The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), in a letter to CEOs of financial institutions, stated that financial institutions must stop dealing with Nigerian fintechs Flutterwave or Chipper Cash. CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge reiterated the assertions of the Asset Recovery Agency, (ARA), that the two companies were not licensed to operate within Kenya.
The Central Bank of Kenya has directed financial institutions to stop dealing with Nigerian fintech startups Chipper Cash and Flutterwave. This order was issued just 24 hours after Patrick Njoroge (CBK Governor) had informed journalists the two entities were not licensed to operate here in Kenya.
Flutterwave’s bank accounts were frozen by Kenya’s High Court before the CBK’s announcement. This was to allow for an investigation into the fintech company’s illegal activities. Kenya’s Asset Recovery Agency was able to block Flutterwave from accessing more than 50 accounts, which reportedly total nearly $60 million.
The ARA claimed that Flutterwave does not provide merchant services, as previously reported by Bitcoin.com News. Instead, it is involved in money laundering activities. Flutterwave denied these allegations and claimed that it “maintains high regulatory standards in all our operations.”
The fintech company also claimed that its anti-money laundering operations and practices are regularly audited annually by one of the Big Four.
Flutterwave stated in its statement that it is working with regulators. However, Njoroge’s comments and the CBK’s subsequent letter to CEOs from Kenyan financial institutions dated Jul 29 reiterate ARA’s allegations that Flutterwave is involved in money remittances and payment services without licensing or authorization.
The letter informs the heads of Kenyan financial institutions about two fintechs operating license status. It also requires the CEOs to confirm compliance within seven days.
“Flutterwave and Chipper must be stopped immediately. CBK will require you to confirm your compliance within seven days from the date of the letter,” reads the CBK letter.