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Ailing Patient Unable To Access Treatment As Funds Remain Trapped In First Community Bank

First Community Bank

First Community Bank Wabera Branch

In a heart-wrenching story out of Garissa Town, a patient suffering from kidney failure has been left unable to seek the medical treatment they need due to the mismanagement of their funds by First Community Bank.

Writing to this blog on Tuesday, January 31, a source revealed that the patient’s family raised close to Ksh3 million Kenyan shillings depositing the funds into an account at the troubled bank.

However, when they attempted to access the money in December 2022 for the patient’s treatment, they were informed that the maximum withdrawal limit was 20,000 shillings and there was no money available.

Despite repeated visits to the bank, the family remains unable to access their funds.

“Hi, Cyprian Nyakundi,

I’m from Garissa town and I’d like to draw your attention to this Bank called First Community Bank.

The bank is unable to meet its obligations and it has been going on for some time.

They are sinking with the customer’s deposits!

We fundraised close to 3 million shillings for my nephew who is suffering from kidney failure and the money was deposited into his account in this bank.

In December last year when we tried to access the money for treatment, we were told that there was no money and the maximum withdrawal is 20k.

My nephew is still suffering from the money stuck in the bank.

Imagine we have been collecting this money for the last 5 years!

When you go to the bank to withdraw even Sh5k or Sh10k, tellers will casually tell you that there’s no money!

Just busy with their phones.

Please highlight the problems facing the bank, do your own investigations and let the authorities mandated to regulate the banking sector take action,” the source lamented.

The situation at First Community Bank has been a source of growing concern for depositors in recent months.

Earlier this year, clients expressed fears that the lender could collapse with their hard-earned cash.

Unfortunately, those fears seem to have become a reality for many clients who are unable to access or withdraw money from their accounts.

The bank first started facing liquidity problems in mid-2022, but management dismissed the reports as rumors from ‘malicious sources’.

However, by October, the complaints persisted, and a series of panic withdrawals badly impacted the tier-three lender. In response, the bank placed limits on cheque clearance and withdrawals following an advisory from the banking sector regulator.

At the time, First Community Bank promised its customers that it was working on ways to solve the liquidity problem, but close to three months later, the situation remains unchanged. In fact, it seems to have gotten worse, as some customers now say they cannot even access the capped amounts.

As of January 2023, the maximum amount that a customer can withdraw is 20,000 Kenyan shillings per day.

The current happenings at First Community Bank are bringing terrible memories of what was seen in 2015 when three lenders collapsed within nine months.

Dubai Bank was placed under receivership in August 2015, followed by Imperial Bank in October of the same year and Chase Bank in April 2016.

In the case of First Community, years of money laundering and pyramid scheme depositing and lending seem to have finally caught up with the bank.

It appears that insider trading and lending by directors, dependence on criminal cash to run commonly known as ‘wash wash’ have brought the bank down to its knees.

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