Unclaimed cash held by the government has risen to Sh10.4 billion from Sh8.75 billion last month after 87 more companies observed the October 31 reporting deadline. At least 250 firms had previously filed.
Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) chief executive Kellen Kariuki said its auditors would continue working with regulatory agencies to scrutinise books of various companies to ensure all unclaimed cash is surrendered.
She called on Kenyans to from time to time check the UFAA website (www.ufaa.go.ke) to ascertain the status of their departed family members or aging parents.
All public and private entities are by law required to remit uncollected salaries, pensions, allowances, retirement benefits, securities among other monetary assets to the UFAA.
According to the UFAA, value of unclaimed cash denominated in the Kenya shilling account rose from Sh8.3 billion to Sh10.1 billion, unclaimed cash received in dollar was valued at Sh296 million, up from Sh241 million reported last September.
“Members of the public must continually visit the website to check whether any of their family members is listed in the unclaimed assets database. It is in the owners/beneficiaries interest that we hold information relating to the value of assets in confidence.
“Our call is for all to lodge claims of their money for reunification. The Unclaimed Financials Assets Act, 2011 provides for perpetual custody and reunification,” she said.
Ms Kariuki said while in September 241,346,342 units of shares worth Sh17.1 billion was reported, UFAA was still consolidating reports of shares, unit trusts and other categories of unclaimed financial assets as at the end of the compliance period.
By September 30, only a paltry Sh56.5 million has been paid to claimants with claims worth Sh161.2 million now being processed.
The UFAA has since signed collaboration agreements with regulatory agencies requiring all companies seeking renewal of licences to seek clearance from the UFAA before they are allowed to continue operating.
Utility companies as well as telcos operating mobile payments are also required to file returns and surrender unclaimed funds.
Anyone lodging a claim must show proof of identity by filling an online application form while families seeking refund for a deceased relative must first seek a nod to administer the estate of the departed relatives in court before filing their claim.