President William Ruto has asked the Central Bank of Kenya to allow all Kenyans without bank accounts to buy government securities.
Speaking during the official launch of the CBK’s Dhow Central Securities Depository (CSD) on Monday, the Head of State indicated that the bank account requirement has locked out millions of Kenyans from trading.
“Let me also give you some feedback… which I am sure will enrich your thinking going into the future. There is a requirement for one to have a Bank account in Kenya and on this I am speaking to many Kenyans who do not have a bank account,” he stated.
“My advice to the team is that you need to make it possible for many Kenyans who do not have a bank account but have a mobile money account to also participate in this space.”
A photo of the Central Bank of Kenya in Nairobi.
Ruto insisted that his feedback was informed by response from Kenyan youth, a majority of whom had used their mobile money to borrow funds from Hustler Fund.
According to him, Youth in the informal sector as well as Kenyans from the diaspora cannot access the depository due to the stringent bank account requirement.
As a result, the Head of State gave the financial regulator a one-month period to incorporate the use of mobile money accounts as well as international accounts such as Visa and Mastercard.
“I also ask the team to look at the possibility of Kenyans in the Diaspora who may not have a Kenyan bank account to use their Visa, Mastercard or Credit card accounts to be able to participate in the purchase of government securities,” he added.
According to CBK, however, individuals are expected to open a CDS account with the Central Bank through which they can invest in multiple Treasury bills and bonds.
To open a CDS account, you need to hold a bank account with a Kenyan commercial bank. You can collect a mandate card from the Central Bank or any of its branches, and must fill it out in neat block letters.
Launch of Dhow CSD
Ruto noted that the launch of the Dhow CSD cements the Government’s Plan to eliminate barriers to trade.
“It offers a rare window of opportunity to millions of ordinary Kenyans to participate and meaningfully contribute to the building of our country,” said the Head of State.
During the launch, the Head of State also waived the accrued penalties on pending taxes incurred before January 1, 2023.
“From September 1, 2023, to June 2024, you will have the opportunity to settle only the principal tax amount of outstanding tax debts incurred before January 1 2023 as we are waiving penalties and interests over the nine-month period,” Ruto announced.
“We are now making an offer to our taxpayers to have an opportunity to only pay the principal. I expect the taxpaying public will take advantage.”
CBK Governor Kamau Thugge addressing a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on June 27, 2023.