Central Depository System (CDS) account is an electronic account that holds your shares and bonds, and manages the process of transferring shares traded at the Stock Exchange. Prospective investors wishing to buy or trade in any Kenya Government securities are required to open a CDS account with the Central Bank of Kenya. The CDS account acts as the investor’s securities holding and trading account.
Investors may choose to open the CDS accounts directly with the Central Bank of Kenya or open a client account through an authorized agent which includes, commercial banks, investments banks, stock brokers and investment advisors. It should however be noted that no fee is charged for opening and maintenance of the CDS accounts opened directly at the Central Bank of Kenya. CDS accounts may be opened in the names of individual investors or corporate entities.
Opening a CDS account
To open a CDS account you can use the options listed below.
a. Through Central Bank of Kenya (CBK)
- Go to any Central Bank of Kenya branch.
- Ask for a CDS accounts specimen signature mandate card from the CBK officer or agent.
- Fill the card in block letters, neatly and clearly in that;
- Don’t make any alternations/errors on the card.
- Don’t fold or disfigure the card.
- Names must be written in the order that they appear on the identification document.
- Return the duly filled card to the CBK officer or agent.
- Sign the card in the presence of a designated CBK officer or any authorized agent.
- Submit the card with the following:
- One recent colored passport size photograph of the account holder. The photograph must not be stapled or glued to the card.
- The reverse side of the photograph must be certified by your bankers and stamped.
- The original and clear copy of the National ID/valid Passport/Alien Certificate for verification.
- Go with two signatories from your bank or financial institution who must sign and stamp the card on the space provided, confirming your specimen signature and bank accounts details.
- The CBK officer or agent will then verify the documents and certify the photo on the reverse side.
- You will wait for 7 working days before you get your CDS account.
b. Through a proxy or third party
You can also opt to open a CDS account through a licensed stock broker, commercial bank or investment bank. Go with the necessary documentation and proof of identity. They will guide you through the process, and you may be required to pay a monthly maintenance fee of about Ksh 100. Normally you will have to wait for about 7 working days to get your CDS account. But its important to note that the party you approach for CDS account opening must be listed and licensed by Central Bank of Kenya and recognized by Capital Markets Authority.
c. People living in the diaspora
- Go to the Central Bank of Kenya website.
- Select an individual or corporate form.
- Print the mandate card.
- Fill in your details.
- Attach the following:
- A recent colored passport photo.
- A copy of your National ID or passport.
- Your local commercial bank will verify your details, specimen signature and certify your CDS mandate card.
- Scan the verified copy and send to email@example.com
- Send the physical mandate and attachments by post to The Director, Financial Markets Department, P.O. Box 60000-00200 Nairobi, Kenya.
- Wait for confirmation of the opening of the CDS account via email (which you provided in your mandate card).
- After this a notification letter will be sent to you to confirm your CDS account.