Family Banks’ ex-Busia branch manager Monica Jepkemboi Keter says she was issued a Show Cause letter on January 20, 2022, for negligence and for flouting the bank’s policies (AML-CFT and KYC policy). She alleges that she responded to the show cause letter on January 21, 2022, setting out that the transactions in question occurred when she was on maternity leave. The bank also produced no evidence to show that Ksh. 2,548,927.43 had been lost when she was only aware of Ksh. 370,120.80
Family Bank has been faulted by the Employment and Labor Relations Court in Bungoma over the sacking of a former member of staff over allegations that she had authorized an illegal transfer of a client’s cash to the wrong account.
Monica Jepkemboi Keter had claimed through an affidavit dated April 8, 2022, that her termination from employment was not based on invalid reasons. She says she was the Family Bank designated as a branch operations manager at the Busia branch. Her employment was terminated through the letter dated February 25, 2022, and received on February 28, 2022, for professional misconduct for allegedly failing to stop fraudulent transactions at the Busia Branch where she was in charge, which in turn allegedly exposed the bank to operational risks, resulting in the loss of Ksh. 2,548,927.43.
The genesis of the termination is that a complaint was made by a client on October 20, 2021, at the bank’s branch in Bomet-Eldoret that money from her account amounting to Ksh. 370,120.80 had been illegally transferred. Jepkemboi was in charge of the bank’s Busia Branch, where the alleged illegal transfers had originated, and she, being in charge of the operations, received a copy of the complaint from the Eldoret branch.
On the same day, she sought clarification on the nature of the transfers from one Harrison Kisaka, who was the action person on the alleged transfers on the complainant’s accounts, to which Mr Kisaka confirmed that he was the action person and the transactions might have been done by mistake, and he was working to seek the discrepancies. Further, Jepkemboi noted other transactions by Kisaka raised an eyebrow, and she reported the issue to the Head of Operations and Security for investigations.
It is her case that she was issued a Show Cause letter on January 20, 2022, for negligence and for flouting the bank’s policies (AML-CFT and KYC policy). Jepkemboi alleges that she responded to the show cause letter on January 21, 2022, setting out that the transactions in question occurred when she had been on her maternity leave and that the person involved in the transactions was one Harrison Kisaka. She was invited, through a letter dated February 2, 2022, to a disciplinary hearing scheduled for February 8, 2022, she attended the hearing and stated her position.
She received the letter of termination on February 28, 2022, informing her of her termination from employment for failing to stop fraudulent transactions that she ought to have detected. She stated that her dismissal was unfair as no valid reasons were offered to warrant her termination, and the disciplinary and appeal committees failed to consider her valid presentations that exonerated her from the alleged professional misconduct. The bank produced no evidence to show that Ksh. 2,548,927.43 had been lost when she was only aware of Ksh. 370,120.80.
The ruling by Judge Jemimmah Keliju dated July 27, 2023, reads in part, “In conclusion, the court enters judgment for the claimant against the respondents for unlawful and unfair termination as follows:
- Notice pay in lieu of Kshs. Ksh. 135,650.
- Compensation for unfair termination is granted at the rate equivalent to the claimant’s salary for 6 months, that is, Ksh. 813,900.
- Total award: Ksh. 949,550