Unclaimed assets in Kenya have surged to Ksh63 billion as individuals neglect to reclaim their fortunes and those belonging to their kinsmen.

The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) wants Kenyans to retrieve these funds which comprise Kshs33 billion in cash and 1.7 billion shares valued at Ksh30 billion.

UFAA leadership flags off truck for the UFAA roadshow campaign in Embu County. Image: courtesy.
UFAA leadership flags off truck for the UFAA roadshow campaign in Embu County. Image: courtesy.

To fast-track the repatriation process, UFAA has initiated reunification clinics and campaigns designed to motivate the public to scrutinise unclaimed assets that may have been relinquished in their name and currently reside within the authority’s database.

Launched in 2023, the initiative, under the theme “Claim Your ‘Lost and Found’ Cash Karibu Nawe,” aims to raise awareness among the public regarding unclaimed financial assets and the procedures for reclaiming them.

Since its inception, the campaign has been executed in six counties of Nakuru, Nyeri, Thika, Eldoret, Murang’a, and Kirinyaga – yielding positive outcomes.

In the fiscal year ending June 2023, Kenyans successfully traced and recovered Sh4.5 billion in cash through increased campaign efforts.

Speaking at a reunification exercise in Embu, UFAA’s CEO, John Mwangi, expressed satisfaction with the campaign’s success.

 “We are pleased that the campaigns are yielding results; we have exceeded the Ksh4 billion target set for remittances in 2023 by Ksh500 million. This represents a 49 percent growth from the Ksh3.02 billion remitted in 2022,” he said.

The CEO attributed the surpassed target to campaigns promoting holder compliance and the remittance of unclaimed assets to UFAA.

The initiative also seeks to encourage holding institutions – entities safeguarding financial assets on behalf of owners, such as banks, insurance companies, or Saccos – to submit and surrender unclaimed financial assets in their possession to avoid penalties and sanctions.

UFAA plans to leverage public engagement platforms to educate and inform Kenyans about the significance of claiming their abandoned assets.

UFAA’s Unclaimed Financial Assets Management System (UFAMS) facilitates online filing and tracking of claims, employing automated backend processing to streamline the reunification process.

To expedite the payment process, UFAA has revised claims processing and payment policies, ensuring a 30-day payment turnaround time. Claimants have various payment options, including banks, SACCOs, mobile money, and cheques.

Kenyans can use designated short code *361# or visit www.ufaa.go.ke to confirm their claims.

gandae@businessdayafrica.org