The end of the year is not a good time when one is on probation. One is never sure how to behave. I have noticed that activities have slowed down in the office. People are coming in late and several are on leave. The emails have also reduced, and I am not being invited to as many meetings as last month. However, I cannot appear to be taking it easy like the rest since I am still on probation.
Just last week, my boss came to me and asked to review our “2020 plans.” Thankfully, I had borrowed heavily from last year’s plans and I was happy as I appeared proactive and shared my plans. I do not get to interact with my boss as much since he is always travelling so my one-hour session to review the plans felt like an induction. At the end, I could not help but think to myself, “this guy is actually very smart.”
He challenged me logically on some of the assumptions I had made. He then asked me to rework them and share with him before December 10.”
I have always been curious about his life, so I used this line to make conversation. I asked him: “Will you be going on leave then?” He laughed and said, “yes, I will be taking time off- or else my wife will kill me!” He then told me about his family- he has three children two of whom study abroad, and one is here. He clearly takes pride in his family for he got quite animated while talking about their accomplishments. At the end of the session I went back to my office feeling we had “connected” and so relieved that after December 10 I would get some breathing space.
I was feeling pretty good about myself when Shiro called on my phone. She went straight to the point and said, “why haven’t you given me a response?” I was taken aback and enquired, “which response?” She then told me about the email she had sent me regarding our holiday plans.
Shiro wants us to join her family for the holidays mainly because “mum has not been feeling too well and has insisted that we all be home for Christmas. You never know with these things, so we need to be there.”
While I sympathise with Shiro, I really do not like being around her family- they are too religious, and they do not drink. However, I realised that I would appear insensitive if I said that I could not make it especially since her mum is not well.
Then I remembered my conversation with the boss and the fact that I am still on probation. I told her, “I will only make it to spend Christmas and Boxing Day with your family since I will be expected on duty on the 27th.”
This did not seem to make her happy as she said, “ surely you cannot leave after only two days, everyone else is staying for the entire holiday season.” I told her: “You need to remember that I am still on probation, so I do not have the luxury of having many days to take off work.”
I was surprised by how adamant she was being and said, “surely, you can talk to the boss and ask him to make an exception this time round.” I realised there was no winning this argument so I told her, “ I will talk to him and hear what he says. I will not make any promises.”
This seemed to calm her, and she said, “please let me know what he says by end of the week.” I was just settling to do my work when my phone rang- It was my father and he got straight to the point,” You need to come home this Christmas-we need to have a family meeting to deal with your brother’s issues.” Suddenly I am fearful about Christmas.
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.