In Kenya, a banking and financial investment law has come into force that affects many people. My sister Liz, who lives in Germany, was almost a victim of this new law because she deposited her savings in a Kenyan bank.
Liz opened an account almost three years ago and deposited a lump sum that would earn her an interest rate of 11% p.a.. Since she lives abroad, this was a good way to save money that she could use later. Whether on visits or a complete return.
After opening the account she was out of the country for two years and nine months. Upon her arrival for a two-week vacation, she decided to visit the bank and make a payment. But she was told that her account was suspended and she had to reactivate it before a transaction could take place. While trying to reactivate, she was told that all her savings would be transferred to the government. The reason was the long rest period on her account.
But after a short back and forth it was clear that Liz was lucky to be back in the country about two months before the three-year limit. Nevertheless, she was forced to make a formal request for reactivation, which had to be opened before an official.
All proceeds from inactive bank accounts are transferred to the Kenyan Central Bank’s Financial Market Authority and any recovery from there takes some time. The process is also lengthy and complicated.
Another case is from a friend named Caro, a Dubai resident, who recently received a letter from the Barclays Bank of Kenya – shares department. She was also advised to update her share account or risk that her unclaimed financial assets would be transferred. She actually only had two weeks to react. So I had to help her. The bank, however, received an uncomplicated e-mail verification so that the deposits could be secured.
It is very advisable that if you have a bank account or capital shares in Kenya, you can make sure that you can say hello to the bank within three years. If you do not, your accounts will be closed and shares or savings transferred to the government.
Saying a government can’t be creative.