The National Bank of Kenya board has sent its chief executive Munir Ahmed and five top managers on forced leave to pave the way for a detailed audit.
Mr Ahmed, who has served as chief executive for the last four years, will step aside pending an internal audit, hinting at corporate governance issues within the lender.
The bank did not disclose the names of the other five managers.
NBK, majority owned by the government, has appointed Wilfred Musau, who joined it six months ago, in an acting capacity.
“The six managers will immediately proceed on leave but will be expected to comply and make key submissions to the internal audit process,” said the board in a statement.
The suspension comes at a time the bank is battling claims of mismanagement and a loose credit policy resulting in the ballooning of bad loans, affecting its financial standing.
The bank has two days to release its full-year financials as per the Central Bank regulations, which require banks to publish their results by the end of March.
NBK posted an after-tax profit of Sh2.2 billion in the nine months to September.
“The aforementioned actions by the Board are an unequivocal demonstration of our commitment to strict adherence to corporate governance tenets and the various Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) guidelines,” said the bank’s chairman Mohamed Hassan.