operate from the Saccos Societies Regulatory Authority (Sasra).

This follows the publication of the SACCO Societies (Non-deposit taking business) regulations, 2020, which took effect on January 1, 2021.

Non-deposit taking SACCOs refer to those that take deposits from members only in the form of share capital. These amounts are refundable to members only when they leave the SACCO. On the other hand, deposit-taking SACCOs, besides undertaking the traditional roles of SACCOs (mobilization of savings and advancement of loans to members), also actively mobilize and receive withdrawable deposits. This kind of operation is popularly known as FOSA (Front Office Service Activity) in Kenya, while the former is known as BOSA (Back Office Service Activity).

The non-deposit taking SACCOs are expected to comply by applying to the Authority within six months of the regulations 2020 having come into legal effect (June 30, 2021), for authorisation to operate. As a start, they are required to file their detailed particulars with SASRA within 30 days of a notice published in the national press last Friday (January 29, 2021) by the Authority.

Also targeted under the new regulations, to be implemented by SASRA, are non-deposit taking SACCOs which mobilise membership and subscription to their share capital through digital or other electronic payment platforms; or those that mobilise membership and subscription to their share capital from persons, “who are ordinarily resident outside the country (Kenya).”

Said SASRA Chairman John Munuve: “This is a critical milestone for the Authority. We appeal to the SACCOs that are covered under the prescribed criteria to take advantage of the window to June 30, 2021, to register with us and apply for authorisation. We have assembled the requisite resources to ensure a smooth process for all our stakeholders.”

“We believe that bringing these Non-Deposit Taking SACCOs under the regulatory oversight of SASRA will extend the benefits of regulated savings and loan services to more Kenyans while improving the stability and resilience of the sub-sector,” he added.

He spoke during a breakfast event presided over by the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Peter Munya at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi.

Speaking during the event, Munya said: “I am glad to note that the policy to bring Non-Deposit Taking SACCOs under the regulatory oversight of SASRA has been concretized and is ready for rollout. With the Regulations 2020 having taken legal effect from January 1, 2021, ALL SACCO Societies undertaking the specified non-deposit taking (BOSA) business are required to comply, in the current window to June 30, 2021.”

Under the Regulations 2020, SASRA is expected to undertake and oversight the following functions for the targeted Non-Deposit Taking SACCOs: Authorization; Capital Adequacy Requirements; Liquidity Management; Shares and Deposits; Credit Risk Management; Risk Classification and Assets and Provisioning; Investment and Associated Entities; Financial Performance Reporting; Governance; Consumer Protection; Information Security, Preservation and Business Continuity and Regulation and Supervision.

SASRA, which currently regulates 172 Deposit-Taking SACCOs, estimates that there are about 400 Non-Deposit Taking SACCOs that meet the criteria set under the Regulations 2020. In overall terms, the Authority puts the total number of Non-Deposit Taking SACCOs in Kenya at 3,626, with a membership of over 1.5 million.

Total Assets are estimated at about Sh188.02 billion, with Total Deposits and Loans at Sh140.54 billion and Sh136.89, respectively.

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