BUSINESSNews

CBK Governor Says Flutterwave is Not Licensed To Operate In Kenya


The Governor of the Central Bank Of Kenya (CBK), Dr Patrick Njoroge has said that fintech companies Flutterwave and Chipper Cash are not licensed to operate as Payment Service Providers (PSP) in Kenya.

Responding to questions by journalists during a press briefing, the Governor said with finality that “Flutterwave is not licensed to operate as a payment service provider (PSP) in Kenya. They are not licensed to operate and therefore they shouldn’t be operating.”

The regulator’s comments raise several concerns about Flutterwave, the Nigerian fintech startup that has made an impressive footprint on the continent and around the world.

Earlier this month, a Kenyan court froze several accounts of the company for allegations of money laundering and fraud. The company has been under investigation by Kenya’s Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) which told the court that Flutterwave had KSh.5.3 billion held at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Sh1.4 billion at Equity bank and other millions at  Ecobank.

“These orders shall subsist for a period of 90 days as provided in section 84 of Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act,” Judge Esther Maina said in a ruling pending a full hearing and final order at a later date.

The new revelation by the CBK Governor now throws a spanner in the wheels, raising more questions than answers. It begs the question of how the company managed to establish a business in the country without the knowledge of authorities and managed to transact colossal amounts without the requisite licenses.

The company was founded in Nigeria in 2016 but has its headquarters in San Francisco, California.

Founder and CEO Olugbenga “GB” Agboola has come under sharp criticism in recent months over his leadership as claims of fraud and mismanagement ruffle investors and partners.

In April this year, a former employee of the company, identified as Clara Wanjiku sent out a social media message accusing the CEO of bullying and fraud.

Wanjiku who worked as the company’s Head of Implementation claimed that she was subjected to frustration, bullying and harassment while seeking her termination dues from the fintech firm

Olugbenga “GB” Agboola has been noticeably silent over the various claims levelled against his company. Apart from a media statement the company sent trying to water down the court orders, there hasn’t been much communication.

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Simon W Nderitu

Simon is a tech enthusiast who keeps a close eye on emerging technologies, startups and the general business environment. You will often catch him totally immersed and drooling over Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, IoT and just about any other tech that promises to revolutionize the way we live. Send tips to snderitu@techtrendske.co.ke

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