Kenya: owners of billions of unclaimed assets sought
It is estimated that 3.26 billion shillings are idle in unclaimed financial assets.
Kellen Kariuki, CEO of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA), said no one had come forward to claim the amount, adding that people had to come for their money.
“Only 32 million shillings have been claimed so far, we have collected 3.3 billion shillings, we are currently carrying out awareness and awareness measures to ensure that beneficiaries collect the money,” Ms. Kariuki said.
Recent reports indicate that the bulk of unclaimed assets are associated with people who died without a will or without disclosing their financial situation to family members.
The authority asserts that unclaimed assets are underreported by the holding institutions questioned. This is because non-financial assets such as land and other physical property are excluded, while government agencies end up not reporting unclaimed assets at all.
An investigation by the Unclaimed Real Estate Registry found that banks and insurance companies are the main holders of dormant funds, estimated at 200 billion shillings.
Ms Kariuki said that so far 60 companies have complied by transferring unclaimed funds to UFAA.
Pension funds and listed companies also hold a large portion of unclaimed funds.
The money currently held by the UFAA has been collected from banks, telecommunications companies, listed companies and insurance companies.
The authority has the mandate to search for the legal owners of the property or their heirs and the places of the deceased. The information is then made available to the public on a website.
UFAA said KCB led the banking sector with the most unclaimed remittances, at 700 million shillings, while Safaricom’s M-Pesa dominated the telecommunications sector, shedding 196 million shillings.