The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) said it will audit all financial institutions and state agencies to ascertain the amount of unclaimed assets in their possession.
It said it suspects they could be under declaring the exact amount of unclaimed funds they hold. The Authority’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Kellen Kariuki said it is estimated the institutions could be holding up to Kshs.283 billion in unclaimed assets.
“We will do research to establish how much there is.  We have collected financial assets amounting to Kshs.3.3 billion so far”, she said during a media briefing in Nairobi.

UFAA notified institutions to surrender the unclaimed assets in their possession for the first time late this year.  Those that heeded the call were mainly banks and the telecommunications giant Safaricom which operates the M-Pesa platform.
She said claims from the rightful beneficiaries of the financial assets currently stand at Kshs.32 million since very few people know about the process of claiming the assets.
“People are still not aware that UFAA exists.  We are going to do massive public awareness to ensure the monies gets to the beneficiaries”, she said. The state agency was formed in 2012 following the enactment of the Financial Assets Act 2011.
The rationale for its formation was that the state is best placed to receive, preserve and protect unclaimed financial assets in the interest of the beneficiaries.
Under the law, unclaimed financial assets include bank savings and deposits, cheques and drafts, money orders and funds held or owing under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract.
Others include shares, dividends, gift certificates, credit memo, unpaid wages, allowances, bonuses and terminal benefits, assets held in safe deposit box or repository and those held by court or a state department.
Holders of unclaimed financial assets will be penalized if they fail to maintain records or submit false or misleading information.
“A person convicted of an offence under this section shall be liable to a fine of not less than Kshs.50,000 and not more than Kshs.1 million or to imprisonment for not more than one year, or to both”, it states.
Ms. Kariuki said the authority’s strategic plan entails setting up a facilitative legal and policy framework that will ease its mandate. “The Strategic plan is very important because it will guide our awareness and education programme both for the holders and the beneficiaries of the unclaimed financial assets”, she said.
“The authority will put up a robust ICT system to facilitate the stakeholders to smoothly handle our mandate,” she said.
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