Absa Bank Kenya is facing turbulent times.
Just recently, we reported how the bank is embroiled in a legal saga with a local trader over possible infringements of user rights.
The trade name row has already found its way to the floor of the national assembly, with Speaker Moses Wetangula directing that the matter be handled by the committee on Finance and National Planning.
Saboti Member of Parliament Caleb Amisi, on Thursday last week, asked the Attorney General Justin Muturi to explain the circumstances that led to the change of name from “Barclays Bank” to “Absa Bank Kenya” despite a similar title “Absa Kenya Limited” having been previously registered in 2007 and even issued with a certificate of incorporation.
Scandalous Absa Bank Embroiled In Fresh Legal Saga Over Trademark Infringement
Weeks ago, the Mombasa High Court ordered the financial institution to pay a transport firm Sh1.5 billion as compensation for leaking its confidential information to third parties and financial sabotage.
The order was issued after the bank failed to defend the case filed by New Mega Africa Ltd, in which it was claiming billions for suffering losses due to negligence by the financial institution.
Through its director David Abai, the firm alleged that leaking its financial statement scared off lenders, who refused to loan them money on an account that it had gone broke and lacked the financial capability to service loans.
The claimant further complained that the bank failed to maintain the secrecy of the client’s account by printing its financial statements without authority or consent and sharing the same with strangers without its express consent.
Aside from endless legal troubles, customers have also been criticizing its deteriorating services.
During a spot check on social media, this blog discovered a wave of complaints directed towards their technical team, which is accused of gross incompetence.
The inconveniences range from a malfunctioning USSD system, issues with internet banking and extremely slow services accompanied by poor communication.
Simple tasks like asset finance and card applications can take up to four weeks to be done.
What’s Your Experience with this Bank @AbsaKenya previously known as Barclays Bank.?
Their services are going from Bad to Worst each and everyday. SAD.!
— @bnjamuhandis (@bllymuhandis) December 7, 2022
@AbsaKenya You quite easily have the worst USSD code service in Kenya. It's either hanging or you are busy "maintaining" it. Never once have I done a smooth transaction without having to restart over and over again. For a bank of your calibre, it's such a shame really.😏😏
— smith# (@Karis77) December 4, 2022
@AbsaKenya For once your technicians seem to be doing nothing! this inconvenience is now becoming too much on our end. Please do something and next time get a competent team these ones might cost your good reputation out here
— KASERTICH POWERED (@Kasertichae) December 4, 2022
You must be having the worst technical team to say the least! You are known of good things why let a clique of people mess your reputation?
— KASERTICH POWERED (@Kasertichae) December 4, 2022
@AbsaKenya internet banking opening but funds not reflecting?? Pesa imeenda wapi ama ndio imetumiwa kupeana hustler fund??
— MUSYIMI 🇰🇪 (@_Krunger) December 4, 2022
@AbsaKenya if you cannot help why are you asking all this questions?
1, Full names
3, box office
6, account number
If someone forgets last 4 transaction meaning you can't be helped unaibiwa tu hivo?
— local (@frankamol1) December 4, 2022
@AbsaKenya I applied for a multi-currency card last week on Wednesday at the yaya branch told me to wait till Saturday and the card was still not ready I had to wait for hrs. I am out of the country and still can't use it. This is a false advertisement the card is useless to me.
— Evah Mbogoh (@MukamiMbogoh) December 5, 2022
.@AbsaKenya are just giving us vibes on why we shouldn't be banking with them…
— Abu-Junayd| أبو جنيد ❁ (@Hs_Aboud) December 5, 2022
@AbsaKenya surely. It's been a whole weekend and an extra day🤷🏾♀️
Fix the mobile banking thingy…
— Maya Owiti (@Maya_Owiti) December 5, 2022
@AbsaKenya has shown me multiple times to move to another bank this year.
— Paul Kevin 🌐 (@paul_kevin) December 6, 2022
I applied for a secured loan with you guys and it's now heading to the 3rd Month,.. your communication is wanting even after I raised ths issue my case reference is 21612125,.I did a follow up email to one Irene Lorot till date she has never responded back!..Is ths how Absa works
— Otini Kubarih Ogiso Akeki ja'Banda (@OtiniOgiso) December 7, 2022
@AbsaKenya Mediocre service, how can an asset finance process take 3-4weeks.
— Dennis Momanyi (@MomanyiDenns) December 8, 2022
As noted in a previous protest letter which we highlighted on this blog, customers have to bribe corrupt officials at the financial institution in order to fast-track their requests.
“ABSA Bank should stop selling customer information and bank statements, they should stop asking for kickbacks and bribes from small businesses to get loans,” the letter dated Friday, 11th November 2022, reads in part.
Adding: “The likes of Sophie Omondi, Wycliff Makori and senior bank staff should be sent home. Oath to secrecy especially to banking staff should be paramount.”
As this happens, the bank’s CEO Yusuf Omari has been on a massive PR drive, paying off local media outlets to sing his praises and shift attention away from the glaring ills at the company.
Before his promotion to the top spot, Mr Omari previously served as the COO, and oversaw some of the worst scandals at the bank during his tenure.
Acting alongside the then-CEO Jeremy Awori, they facilitated Dr Fred Matiang’i’s money laundering project for the Ruaraka Land scam, where up to Sh2bn was deposited to the bank and withdrawn into various accounts within hours.
The duo also helped criminals to hide Sh17bn in fake currency, which was nabbed by Flying Squad officers at the bank’s Queen’s Way Branch in 2019.
A year later, the bank was suspended from forex trading by the Central Bank for engaging in money laundering.
In a statement, CBK said Absa bank had flouted anti-money laundering rules after its management failed to provide information about some specific foreign exchange trades that it conducted in March 2020.
During the suspension period, the financial regulator said, Absa Kenya could not transact in the interbank foreign exchange market.
The bank was also ordered to reverse the market positions that were created as a result of the flagged transactions.
During Awori’s tenure, Absa Kenya was linked to various sexual scandals, tribalism, and underpayment of employees.
His successor, Mr Omari, seems to be happily extending this toxic culture, on top of monumental fraud which goes on unchecked by the toothless CBK.
How long will this keep happening? How much is enough?
We vow to keep highlighting these matters until those responsible are finally held accountable.
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