Nairobi, September 30th 2015 – Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), the umbrella body of the banking industry, has partnered with the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA), to run a public awareness campaign during the month of October as the financial sector prepares for the first year of formal reporting to the recently-launched sector regulator.
The “Unclaimed Financial Assets (UFA) Awareness Month” campaign will target financial institutions, including banks, microfinance institutions, stock brokers, as well as the other institutions such as large corporations, schools, courts, utility companies and other holders of unclaimed or unpaid cash, cheques, interest, wages and other classes of financial assets. In addition to raising awareness regarding the reporting policy, institutions will be sensitised on the requirement that all holders of unclaimed financial assets, as defined by the UFA Act 2011, must remit these assets to the UFAA on or before 1st November of every year. Speaking during the launch of the campaign, UFAA CEO Mrs. Kellen Kariuki, MBS, noted the importance of the partnership in facilitating the re-unification of customers with their assets. “The primary responsibility of assets reunification is by holders themselves. UFAA assume that role on whatever else remain unclaimed. This initiative on education and awareness between UFAA and holding institutions will go a long way in enhancing reunification rate,” said Kellen. “Currently banks are at the forefront of implementing the new requirements and we expect the industry will improve in implementation now that there are formal reporting structures and as the regulations which streamline the process are finalised,” said Mr. Olaka, Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Bankers Association. “We are pleased to partner with the UFAA, and we are confident that this important initiative will support the process of reunification,” he said. Mr. Olaka reiterated the banking industry’s commitment to compliance with the UFA law. During the campaign, the public will be reminded to routinely update their records as a matter of basic good financial practice to ensure their assets are not deemed unclaimed or abandoned. Owners of unclaimed assets will also be educated on how to contact the Authority to establish if the regulator has their funds; and the procedures for filing a claim. According to the Unclaimed Financial Assets Act – 2011, a financial asset is considered unclaimed when no claims have been made, no transactions have been performed or no instructions have been given with respect to the asset for a period of time. The Act has set different periods within which assets can be declared dormant and hence unclaimed; the periods range from two years for cheques to seven years for bank accounts.
About the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority
The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority was established pursuant to the Unclaimed Financial Assets (UFA) Act No. 40 of 2011. The primary mandate of the Authority is to receive unclaimed financial assets from holders of these assets on behalf of the Government, safeguard and re-unite the assets with their rightful owners. For more information visit www.ufaa.go.ke.
About the Kenya Bankers Association:
KBA is the banking industry’s umbrella body and financial sector’s leading advocacy group representing total assets in excess of Ksh3.3 trillion (USD 36.2 million). Established in 1962, KBA has evolved and broadened its function to include advocacy on behalf of the banking industry, and championing financial sector development through strategic projects. KBA has undertaken major industrywide initiatives, including aligning standards on payments; promoting pricing transparency through the introduction of the Annual Percentage Rate framework (costofcredit.co.ke); and the modernization of the National Payments System through the Automated Clearing House, which KBA owns and operates. In line with the Government’s policy on public-private partnerships, the Association has implemented key milestone projects, including partnering with Central Bank of Kenya on the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), and the Kenya Credit Information Sharing Initiative, which introduced the use of information collateral provided by credit reference bureaus to enhance credit access for borrowers.