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Djibouti Bank Raises Alarm Over Entity Using Its Name In Kenya

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BUSINESS WEEK 24 FEB 2020

A leading bank in Djibouti has written to the Central Bank of Kenya raising concerns of what it fears to be a scheme to defraud Kenyans using its name and logo.

The East Africa Bank based in the Djibouti says that a bank with a similar name and logo has been illegally operating in Nairobi in unclear circumstances.

“Our attention was drawn to an entity with the name East Africa Savings Bank which bears a name confusingly similar to our name and also bears our logo, corporate colours and even our profile on their website www.easbd.com ,” stated an advert appearing in the Kenyan media.

“We wish to notify our customers and all stakeholders as well as the (Kenyan and East African) public at large that the said entity is in no way associated with the East Africa Bank.

“We believe this is a fraudulent misrepresentation and we urge all our customers to avoid dealing with the said entity,” East Africa Bank stated.

Curiously, the logo, colours and the information on the website of the East African Savings Bank (EASB) are similar to those of the East Africa Bank based in the capital city of Djibouti.

Just like the East Africa Bank, the East Africa Savings Bank claims it is also Sharia-compliant.

“Our concern has been raised from the use of our colours, our logo and all the information on our website by this entity,” the East Africa Bank Chief Executive Officer Ibrahim Jaffar said.

“We have not only written to the Central Bank of Kenya to handle the matter but also alerted our clients from Kenya that East Africa Savings Bank is not in any way associated with East Africa Bank (Djibouti),” Jaffar Added.

According to its website, the East African Savings Bank is said to be operating at the priory along Argwings Kodhek Road in Nairobi, but inquiries revealed that there is no such bank in that location. The contacts on its website which has since been pulled down after the advert appeared don’t go through.

The East Africa Bank has already reported to the Central Bank of Kenya as well as the Banking Fraud Investigations Unit for further action.

“Our fear is some unsuspecting Kenyan and diaspora customers may have been duped to believe that the two entities are one and the same. This is not the position,” the EAB CEO stated.

EABW Digital News’ efforts to contact the East Africa Savings Bank were futile as the phone number availed on its website did not go through nor did a visit to their purported offices bare any fruits.

The East Africa Bank has been operating in Djibouti since 2010 with an ambition to widen its growth across the East African region.

Jaffar says the bank, which has 15 branches in Djibouti, is out to diversify its products and services.

“East Africa Bank has products that are divergent and meet the needs of our various customers. We offer Islamic financial services solutions to clients in Djibouti and in the East Africa region,” said  Jaffar.

He said the bank is focused on being the leading force in commodity trading in the next five years.

“It, therefore, concerns us when we discover a company in this region is using our name, logo, colours, website information, our mission and vision statement,” Jaffar stated.

“We at EAB are committed to serving a large number of traders, investors and corporations operating in Djibouti, Ethiopia and beyond,”  Jaffer said.

In their paid advertisement, EAB stated: “We wish to notify our customers and all stakeholders as well as the public at large that the said entity (East Africa Savings Bank) is in no way associated to the East Africa Savings Bank. We believe this is a fraudulent misrepresentation and we urge all our customers to avoid dealing with the said entity.

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