Banks top in ceding unclaimed assets

By: JAMES KARIUKI

The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (Ufaa) has released a list of compliant public and private entities, which shows commercial banks surrendered Sh3.3 billion out of the total Sh5.1 billion received in the past two months.

Details seen by the Daily Nation indicate that Ufaa also received comprehensive reports from investment banks and stockbrokers at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, who dished out Sh875.2 million.

While insurance firms surrendered Sh533 million, the authority said it would soon send auditors to scrutinise all books, starting with those who declared, before pursuing defaulters who failed to heed the call.

Without providing a breakdown, telecommunication firms surrendered Sh303 million with pension fund schemes handing in a paltry Sh22 million, saccos Sh3 million while others dished out Sh70 million.

Ufaa’s statement commended those who heeded its call, saying its database, now open to the public, had compiled a list of 1.6 million beneficiaries expected to claim and receive the Sh5.1 billion.

The authority said those found to have defied its request would face punitive criminal and civil proceedings, saying no one should profit from funds meant for others.

The authority added that it had identified beneficiaries of Sh39 million, adding that anyone who believes their funds are being withheld by any financial institution or individual should search for their eligibility by providing details on the authority’s website.

It said claimants should file claims by providing details of the beneficiaries, where the account was held and identification documents to support their claim.

It said all funds would be handed over to the owners soon, once disbursement regulations are published to allow Ufaa to deal directly with beneficiaries.

It said insurance companies, listed firms, pension schemes, saccos and learning institutions are among the most notorious that had not declared the true amounts of unclaimed monies held.

But the authority fails to mention the fate of collapsed societies, public and private institutions whose leaders vanished with billions of shillings belonging to members.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION