Nairobi News

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Veteran shylock says business is here to stay

What does it take to be a shylock? A fat bank account with just the right amount to satisfy your clients could do the trick.

One such moneylender is a former university student identified only as Greg.

He says he started the business while still a second year. 

“Doing business with fellow students was good because it was easy since they were in campus with me,” says Greg.

At a weekly interest rate of 20 per cent, Greg lends from Sh10,000 to Sh50,000. Besides the interests asked, clients must also surrender valuables as collateral.

“I ask for collateral that is equivalent to the money a client is borrowing. For example, if he wants Sh30,000 he will have to leave his laptop or digital camera,” adds Greg.

Shylocks also set a period by which borrowers must pay or risk losing their property.

“If you don’t pay within the stipulated time, usually two weeks to a month, you stand to lose your property,” he says. 

Greg does not see anything wrong in what he does. He says the business is legal because he signs an agreement with his customers and in the presence of witnesses. 

“People have labelled us conmen, inhuman and all manner of names but we never force our clients to come. As long as banks remain stingy, we will remain in business,” he says. 

He, however, refuses to divulge his income only saying it is moderate.