KCB CEO Mr Joshua Oigara at a past event with a colleague. KCB has been accused of mistreatment by its' customer
Questions are being asked on the level of fairness, if any, that the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) applied on its customer who eventually lost her Kirarapon, Karen house and was eventually listed negatively by two Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs).
First the bank flatly refused her to pay her mortgage fees in Kenya shillings or the UK pounds as she lives and works in London. KCB insisted that she pays her mortgage installments in US dollars against her wish. As a result, KCB's low conversion rate saw her incremental default as well as interest on the same.
Ms Shumi Miskowicz thereafter lost the battle with KCB who fast-tracked her default arrears to the no-nonsense 'recovery unit' based at Lonrho House.
What is intriguing is that the disputed amount was initially US$ 46,000 which the bank generously "discounted" on appeal to US$16,937 and later to a flat US$15,000.
Reducing by that amount meant the bank was not genuine in claiming the very amount in the first place.
All these while, KCB which had transferred the house ownership to a new buyer, Shumi sourced by herself, had cleared her arrears by the time they financed the new buyer.
To this date, Ms Miskowicz feels she was treated very badly by KCB. On June 11, 2018 she wrote to the bank as follows;
Following your email dated 5th March 2018 and my subsequent visit to your office in April I wish to make the following offer. First I appreciate the banks decision to wave the interest rates leaving an outstanding sum of $16 937.46. I have considered the mater at length and have come to a conclusion that the bank must write of the debt due to the following reasons.
I have managed to salvage the mortgage and got a buyer who bought the property at the same amount as initially sold. The bank has secured the buyers mortgage and therefore the bank is not making any loses in terms of his lending facility.I have proved beyond reasonable doubt that that I am credible. Although I struggled to keep up with the mortgage repayments , I swiftly looked for a credible buyers to save the bank any further losses if any.
"I stopped the bank from auctioning the property and secured credible buyers. I am also aware that the bank attempts to auction the property did not work and in any case the property would have been sold at a much lower price creating a huge loss. This was avoided by my efforts in getting buyers who were financed by yourselves.
"I am also aware that the bank continues to struggle to auction other properties at the Kiraraponi project. Therefore I should be given credit for my efforts in securing buyers for the property and the outstanding amount be written off. I am still financially unable to pay off the amount being asked by the bank. As noted I struggled to keep up with the mortgage repayments and fell back with the loan repayments and had no other choice than to sell the property.
"It is for the above reasons that I kindly request the bank to write off the same loan and as I am no longer the owner of the property which the loan was secured upon. The said outstanding amount is therefore unsecured as I no longer own the property. I feel that the bank continues to demand money from me despite all my efforts to save the loan facility . I have got nothing else to give. If the property went to auction , the bank would have made significant losses. This is unfair trading .
Also my research tells me that it is a standard practice in the banking industry that when a property moves hands any outstanding amount is written off . This is what should have happen at the point of sale. Finally considering that my name has been registered with the Credit Bureau as having bad credit for a considerable period I plead with the bank to now write off the debt and remove my name from the CRB without further delay.
"In concluding the matter I have considered the banks' decision to waive off the interest and I am willing to make a one off payment of £3500 to close the account. This is my affordable offer. I hope this will close the matter and clear my name"
In response, the bank replied thus: "We acknowledge receipt of your email below contents which are noted. As you have indicated, we waived the interest accrued during the sale period leaving an outstanding balance of US$16,937.46. We are willing to offer a further rebate you pay a full and final settlement of USD15,000 within 90 days, thereafter we clear you from CRB listing"
KCB CEO Mr Joshua Oigara did not respond to Cofek further three emails on the complaint.
The matter has now been reported to the Central Bank's Supervision department, together with a petition to the National Assembly to investigate the matter that affects many other Kenyans on mortgage.