Central bank set to reject Blue’s license application

The central bank said, yesterday, it will not allow Blue Financial Services to re-open its subsidiary in Rwanda, despite the microfinance institution saying it plans to re-launch its operations in the country.
Central bank Governor, Francois Kanimba rules licensing Blue Financial Services for the second time (File photo)
Central bank Governor, Francois Kanimba rules licensing Blue Financial Services for the second time (File photo)

The central bank said, yesterday, it will not allow Blue Financial Services to re-open its subsidiary in Rwanda, despite the microfinance institution saying it plans to re-launch its operations in the country.

Blue, a micro-lender headquartered in South Africa, was stripped of its operating license in Rwanda, last year, after struggling with huge losses and fraud charges, barely three years into operation.

Media reports suggest that the company’s CEO, Johan Meireng, is weighing options to re-open the Rwanda and Cameroon operations.

“We will re-activate, in the right way, those countries once we have made the other 12 operations profitable,” he was quoted as saying.

However, the Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda, Francois Kanimba, expressed surprise and strongly believes the move will not be possible.

“I think it is a rumour, I do not expect them to re-open here in Rwanda. The company’s assets were liquidated after failing to perform to required expectations,” Kanimba told Business Times in a phone interview.

As a matter of fact, he said, there is another South African company that approached the central bank to operate in Rwanda after buying Blue’s assets.

“We asked them to acquire a fresh license because Blue does not have any marketable assets,” the Governor noted.

Licensed as an MFI in 2008, Blue offered a wide range of financial services including one to three months salary advances, three to 24 months personal loans and loans related to home improvement, education and debt consolidation.

It however lost its license following discovery of fiscal fraud in its operations and under declaration.

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