Ufaa says staffing shortages hurt return of unclaimed assets to owners

Economy

Ufaa says staffing shortages hurt return of unclaimed assets to owners


Richard Kiplagat, President of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA). PICTURES | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

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Summary

  • The agency says it had just 32 staff to run operations nationwide in the year that ended last June.
  • It comes after Auditor General Nancy Gathungu flagged the low rate of finding owners of unused cash, stocks and dividends and giving them access.
  • Ms Gathungu said while there had been an improvement in reunification, from a low of less than one per cent in June 2017 to four per cent as of June 30 last year, the rate was still very weak.

The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (Ufaa) blamed the low rate of tying beneficiaries to their wealth on staff shortages.

The agency says it had just 32 staff to run operations nationwide in the year that ended last June.

It comes after Auditor General Nancy Gathungu flagged the low rate of finding owners of unused cash, stocks and dividends and giving them access.

Ms Gathungu said while there had been an improvement in reunification, from a low of less than one per cent in June 2017 to four per cent as of June 30 last year, the rate was still very weak.

“Management attributed the slow reunification to… low staff capacity. As of June 30, 2021, the authority had 32 staff to manage operations across the country,” Ms. Gathungu said.

The low rate saw the value of unclaimed assets peak at 54.8 billion shillings in December last year, from 50.9 billion shillings six months earlier.

Ufaa revealed earlier this year that it received only 2,315 claims between October and December last year worth 270 million shillings.

The authority started receiving unclaimed financial assets from various institutions in 2014 and is working to secure their owners from 2016.

Since 2014, the authority has received 23,134 claimants asking for 1.5 billion shillings, underscoring the growing apathy of investors and tycoons to claim their assets.

“Of this number, 13,940 claims (valued at 989 million shillings), 23,920,854 units of shares, 35 safes and 15 unit trusts have been brought together, Ufaa told the business daily in a previous email response.

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