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Kenya to conduct study on unclaimed financial assets

08 October 2015, 21:30

Nairobi - Kenya plans to conduct a survey to determine the amount of unclaimed financial assets in the country, officials said on Wednesday.

Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) Manager of Unclaimed Financial Assets line John Mwangi told a media briefing in Nairobi that the study will be used to implement effective strategies to find the right beneficiaries of the assets.

"Firms in the insurance, bank accounts, pension funds and capital markets are mostly likely to hold unclaimed money," Mwangi said during the media briefing on the upcoming Africa Summit on Unclaimed Financial assets.

The event which runs from Oct. 28-30 will bring over 200 delegates from 13 African countries to discuss the critical issues around the governance, management of unclaimed financial assets.

Mwangi said reasons of unclaimed assets range from forgetfulness, death without a will, change of address or collapse of the asset holding institutions.

Also read: Woman arrested with six kilograms of bhang

The most recent survey in Kenya showed that there is approximately 87 million U.S. dollars of unclaimed financial assets.

Kenya is the only African country that has a regulator for unclaimed financial assets.

Mwangi said under the law, organizations holding unclaimed assets are supposed to transfer the funds to UFAA.

UFAA has so far received 32 million U.S. dollars in unclaimed financial assets and they have paid out 300,000 dollars to 1200 claimants.

The regulator holds unclaimed assets in trustee fund and only pays out funds after a verification process. UFAA is also planning to roll out a campaign to sensitize Kenyan to check whether they have unclaimed assets.

"We intend to use ICT to ensure that information is accessible to even the remote parts of the country," he said.

The organizers of the Africa Summit on Unclaimed Financial assets is the Unclaimed Property Assets (UPAR).

UPAR Chief Executive Officer Joe Ngigi said that participants of the summit will gain a practical understanding of world class strategies, process and legislations that different countries use regarding unclaimed financial assets.

Ngigi said the event came at a time when Africa is beginning to appreciate and acknowledge the economic potential of unclaimed assets. 


- Xinhua


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