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unclaimed financial asset act

The Unclaimed Financial Assets Act (No. 40 of 2011) provides a legislative framework for dealing with unclaimed financial assets. The need for this law has been demonstrated by the colossal sums of money being held by financial institutions in Kenya.

It provides for:
Reporting and dealing with unclaimed financial assets;
Establishment of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority;
Establishment of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Trust Fund and other connected purposes.
Holders of Unclaimed Assets are required to:
Make all reasonable efforts to locate the owner and to notify the owner about the assets;
Send a written notice to the apparent owner at his last known address informing him that the holder is in possession of the assets;
Make a report concerning the assets to the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority;
An asset will be declared unclaimed where one or more of the following requirements are met:

  • The records of the holder do not reflect the identity of the person entitled to the assets;
  • The holder has not previously paid or delivered the assets to the apparent owner or other person entitled to the assets;
  • The last known address of the apparent owner is in a country that does not provide by law for passage of property to the State where there is no owner or is not applicable to the assets and the holder is a permanent resident in Kenya.

Reporting unclaimed asset

  • The report by a holder of the assets should be filed on or before the first day of November of each year for the twelve-month period ending on the immediately preceding thirtieth day of June. The Authority has discretion to extend the filing date for up to sixty days after the deadline.
  • A person required to file a report shall at the time of filing pay or deliver to the Authority all abandoned assets that are required to be reported or any balance outstanding. The report to be filed includes all assets that would have been presumed abandoned before the Act came into force.

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