Mixed reactions as Chase Bank reopens doors to customers
After three weeks of anxiety, Chase Bank finally opened its doors to customers on Wednesday morning as Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) took over management of the bank for the period it is in receivership. KCB will work closely with the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC).
Long queues built up across the 62 branches of Chase Bank from as early as 7:00AM with more customers trickling in throughout the better half of the day. The bank’s operations were minimal with depositors allowed to access up to Ksh 1 million of their funds in the bank.
167,290 account holders qualify for that withdrawal limit.
“I’m disappointed that I can only withdraw up to Ksh 20,000 from their ATMs which is way short of their usual maximum. I thought the restriction was per session but subsequent attempts failed,” Muregi Nicholas, a depositor in Nairobi complained.
“The first thing I wanted to do is confirm whether I can actually access my money. The queue was too long. For a large scale businessperson like me, I think it’s still a challenge as I can only access up to one million shillings,” Mohammed Abdi, a businessman, told Citizen Digital.
“I don’t think I’m going to be as committed a customer as I first was. I will deposit portions of my earnings across various banks so I feel safe,” he added.
“The government needs to tame how fast these banks are sprouting and develop mechanisms to detect that things are going wrong before they can get out of hand. For now, the banks are becoming too many so managing them becomes a difficult task,” Abdi suggested.
Over 40 banks are currently operational in the country. While there were fears that the bank could face a liquidity challenge due to mass withdrawals, the Central Bank said a special facility has been created to provide support to the bank.
“I make many transactions a day and being a businessman, it was both an inconvenience and a disappointment for me. I was not prepared so I was forced to stall my businesses. It’s a lesson to other banks and to depositors as well,” Edward, a customer in Nairobi said.
“The Central Bank of Kenya should be given all the authority to deal with rogue directors before they can plunge other banks to this level. It is very inconvenient and disturbing,” Dr. Samuel Bosire lamented.
While most customers were bordering on losing trust with the bank and opting to withdraw all their deposits and quit, a few others thought the mess was already cleared and hoped to continue their relationship with the bank.
“Of course we were devastated. We had a corporate account with them so operations with our vendors were put to a standstill. Online banking and transfer payments are yet to start working, so it’s still a challenge. However, with the current CBK Governor, I think our banks are in safe hands,” Ahmed Ali, a student at Strathmore University said.
“Their operations look normal and I’m glad they’re back. I love their customer care services, they hardly have any queues and their insurance offer is customer friendly. Their loan system is also very affordable especially for women,” Beatrice Metto said adding that she is certain to continue banking with Chase.
“What I don’t understand is why they do not have Forex services and have set a Ksh 20,000 maximum ATM withdrawal. It’s still a good bank and haven’t exactly thought about what they need to improve on; I will still use them,” Caroline Michuki, a businesswoman backed.
The bank was placed under receivership on April 7th, and now holds the record for the fastest bank to bounce back from receivership.