The future of force bureaus looks bleak after commercial banks went flexible on their force rates for the first time since liberalisation.
Commercial banks have been calling their customers to lure them to exchange or buy dollars at better rates than forex bureau.
The banks are targeting clients with both dollar and shilling accounts. Others on the banks radar are SMEs involved in import and export and tenderpreneurs.
Also targeted are Kenyans in diaspora and cash merchants out to underwrite risks by converting local Kenyan shilling to dollars and euros.
Initially the banks hoped to make a windfall in the ongoing mop up of the old generation notes.
Account holders interviewed confirmed getting better rates from their banks.
Variously, the Central Bank has suspected forex bureaus of Money laundering activities that abet graft. Some forex bureaus in Eastleigh with links to Dubai have been on CBK radar.
It is alleged that money laundering between Kenya and Dubai is rampant. It involved cartels and businessmen who initially imported goods through the Eldoret International Airport
The forex marketing is being undertaken through email, telephone calls, social media and other forums