The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) says nearly half a million companies and institutions are holding more than 241 billion shillings that need to be reunited with the rightful owners.
The Authority says the unclaimed asset holders include banks, saccos, pension schemes and utility firms.
Speaking during a media workshop in Mombasa Wednesday, UFAA’s CEO John Mwangi says the holders have only reported and submitted Ksh. 13.1 billion in cash and 564 million unit of share to the authority to date.
The Authority receives unclaimed assets and holds them in a Trust Fund. Only when a claim is lodged with verifiable proof showing valid relationship with the rightful owner that the monies are then paid to claimants.
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“We have more than 447,000 institutions who are still holding on assets that belong to thousands of families who may not know that they have assets they need to claim. They need to know that these assets belong to people out there,” said Mr. Mwangi.
Mwangi observed that non-compliance will be met by stiffer penalties as provided by the law.
The unclaimed financial assets Act, 2011 stipulates that failure to remit the unclaimed assets attracts a fine of not less than Ksh1Million and/or a one-year jail term for non-compliant CEOs upon conviction.
The Authority is currently holding unclaimed cash valued at Ksh. 13.1 billion, 1451 safe deposit boxes and Ksh. 564 million units of shares made up of unclaimed dividends, shares, wages, dormant bank accounts, gift vouchers and life insurance policies.
People wishing to find any unclaimed assets either belonging to them or family members are encouraged to check whether they are listed on the UFAA website-www.ufaa.go.ke or by using a short code SMS *361#.
For the past five years, only 7,000 claimants have lodged their claims with the authority paying out more than Ksh 421million in cash. Also paid are claims for shares estimated to be 1.3million units.
The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority was established pursuant to the Unclaimed Financial Assets (UFA) Act No. 40 of 2011. The primary mandate of the Authority is to receive unclaimed financial assets from holders of these assets, safeguard and re-unite the assets with their rightful owners.