CBK confirms shortage of new Ksh.1,000 notes

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has broken its silence on the reported shortage of the new currency notes that has slowed down the Ksh.1,000 demonetization process.

In a couple of radio interviews with Royal Media Services’ radio stations, CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge linked the reported glitch to the roll out of the new notes an affair which has seen the majority of old notes retained.

“When we started off, the first batch of notes were there to give Kenyans a taste of the new currency. However, you should from this week, expect bank ATMs to churn out new Ksh.1,000 notes,” he said.

The admittance on CBK’s part further collaborates observed shortages in the circulation of new notes in a matter first established through recent media reporting and has had a number of independent and banking sector experts consequently worried.

According to insights from a senior banking official who spoke on condition of anonymity, banks reverted to the use of the old series Ksh.1000 notes and re-calibrated their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to allow dispensing of old currency notes.

While the glitch in circulation may point to a lapse in the demonetization process announced first through a May 31, 2019 gazette notice, the CBK governor has assured of the full-circle circulation of the new notes under the now reduced window of two months to the night of September 30.

“We have a sound plan to ensure that new currency notes hit all parts of the country. We have two months to go and are convinced that the window is adequate to facilitate the entire demonetization process,” he added.

The CBK, however stayed off deducting any ramifications to the continued circulation of the old regime notes even as media reporting through the eyes of the finance industry allied experts continue poke holes to the alleged flaccidity of the process.

Old series Ksh.1000 notes will cease to become legal tender on October 1, 2019 with the CBK having ruled out any extensions to the deadline in a measure aimed at ridding the economy off proceeds from illicit trade and counterfeiting.