Over Sh10.5 billion has amassed in cash that has not been claimed in the last three years, The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) has disclosed.
According to UFAA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kellen Kariuki; who spoke before the National Assembly’s Public Investment Committee (PIC) last week, the figure includes assets worth Sh8.53 billion that have been looked over by the bourgeoisie in Kenya.
Ms Kariuki told the parliamentary committee chaired by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir that UFAA has slightly over a thousand safe deposit boxes that have not been opened and whose contents remain unknown.
She further revealed that the unclaimed assets include: banker’s cheques that have not been cashed in, money that has been dormant in bank accounts for the last five years, life insurance policies unclaimed for more than two years and shares whose dividends have not been collected in three years.
Ms Kariuki added that the authority is also holding onto 440 million units of unclaimed shares handed over by financial institutions over a period of three years.
The UFAA further explained the criteria used to determine how unclaimed money and assets are surrendered to the assets authority.
Money in dormant bank accounts unclaimed for two years and employee wages that lie unclaimed she said should be surrendered after a year adding that the assets category varies between one and five years
The UFAA CEO appeared before the committee following the inspection of the UFAA accounts for the financial year 2015/2016 which was ordered by auditor general Edward Ouko.
The MPs however raised concern as to why the auditor general hired a private company to carry out the audit which according to the committee could be used to hide some of the unclaimed assets.
In response, the UFAA chair admitted that the firm had to comply with the directives of the auditor general even though the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority has an internal auditor.