CBK: What you need to exchange over Ksh.1M for new currency


Kenya's new currency. The Ksh,1000 note which will now be legal tender from October 1, 2019
Kenya's new currency. The Ksh,1000 note which will now be legal tender from October 1, 2019

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has said those without bank accounts and with over Ksh.1million and want to exchange for the new currency will need to contact them.

“People who would like to exchange between Ksh.1million and Ksh.5million will need to do so in *their own* banks. Those without bank accounts and want to exchange these amounts will need to contact the CBK,” the authority said on Twitter.

CBK was responding to a tweet from a local daily that had indicated that anyone with over Ksh.5million would have to contact CBK to exchange their money for the new currency.

The local daily had quoted the CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge at an earlier Press conference on Monday.

He had said: “People who want to exchange amounts above KES 5 million will need to contact the CBK. We have, however, analysed these and found that these are very few.”

However, hours later, the CBK clarified that it is only those with such amounts and without a bank account who will have to contact the Central Bank.

“We will then endorse them and they can go to a designated bank branch,” the CBK said.

For Kenyans seeking to exchange the old Ksh.1000 with the new currency and have amounts lower than Ksh.1million, they are required to go to their bank branches with official identification.

The CBK Governor further noted that they had taken into account the experience of demonetisation in India and learnt from the merits and demerits.

According to him, India’s biggest challenge was that they demonetised immediately and failed to communicate effectively.

“Imagine if you’re a truck driver, and when it was announced, you could not buy food nor fuel. You couldn’t rush to the bank to change money. This is why we’ve allowed a period for transactions to continue,” he said on Monday.

According to him, there wasn’t enough cash in the bank branches at the time the announcement was made (in India) but the CBK is ensuring that there is enough cash in all the bank branches.

He further noted that the move to demonetise is to ensure that the Anti-Money Laundering/ Countering Financing of Terrorism framework is robust.

He indicated that he has held talks with CEOs of commercial banks and will also speak to forex bureaus, payment service providers as well as other Central Bank Governors in the region.

In regards to the controversial image of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, the Governor maintained that the design is in line with the Constitution.

 

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