Kenya’s financial institutions are holding over 240 billion shillings (about 2.4 billion U.S. dollars) in unclaimed assets that should be remitted for reunification with their rightful owners, a senior government said on Tuesday.
Fred Matiang’ i, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government told journalists in Nairobi that the amount of assets remaining unclaimed and in the custody of the state is in excess of 130 million dollars in cash and 567 million units shares.
“We are urging all holders to ensure that they play their part in remitting these assets, failure to which the law will take its full course to compel them to do so,” Matiang’i said during the launch of the rapid results initiative.
The initiative was aimed at identifying owners of unclaimed financial assets and ultimately reuniting them with these monies in a collaborative effort between Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) and the Ministry of Interior.
Matiang’ i said that unclaimed assets come in the form of cash held in banks, claims from pension schemes, unclaimed benefits from former employers, shares in cooperative and credit societies, deposits in utility companies and stocks and shares for listed companies.
Matiang’ i noted that it is a big concern that despite the huge amount of financial assets in the custody of UFAA, only about 7,000 owners have come out to lodge claims, leading to the disbursement of a paltry 4 million dollars so far.
He revealed that the government has stepped up efforts to encourage owners to claim assets by easing communication through mobile and online platforms. Enditem