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Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) licenses new micro-finance institution

By Paul Wafula | June 28th 2016
By Paul Wafula | June 28th 2016

The Central Bank of Kenya has licensed Maisha Microfinance Bank Ltd as the thirteenth micro-finance institution in the country. The regulator said on Monday it had granted a licence to Maisha Microfinance Bank Ltd, to be referred to as Maisha MFB to carry out nationwide microfinance banking business.

“The licence has been issued pursuant to Section 6 (1) of the Microfinance Act, 2006 and Regulation 5 (3) of the Microfinance Regulations, 2008,” the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), said in a statement yesterday.

This makes Maisha MFB the thirteenth microfinance bank (MFB) to be licensed following the licensing of eight nationwide MFBs. The eight Nationwide microfinance institutions include Faulu Kenya MFB, Kenya Women MFB, Small and Micro Enterprise Programme (SMEP) MFB, REMU MFB, Rafiki MFB, Century MFB, SUMAC MFB and Caritas MFB. 

There are also four community-based MFBs -- Uwezo MFB, U&I MFB, Daraja MFB and Choice MFB. “Maisha MFB is a Kenyan-owned company limited by shares and intends to commence operations in Nairobi County with the objective of expanding across the country with time,” the statement adds. It has set up its head office and branch at Chester House, Koinange Street in Nairobi. CBK says Maisha MFB will offer comprehensive Insurance Premium Financing (IPF) products as value-add alongside other Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) financing products.

The MFB is looking to provide a one-stop financial services shop for MSMEs. According to the World Bank Group economic analysis for the country, Kenya’s insurance sector was expected to have a growth rate of 6 per cent in 2015. The growth was likely to continue in the next years given the innovations taking place in the economy. In addition, the growing middle class and increased levels of households spending are creating an opportunity for the insurance business.

“Tapping into this potential and opportunities is the best way of reaching the largely uninsured Kenyan population on board with services to facilitate the access and penetration of the insurance sub-sector,” the CBK adds.

“One of the ways of tapping into these opportunities is having financial institutions providing these. This is what Maisha MFB seeks to do.”

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