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[Kenya] Metropol targets borrowers with new financial products amid Covid-19

Kenya’s Metropol Corporation Limited has unveiled two financial products it says will assist borrowers engage with their lenders safely and virtually in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Speaking at the launch of the COVID-19 Loan Restructure Product, one of the financial products, Mr. Sam Omukoko, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Metropol Corporation said that the COVID-19 Loan Restructure Product will allow customers to actively and conveniently engage with their respective financial institutions  in order to get the best restructure  terms on existing loans.
“At Metropol CRB, we understand the need to offer convenience to customers especially at this time when the Government has effected restrictions on movement to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is why we developed the COVID-19 Loan Restructure Product to enable borrowers in distress to reach out to their creditors for loan restructuring through their mobile phones”, said Mr. Omukoko.
Mr. Omukoko added that the product would greatly complement the wealth of benefits that Metropol CRB’s digital platform (Crystobol App) provides to borrowers that are seeking to access credit at affordable rates.
To access the COVID-19 loan restructure product, all a customer needs to do is to download the Metropol Crystobol App (version 1.0.25) and register. Once registered, one needs to click on the COVID-19 Loan Restructure icon which will display all your outstanding loans. At this point, one can select the loan one wishes to have restructured as well as one’s preferred terms and submit their applications to their lenders.
The launch of the new product comes against the backdrop of various initiatives rolled out by Government and Private sector to cushion Kenyans from the harsh effects of the virus.

The initiatives implemented so far include the lowering of the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to unlock capital for banks to restructure loans of customers who have been affected by COVID on condition that the loans should have been classified as performing assets as at 2 March 2020.                                                                                                   
The CBK also issued a directive to Banks on delisting of default records with balances of KSh. 1,000 and below as well as a directive on no reporting of defaults of KSh. 1,000 and below.
In the same vein, Metropol Corporation has also launched the Metropol Identity Theft Service (MITS), a premium Short Messaging Service (SMS) that alerts subscribers every time their identity is used to access Credit from lenders.
MITS seeks to cushion subscribers from identity theft related fraud and associated losses in turn affording an affected subscriber the opportunity to raise and address a dispute with the CRB in good time with respect to irregular loan accounts on their credit profile.
The subscription service offers three different types of alerts to subscribed customers, namely:
Credit Application Alert:
This type of alert is sent to a subscriber when a credit provider updates the customer’s CRB profile on a new credit application.
Credit Inquiry Alert
This type of alert is sent to a subscriber when a credit provider makes an inquiry on the customer’s credit profile with Metropol.
Metro Score Alert
This type of alert is sent to a subscriber when entries on the customer’s credit profile cause a change on their credit score.

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