Value of unclaimed assets now Sh13b

The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (Ufaa) is holding Sh13 billion as owners and beneficiaries fail to claim their cash and securities.

Only 2.5 per cent of assets collected by the State agency have been claimed.

By this month, firms had surrendered Sh2.58 billion more in unclaimed financial assets as the 2018 compliance cycle ends, bringing the total cash withheld to Sh13 billion and 555.5 million shares.

Only 5,871 claims amounting to Sh327.09 million have been lodged with the authority.

Additionally, 205 safe deposits boxes are now being held by the authority, bringing the total to 1,451 abandoned treasure troves.

Ufaa Acting Chief Executive Caroline Chirchir said the agency had decided to use a mobile application to encourage claims.

“Ufaa has deployed a mobile accessibility platform to facilitate members of the public to search whether they are listed on the unclaimed financial assets database,” she said.

Under the former boss, Kellen Kariuki, who declined to renew her contract this year, the authority partnered with the Central Bank of Kenya to facilitate payments via the Real-Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS).

Settle payments

The RTGS was supposed to allow the authority to settle payments to claimants’ bank accounts from the Unclaimed Assets Trust Fund.

Ufaa said the mobile platform would deepen reunification by enabling phone users to interact with its database.

“Owners and beneficiaries of unclaimed assets can thereafter lodge claims of their hitherto ‘lost’ assets being held by the authority,” said Ms Chirchir.

The assets include unclaimed salaries and wages, royalties, client money and loan credits.