Ufaa says staff shortage hurts returning unclaimed assets to owners


Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) Chairman Richard Kiplagat. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (Ufaa) has blamed the low rate of linking beneficiaries to their wealth to shortage of staff.

The agency says it had only 32 staff to handle operations countrywide in the year ended last June.

This comes after Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu flagged the low rate of finding owners of idle cash, shares and dividends and giving them access.

Ms Gathungu said although there has been improvement in the reunification from a low of less than one percent in June 2017 to four percent as at June 30 last year, the rate was still significantly low.

“Management has attributed the slow pace of reunification to…low staff capacity. As at June 30, 2021, the authority had 32 staff to handle operations countrywide,” Ms Gathungu said.

The low rate has seen the value of unclaimed assets hit a high of Sh54.8 billion as at December last year from Sh50.9 billion six months earlier.

The Ufaa revealed early this year that it only received 2,315 claims between October and December last year worth Sh270 million.

The authority started receiving unclaimed financial assets from various institutions in 2014 and working to get the owners from 2016.

Since 2014, the authority has received 23,134 claimants seeking Sh1.5 billion, highlighting the growing apathy by investors and tycoons to claim their assets.

“Out of these, 13,940 claims (valued at Sh989 million), 23,920,854 units of shares, 35 safe deposit boxes and 15 unit trusts have been reunited, the Ufaa told the Business Daily in an earlier email response.

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