In 2016 a Tanzanian Bank by the name Bank M acquired 34% stake through M Holdings in a Kenyan Bank called Oriental Bank and the name of the Bank changed to M-Oriental Bank.
Two executive, Simon Gregory and Jayesh Shah of Bank M of Tanzania joined the Board of M Oriental Bank and the former CEO of Bank M as the CEO of M Holdings LTD. A lot of good changes happened in the Bank.
However, around 2017/2018, Bank M Tanzania got into Liquidity issues and was placed under receivership by Bank of Tanzania, the country’s industry regulator equivalent to Central Bank of Kenya – CBK.
The former CEO and major shareholder of Bank, a Mr Sanjeev Kumar was arrested and detained by the Tanzanian authorities for money laundering activities in the Bank that led to its closure by the Bank of Tanzania around 2019.
The money laundering activities happened while the Directors who joined M Oriental Board were still Board Members and Directors of Bank M Tanzania while the arrested and detained CEO was and is the CEO of M Holdings that has majority shareholding in M Oriental Bank.
The Bank currently has it is; is depending on very few depositors to sustain its liquidity. One wonders why CBK would allow directors who oversaw the closure of Bank M Tanzania to be Directors of a local Bank especially that the Bank they were running in Tanzania was accused of money laundering activities which led to its closure and CEO Sanjiv Kumar arrested and charges of Money Laundering put on him
This raises eyebrows, as further, the current activities happening in the Kenyan entity are subject to raising queries on Money Laundering.
The closure of Bank M dealt a blow to the banking sector sentiment in the Tanzanian economy, as the bank was among the top players.
In 2016, Kenya witnessed the collapse of three banks — Dubai, Imperial and Chase — in succession, raising concerns over the safety of customers’ savings.
As Opus Dei Patrick Njoroge continues to appy make up and Kenya Bankers Association continue with their Public Relations through bi-weekly CEO Chats on social media, Kenyans who bank with M Oriental Bank don’t know what will hit them.
It is time to regulate these entities properly.
Can’t we for once do things right?
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