CBK reveals only 24 individuals returned over Ksh.2 million in new notes exchange


Kenyan shilling

Only 24 transactions were individually valued above Ksh.2 million in the changeover to the new Ksh.1,000 notes in three months to September 1.

According to data compiled by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) between June and August, the majority of transactions lied in sums lesser than Ksh.1 million pointing to the low holds of cash among Kenyans.

In value terms, 75 percent of transaction sat below Ksh.1 million with a lumpsome 99 percent of the total settlements sitting under the million shilling ceiling.

The 24 transactions of above Ksh.2 million meanwhile averaged out at Ksh.3.1 million per exchange.

“A lot of the conversions are small in value and this fits well with how we saw things. You just don’t walk around with Ksh.100,000 in your pocket. Not so many people live this lifestyle,” Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge told a news conference on Tuesday.

“There are those who have thrown at me a number of people holding hundreds of millions of shillings. Hio mimi sijui (I don’t know about that).

While the CBK did not divulge further on the net total of the transacted old Ksh.1000 notes, the disclosure points in the direction of less than ‘imagined’ packing of cash outside the financial system.

Of the 217.6 million pieces of the old series Ksh.1000 notes in circulation before June 1, 2019, CBK had made the receipt of 100 million pieces at the end of August leaving out 117.6 million pieces.

Even so, CBK has held further disclosures on the collected sums to the post demonetization period leaving to speculation the sum of illicit flows ejected from circulation.

CBK’s Patrick Njoroge has tied the hold to the reserve banks prioritization of the smooth transition of the demonetization process ahead of the October 1 deadline.

“You could have run the marathon well for the first 26 miles only to end up with a DNF,” added the Central Bank governor.

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