Absa Kenya Forex: The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has suspended Absa Bank Kenya’s (Formerly Barclays Bank) foreign exchange licence for seven days.
The suspension follows Absa’s failure to report specific foreign exchange trades it conducted last month and flouting anti money laundering checks.
“Absa Kenya should cease to transact as an authorised foreign exchange dealer in the Kenyan market from Thursday, April 9, 2020, to Wednesday, April 15, 2020. During this time Absa Kenya cannot transact, inter alia, in the interbank foreign exchange market.,” CBK said in a statement.
“In investigating these and other earlier transactions it is evident that Absa Kenya did not have satisfactory assurance of the underlying commercial transactions supporting these trades, as is required, nor did the bank ensure the standard checks on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and know-your-customer (KYC) requirements were applied.”
Kenyan banks are required by law to have safeguards against money-laundering and other illicit financial transactions. Any suspicious transactions involving large sums of money must be reported to the Central Bank.
Absa has been undergoing a transition after parting ways with Barclays Plc, which reduced its shareholding in the African financial services group to a minority stake in 2017.
The CBK further directed Absa Kenya to undertake the following:
By Wednesday, April 15, 2020, put in place a robust framework that ensures all relevant documents for such foreign exchange transactions are available as required and also ensures the AML/CFT and KYC requirements are adhered to.
Reverse the market positions that were created as a result of the flagged transactions.
Cease to transact as an authorised foreign exchange dealer in the Kenyan market from Thursday, April 9, 2020, to Wednesday, April 15, 2020. During this time Absa Kenya cannot transact, inter alia, in the interbank foreign exchange market. Absa Kenya Forex.