BUSINESS

Bank Unclaimed Deposits Total Rs 78,213 Crore, Up 26%

In March 2024, the amount of unclaimed deposits held by banks increased by 26% year over year to Rs 78,213 crore, according to the RBI Annual Report that was made public on Thursday.

As of the end of March 2023, the amount in the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund was Rs 62,225 crore.

The Depositor Education and Awareness (DEA) Fund of the RBI receives unclaimed deposits from banks, including cooperative banks, that have been in the accounts of account holders for ten years or more.

The Reserve Bank released comprehensive guidelines earlier this year on the steps to be taken by the banks covering various aspects of classifying accounts and deposits as inoperative accounts and unclaimed deposits, as the case may be, in order to help the account holders and to consolidate and rationalize the existing instructions on inoperative accounts.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has advised banks to conduct a periodic review of these accounts, take steps to prevent fraud in these accounts, establish a grievance redress mechanism for the prompt resolution of complaints, and identify the customers of inoperative accounts or unclaimed deposits, including their nominees or legal heirs, in order to reactivate the accounts, settle claims, or close them.

These guidelines were anticipated to be a supplement to the Reserve Bank’s and banks’ continuing campaigns to minimize the amount of unclaimed deposits in the banking system and restore them to their rightful owners or claimants.

The updated guidelines are effective April 1, 2024, and they affect all commercial banks, including regional rural banks, as well as all cooperative banks.

The Reserve Bank created the centralized online platform UDGAM, or Unclaimed Accounts Gateway to Access Information, to make it easier for depositors to seek unclaimed accounts across many institutions conveniently and in one location.

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