Kenya interest rate cap remains popular despite bankers lobbying 

Festo Chege shared a personal feeling with President Uhuru Kenyatta last August relating to his finances.

It was a relief shared by millions of other Kenyans following the enactment of interest rate regulation – which could be reversed, following sustained campaigns by lenders. “I was drowning in bank loan interests, thank you for the life jacket,” Chege posted after the Bill brought to Parliament by Kiambu legislator Jude Njomo.

“I can now make Kenya great in my own little ways,” his post that mirrored the collective relief among borrowers read further. He did not reveal who his lender was or how much he was paying in interest.

“I was under pressure to shelve the amendment. Through proxies, the commercial banks were offering millions of shillings. The lobbying was intense,” said Njomo when he sponsored the Bill last year.

Loans were priced at anywhere about 25 per cent before the regulation which handed the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK’s) Monetary Policy Committee the power to determine the base rate, which is currently at 10 per cent.

Banks were allowed a maximum margin of four per cent above the base rate. Chege’s relief is shared by millions of Kenyans to date. 

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