Entities holding unclaimed financial assets beyond the legally stipulated period have been directed to hand them over to the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA).
John Mwangi, the CEO of the government parastatal, has appealed to banks with inactive accounts, Saccos with unclaimed dividends, and organizations with overdue salaries to surrender the funds within the specified timeframe. This action will facilitate the authority in reuniting the assets with their rightful 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.
Speaking at a three-day sensitization forum held at Ihura grounds in Murang’a, the CEO emphasized that, in accordance with the UFAA Act, funds held in dormant bank and Sacco accounts should be surrendered after a five-year period.
He further stated that dividends declared by Saccos, uncollected for three years, should also be submitted to the authority. Additionally, pensions exceeding two years and salaries remaining unclaimed for one year fall under the category of financial assets that need to be surrendered to UFAA.
Mwangi additionally pointed out that institutions holding unclaimed financial assets have the option to locate the owners or their next of kin and disburse the funds to them before the specified time period elapses.
“UFAA currently holds in excess of Sh56 billion. Where about Sh 29 billion are in cash while another approximate Sh 28 billion are worth units of shares surrendered by various Saccos.”
Mwangi further stated that the authority has initiated efforts to raise awareness among the public regarding uncollected financial assets, noting that the success rate in reuniting these assets with their rightful owners has increased in recent times.
‘Lost and found cash karibu nawe’
He said the authority is conducting campaigns in various counties under the theme ‘lost and found cash karibu nawe,’ with the objective of educating the public about unclaimed financial assets and the process of claiming them.
“The authority has so far paid back more than Sh2 billion and also reunited in excess of Sh50 billion worth of units of shares to the rightful owners,” said the UFAA boss.
“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,” Mwangi remarked.
On his part, the chairman of the authority, Dr. Kigo Njenga, mentioned that members of the public can access UFAA services at nearby Huduma centers.
He also mentioned they will use local administrators, including chiefs and their assistants, to engage with the public and provide information on 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 said.
Judiciary Holding Sh5B in Bonds/Bail
Meanwhile, High Court Judge James Wakiaga, presiding in Murang’a, mentioned that the judiciary is collaborating with UFAA to streamline the issuance of administration letters and other necessary documents. This process aims to facilitate the transfer of unclaimed assets of deceased owners to their rightful beneficiaries.
Wakiaga also pointed out that the judiciary is currently holding over Sh 5 billion in uncollected bonds and bails.
“Some people have left their cash bails and bonds with the judiciary. We call upon them to pick the monies and sureties.” Wakiaga remarked.