Namibian banks sitting on N$485m unallocated funds

June 22, 2022

The Bank of Namibia says financial institutions in the country have N$485 million in unallocated funds belonging to various clients, including cash sitting in dormant accounts.

Kazembire Zemburuka, BoN’s Director: Strategic Communications and International Relations, told The Brief that the Bank, through its regular engagement and banking institution examination, has identified incidences of unclaimed funds within banking institutions.

“The existence of these funds may be as a result of an account being inactive, dormant or unclaimed which relate to how long an account has seen no customer activity,” he said.

Zemburuka added that the continued accrual of the funds has seen the apex bank continuously engaging local banks.

“The central bank is aware of incidents of unclaimed funds and assessment thereof forms part of ongoing engagement with banking institutions and the regular reviews of the treatment of such accounts under their operations. This figure may have changed depending on whether banks have located the owners of these funds, or some funds have again been added to the pool of unallocated funds because the owners cannot be traced or have not transacted on their accounts for a long time,” he said.

The BoN Spokesperson indicated that the central bank was encouraging commercial banks to educate their customers on how to handle such bank accounts and under what circumstances their accounts can be classified as dormant.

“Members of the public are also encouraged to request their commercial banks on a regular basis to provide them with information regarding the status and the balances on their accounts. As a strategy to address this matter, the Bank, in collaboration with banking institutions, will also ensure that a public awareness campaign on this matter is conducted through the Financial Literacy Initiative (of which the Bank is a platform member).”

Namibia currently has 8 licensed banks operating in the country and it is unclear how individuals can access their funds held in the dormant accounts.

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Last modified on Saturday, 25 June 2022 21:12