Soko Directory got in touch with a former employee of Imperial Bank Kenya who has the inside story of how the bank was looted by corrupt officials, leading to it sinking with billions of shillings of customers. Here is an account of Flavius Fernandes.
I joined Imperial Bank from November 2010 to 2012. Initially, I worked as a System Analyst and Project Manager. I sent my CV to my brother in Kenya while I was in the UK, who passed it on to a family member at the Imperial Bank.
The reason I returned to Kenya was to sort out my parent’s Will. Given that the Will was straight forward and I intended to be done with it as soon as possible. My wife and I were to be back in the UK in two years’ time to be reunited with our children.
During my time at Imperial Bank of Kenya, I started to seriously analyze wherever my feet took me, what my eyes saw and what my ears heard. Within the first two months, I became aware of the lack of effective IT management & professionalism. I never expected that a bank such as Imperial Bank would have such flaws in its system.
I analyzed the departments, processes, and systems, especially those that I had access to. The attempts to implement project management methodology and tools to control costs, refine process visibility and accountability were met with brutal resistance and lack of effective support by the management.
I took my findings to the highest levels within the bank’s management and was met with immense resistance. I got moved to the Industrial Area branch as a means to frustrate and limit my presence at the Head Office. The resistance got even more brutal, but I held my ground to the points I was raising. I did not want people to lose their hard-earned cash.
By the year 2012, there was no doubt there was massive corruption going on within and without the bank. There were so many employees who knew and saw what was cooking at the bank but chose to turn the other way for fear of losing their jobs.
I knew that top management at the bank was involved. I decided to present and recommend a solution to the MD at two meetings at the Serena Hotel in April 2012. I thought they would accept my recommendations and fix the situation that was surely going to lead to the collapse of the bank. I was wrong.
The MD wanted to know whether there were outside players involved in wanting to bring the bank down. The answer was yes. He promised that he would look into my report and get back. That was the end of the story. He never got back.
My employment terminated on the 20th of September 2012, after I refused to resign when asked to do so. I pressed on with the head of HR for a meeting with the MD with no success.
In Kenya, there is no protection for anybody who wants to report a fraud. The potential of ending up lost or in a ditch dead is very high for whistleblowers.
I handed over my findings to the lawyer who was acting for the depositors but they were never made public. It is common knowledge that banks in Kenya are used for money laundering by big and small players and Imperial Bank was one of them.
Part 2 coming up.