Depositors at struggling First Community Bank (FCB) have expressed fears that the lender could sink with their hard-earned cash.
Since the new year, most clients cannot access or withdraw money from their accounts.
The bank started facing liquidity problems in mid-2022, but the management dismissed the reports as rumours from ‘malicious sources’.
By October, the complaints had persisted, and a series of panic withdrawals badly hit the tier-three lender.
The panic withdrawals followed their decision to place limits on cheque clearance and withdrawals following an advisory from the banking sector regulator.
They promised their customers that they were working on ways to solve the liquidity problem, but close to three months down the line, nothing much has changed.
In fact, things only seem to be worse, as some customers now say they cannot access the capped amounts.
By January 2022, the maximum amount one could withdraw was Sh20,000 per day.
“Hi Cyprian Nyakundi, I trust you are well.
My name is Ahmed.
Kindly share the plight of poor depositors at First Community Bank (FCB) as you have been a voice for the voiceless.
We are still not able to access or withdraw our hard-earned money from First Community Bank.
Apparently, we were promised the liquidity issue will be resolved soon, it’s three months down the line and we cannot access our salary account,” Ahmed, a concerned teacher, wrote to this blog on Saturday.
His is just one in a dozen of grievances posted across social media platforms.
“I’m staring at a possible auction should I not remit the monthly instalment for my loan? I have money in my account, which I can’t access for reasons the bank is not explaining,” reads one complaint seen by cnyakundi.com.
“First Community Bank, just tell your customers the truth. If the bank is insolvent, just let the customers know in order to take legal action to claim their deposits,” the same depositor grumbled in another Twitter post.
“President William Ruto, First Community Bank customers cannot access their money. Why is CBK not coming to our rescue? Who stole our deposits? Why are the bank doors still open?” reads another tweet.
To some, the current happenings 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 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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