Organisations in possession of unclaimed financial assets beyond stipulated period by the law have been asked to surrender them to the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA).
UFAA Chief Executive officer John Mwangi has called upon banks with dormant bank accounts, Saccos with unclaimed dividends and also organisations with people’s salaries which have overstayed to surrender the monies before the given period so as to enable the authority to reunite the assets with owners.
“The authority encourages institutions in possession of a financial asset on behalf of an owner, such as banks, insurance companies, or Saccos to submit and surrender unclaimed financial assets in their possession to avoid penalties and sanctions,” said Mwangi on Thursday.
The CEO who spoke in Murang’a during a three-day sensitisation forum held at Ihura grounds said according to the UFAA Act, money held in dormant bank and Sacco accounts should be surrendered after a period of five years.
He added “dividends declared by Saccos and have not been collected after a period of three years should also be submitted to the authority. Pensions overstayed beyond two years and uncollected salaries for a period of one year, all these financial assets need to be surrendered to UFAA.”
Mwangi further noted that the institutions in possession of the unclaimed financial assets can also look for the owners of the assets or their next of kin and pay them before the stipulated time period lapses.
“UFAA currently holds in excess of Sh. 56 billion. Where about Sh 29 billion are in cash while another approximate Sh 28 billion are worth units of shares surrendered by various Saccos.” He noted.
The authority, he added, has embarked to sensitize members of the public on the uncollected financial assets, saying that the rate of reuniting the assets with owners has gone up in the recent past.
“The authority has so far paid back more than Sh 2 billion and also reunited in excess of Sh 50 billion worth units of shares to the rightful owners.” Revealed the CEO.
Mwangi noted the authority is currently doing campaigns in counties themed ‘lost and found cash karibu nawe’ aimed at sensitizing members of the public on unclaimed financial assets and how to claim them.
“This drive aims to encourage members of the public to check unclaimed financial assets that could have been surrendered to the authority in their name and are now sitting in UFAA’s database using the short code *361# or www.ufaa.go.ke and file a claim,” he remarked.
On his part, chairman of the authority Dr Kigo Njenga said members of the public can access services of UFAA in Huduma centres near them.
He added that they will also use interior administrators including chiefs and their assistants to reach out to the public and enlighten them about the uncollected financial assets.
“We are targeting to increase the rate of reuniting owners of unclaimed financial assets to more than 80 percent. I appeal for the residents to check if they have unclaimed assets which are in possession of UFAA,” he stated.
Presiding High court Judge in Murang’a James Wakiaga said the judiciary is partnering with UFAA to facilitate administration letters among other documents needed to enable unclaimed assets of deceased owners to be given to rightful beneficiaries.
Wakiaga further noted that the judiciary is currently holding in excess of Sh 5 billion uncollected bonds and bails and advised the owners to pick them.
“Some people have left their cash bails and bonds with the judiciary. We call upon them to pick the monies and sureties.” he added.
By Bernard Munyao