Kenya blocks rogue digital lenders from blacklisting borrowers

by | Apr 15, 2020

In what seems to be another strategic move given the uncertain economic times, the Central Bank of Kenya has announced that unregulated digital lenders, will no longer have access to the country’s credit reference bureaus (CRBs).

The CBK states that this move became necessary as a result of several complaints from the public about the misuse of Credit information sharing by lending apps, and poor customer services.

Recall that the Kenyan government recently suspended all listing of borrower credit information on the credit reference bureaus for 6 months in order to cushion the effect of the pandemic for individuals and companies.

According to a report, the number of blacklisted borrowers hit 3.2 million persons in earlier in April, and with no immediate signs of relief from the pandemic, many more borrowers risked getting locked out of access to credit facilities.


Given that most borrowers can easily get loans through these digital lenders, this new policy appears to have taken it up a notch.

Regulated digital lending apps such as those attached to banks or micro-finance institutions will still have access to the CRB, but the others that are neither licenced or registered will face the brunt of this new directive.

With this denial of access, unregulated digital lending platforms will not be able to blacklist any defaulting borrower and access to a prospective client’s credit information would be denied.

The crackdown on predatory loan apps has been in the works for quite some time and has not been limited to just Kenya.

Last year, Google released new sets of guidelines in order to stem the activities of predatory loan apps on the apps store. Though no action has been taken yet, on closer inspection, it is revealed that most digital lenders in Nigeria are also guilty of such violation.

In 2018, the CBK began advocating tougher regulations on digital lenders and earlier this year, the National treasury backed the Apex bank in its resolve.

So far, not much has been done in the way of protecting borrowers in Nigeria and most other African countries, and it remains to be seen if such policies will be enforced to help businesses and individuals cope with the effects of the pandemic.

Also Read: X-raying the emerging culture of digital predatory lending in Nigeria


Emmanuel Paul
Emmanuel Paul

Writer and Narrator.  Tech, business and policies fills my head. Looking to chat? Catch up with me (@eruskkii) on Twitter or send a mail to

On January 22, 2022, be part of the largest gathering of innovators, startup founders, thinkers, programmers, policymakers, and investors in West Africa. Register free.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recent News

Subscribe to Techpoint Digest!

A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day!

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Crypto Explorer

A monthly series featuring in-depth analysis on the cryptocurrency sector in Africa

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to The Experts

A bi-weekly where tech career specialists take us on their journey from newbie to expert, and how they became successful in the industry.

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Founder's Table

A monthly series, where we catch up with founders in the startup ecosystem, learn about their failures, successes and a few tricks of the trade

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap