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Financial sector pilots new rates

23 May 2014, 15:55

Nairobi - Banks have begun piloting the implementation of the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) pricing mechanism, which will enable consumers to compare different bank loan costs based on standardized parameters and a common computation model.

In addition to conducting training of bank employees, including loan officers, banks are currently modifying their systems and loan application procedures in readiness for the industry’s adoption of the APR disclosure requirement.

APR is one of the industry interventions spearheaded by the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Kenya.

“As an industry, we are enhancing pricing disclosures in order to enable bank customers to make more informed choices. This is one of the mechanisms embraced by banks to address issues relating to easing access to credit,” said Habil Olaka, the Chief Executive Officer of KBA.

Olaka added that the APR mechanism promoted pricing transparency and therefore would not only stimulate competitive loan interest rate but would also promote consumer protection by standardizing disclosures during the loan application process.

Currently, banks are required to provide loan applicants with a breakdown of the Total Cost of Credit and a Loan Repayment Schedule in line with the Central Bank Prudential Guidelines.

With the APR in place effective July 1, banks will disclose the total costs associated with the loan, the loan repayment schedule and the APR, which takes into account the interest rate component, bank charges and fees, third party costs, including legal fees, insurance costs, valuation fees and government levies.

KBA developed the APR framework following industry consultations during the course of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014 and with technical support provided by Financial Sector Deepening (FSD).

 – CAJ News

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