NAIROBI, July 19 (Reuters) - Kenya’s High Court has temporarily suspended a “Robin Hood” tax on bank transfers of over 500,000 shillings ($5,000) imposed at the start of the month, the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) said on Thursday.
Nuru Mugambi, director at the KBA, which took the matter to court, told Reuters there were several areas where it would be impractical to implement the tax of 0.05 percent. The court said it will hear the suit on Sept. 17.
“(The tax) will adversely affect bank customers and investors in our market at a time when the country would be seeking to consolidate its regional leadership as a financial services hub,” she said.
Finance Minister Henry Rotich had introduced the tax in his budget speech last month and banks started imposing it on July 1.
Banks and the financial community in the region’s biggest economy are strongly opposed to the new tax, saying it will stifle the flow of funds across the system and curb investments.
Treasury officials were not immediately available for a comment. ($1 = 100.6500 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by Duncan Miriri Editing by Alison Williams and Hugh Lawson)