By Antony Mutunga
The Law Society of Kenya (Nairobi Branch) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) aimed at addressing the mutual challenges and gaps that plague the legal and banking sectors.
The partnership will see the two parties collaborate to initiate initiatives towards financial inclusion and capacity-building that will, in turn, promote best practices in proposed laws, regulations, and policies that affect the stakeholders and the public in whole.
According to KBA chief executive, Habil Olaka, the collaboration will enhance the delivery of efficient banking services in Kenya through knowledge-sharing programs and initiatives that will be organized by the two parties.
“This partnership will further focus on research and knowledge-sharing activities, which will supplement the research initiatives that continue to be spearheaded by the Association’s Centre for Research Financial on Markets and Policy. In this regard, the collaboration will certainly augment KBA’s and member banks’ knowledge base in engagements with diverse stakeholders from a legal and compliance perspective,” said Olaka.
The two organizations will also focus on activities to facilitate access to affordable financial services. As things are, financial inclusion has increased since the introduction of mobile money although, much is still to be done to deal with its remaining barriers. With the pandemic also driving the world towards digitization, the collaboration comes at a time that the need for a review on the environment and how it handles the digital operations, transactions, and services offered to the public is crucial.
According to LSK Nairobi Branch chair, Eric Theuri, the regulatory environment will remain core towards enhancing convenient access to financial services considering disruptive occurrences such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Part of the joint engagements will include the ongoing digitization of the lands registry and conversion of land title deeds that affect banks, advocates, and the public; Alternative Dispute Resolutions agenda, anti-money laundering efforts, among others. All these are aimed at achieving affordable and accessible financial services in the country and the region,” Theuri said. The parties also stated that themselves as well as others in the banking industry and the legal industry have an important role to play to ensure business continuity and customer support are present now and post the pandemic.