, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) has so far received about 1,700 claims amounting to Sh42 million.
UFAA Chief Executive Kellen Kariuki says this is out of close to two million transactions in their records with a total trust fund value at Sh6billion.
Kariuki says the authority is verifying completeness and accuracy of the lodged claims before they are reunited with their rightful owners.
“Some of the claims are as small as Sh70 and some claimants would be waiting for them to accumulate, others do not know about our existence that is why the huge difference, we are working on awareness campaigns to make people understand more about our mandate,” Kariuki said.
She advises people to always update their records, giving out their most current contact details and beneficiaries for future purposes.
“Some of the claimants could be dead, and have not given any information about their relatives, thus it becomes a challenge to find out which secondary beneficiary could receive the asset,” she said.
UFAA’s establishment followed the enactment of the UFFA act in December 2011 with the principal goal of ensuring that all unclaimed financial assets are re-united with their rightful owners.
Under the UFAA, property types eligible to be reported include savings and deposit accounts, safe deposit box contents, unclaimed shares of stock, uncashed dividend checks, insurance and retirement benefits, stocks and bond proceeds, among others.
One of the key aspects of the program is the requirement of holders of dormant assets and accounts, such as banks, brokerages, and insurance companies to make reasonable efforts to locate and notify owners of the assets in question.
If they are unsuccessful in locating the proper owners or beneficiaries, the assets are then reported to the authority.
The authority on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Integrated Population Registration Services (IPRS) that will see both entities embed their key business processes.
IPRS is a government initiative to harmonise all government population registration database and create one database.
Currently the register is populated with about 35 million records of registered Kenyan citizen and foreigners’ resident in Kenya.
“We have agreed that the authority will henceforth access this database for the purpose of verifying validating and ascertaining the integrity of particulars provided by a claimant to fortify the authority against fraudulent claims,” Kariuki explained.