CRDB Bank is sitting on 7.0bn/- worth of uncollected dividends of its shareholders which accumulated in the last 20 years. The bank has called its shareholders to collect their dividends especially those using cheques payment system, where a number of unclaimed reached 60 per cent or change mode of payments.
The largest bank in the land said main problem was seen on those receiving their dividends through cheque payment system as many were unclaimed. CRDB Managing Director Dr Charles Kimei said that the method was confronted with a number of challenges and the only way out is to use other means, such as bank accounts and mobile telephone payment systems.
“CRDB has a special account, Busara, which cater for paying dividends only,” Dr Kimei said. He, however, added “this account which previously served only CRDB shareholders have been upgraded to be used for all shareholders in various stocks.”
He said Capital Market and Securities Authority (CMSA) was planning to introduce a trustee account and called for shareholders to cash their cheques prior of the establishment of such account.
“Once the trustee account is introduced it will be more difficult to get your dividends as the process will be complicated,” Mr Kimei said. The problem is wider as other listed firm, especially those listed before 2010 are facing the same phenomenal for uncollected dividends.
The account is free of any charge, such as ledge fee. CRDB Shareholders’ Registration Manager, Emmanuel Ng’ui said Busara account offers 2.0 per cent interest rate for a deposit exceeding 200,000- as incentive.
“The simplest way is to pay dividends through (bank) accounts and we want shareholders to use this modal as it is instant,” Mr Ng’ui told CDB shareholders during a seminar prior to AGM. CRDB shareholders paid using cheque represent 60 per cent, Busara, 35 per cent and mobile the remaining per cent. The uncollected cheques at post officer at the end of 2014 were 11,152 representing 64 per cent of total number for the said year.
“This is big problem and a big challenge for the bank… . (Worse) those collected are not claimed,” Mr Ng’ui said.
Another challenge is the task of writing some 30,000 cheques, which is tedious and time consuming. On top of that it is expensive to print and posting them. The bank said incurred extra costs of storing cheques against all odds include stealing, fire and the like.
Credit: All Africa