Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) in Kenya that take deposits are now closer to setting up a central liquidity facility to enable them to lend to each other to meet unexpected or unusual short-term cash flow shortfalls.
According to reports, Kenya’s cabinet has endorsed changes to Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) laws which will need approval in Kenya’s National Assembly.
Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) in Kenya are a popular means for regular people to grow their finances, turning to the hundreds of SACCOS as investment avenues.
A SACCO comes to being when a group of people with similar interests come together to form a credit union.
For a non-deposit taking SACCO, a minimum of 10 members is a registration requirement among others after which the Co-operative Officer convenes a meeting with the proposed members.
The registration process takes about 2 months.
If the SACCO intends on taking deposits, it will be required to obtain a license from the SACCO Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) which is mandated to license and regulate the operation of deposit taking SACCOs.
Some popular Kenyan deposit-taking SACCOS in 2022 include:
- Unaitas SACCO
- Kenya Police SACCO
- Stima SACCO
- K-Unity SACCO
- Waumini SACCO
The proposed creation of the Central Liquidity and Shared Technology platform is expected to reduce the SACCOs’ reliance on costly bank loans to maintain monthly statutory cash-flow ratios.
Once set up, the platform will help about 175 deposit-taking SACCOs arrest temporal liquidity shocks and imbalances by having societies with excess cash lend to those in need.
Under current SASRA regulations, the SACCOS cannot lend amongst themselves, with the majority of deposit-taking SACCOs forced to rely on commercial bank loans in order to maintain the 15% liquidity ratio of savings, deposits, and short-term liabilities that is mandated under the regulations.
The short-term lending facility will enable SACCOs meet unusual and unexpected short-term cash obligations at a relatively cheaper cost.
According to the latest industry statistics:
- Deposit-taking total SACCO deposits rose 13.41% to KES 431.46 billion in 2020, while
- Gross loans increased 13.16% to KES 474.77 billion, against an
- Asset base of KES 627.68 billion
Banks are however hostile to the development.