Harriet Chebet Ng’ok is a former investment banker who works as a legal, finance and entrepreneurship consultant.
What is your alma mater?
I studied at the London School of Economics. At the time, I was simply looking for a good school in the United Kingdom and had selected a range on my UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) application form.
Why did you opt to study law in London and not Kenya?
I actually studied law at the University of Nairobi for a year. This was my first choice after my KCSE. During the long break between KCSE and university, I pursued an International Baccalaureate diploma at St Mary’s school in Nairobi. It here that I was accepted into London School of Economics. While at University of Nairobi, campus was closed for an indefinite time and I decided to go on to London finish the course there.
Did you suffer culture shock?
It was interesting to find out that 90 per cent of my classmates were drawn from different nationalities. I felt rather lonely and perplexed initially, until I made friends. To date, I still value the friends I made in those early days. I also had trouble coping with the cold weather.
What are some of the misconceptions people have about law as a course?
Most people, probably from TV depictions, imagine law to be glamourous. The fact is that law involves mountains of paperwork and technical details for the most part. Depending on which country you live in, it can be a tedious process working your way through the legal system and its peculiarities.
What was your favourite and worst units?
My favourite unit was Jurisprudence, particularly Foucault’s Law and Power. I was fascinated with the theory and found it more of history than law -interesting stories of how people were governed in medieval times. Company Law, on the other hand was excessively technical, boring and repetitive for me.
Who was your favourite lecturer?
My favourite lecturer was Prof Damian Chalmers of European Union Law. I found him very accommodating and approachable.
Did you have side hustles?
Yes. I ran the Student Union Café during term time and managed the halls of residence during holidays when they were rented out.
How did you manage your finances?
It was quite simple as there was never any extra money to manage. You had to pay your rent up front and buy enough food to last you the week. You had to pack sandwiches to save lunch money. I also got free food working at the Café. You also needed to look for all kinds of discounts and deals when spending any money on entertainment. Having a student ID also gave you access to the same, including cheap tickets home.
Where did you hangout?
Anywhere in Covent Garden – Corks and Moonlighting.
Did you date in campus?
I did not – there was no time if you count class hours plus working. It was a serious competitive university and you would find students studying in the library from dawn to midnight. It was the kind of place where students would rip out pages from books to deny others the same information.
What are your best and worst moments in campus?
There was nothing I dreaded more than the outdoors inhospitable weather while nursing a flu. The highlight, as expected, was sitting outside with friends in the summer when it was warm.
Tips on studying abroad?
Stay focused. You are competing with people who have more resources. Make it worth your while.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.