With unclaimed deposits in banks rising steeply, the Reserve Bank has launched a national campaign with a focus on the eight states that have the maximum amount of such money.
The unclaimed deposits in banks have sharply jumped to Rs 48,262 crore in FY22 from Rs 39,264 crore in the preceding fiscal, according to the annual report of the central bank. Most of these funds are lying with banks across Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bengal, Karnataka, Bihar and Telangana/Andhra Pradesh, according to an RBI official.
Accordingly, the monetary authority has launched a campaign in the languages of these eight states along with Hindi and English.
According to RBI norms, balances in savings/current accounts that are not operated for 10 years, or term deposits not claimed within 10 years from the date of maturity, are classified as “unclaimed deposits”.
After this, banks transfer such money to the depositor education and awareness fund maintained by the RBI. The depositors are, however, still entitled to claim their money at a later date from the bank along with applicable interest.
However, despite public awareness campaigns undertaken by banks, as well as the RBI, from time to time, the amount of unclaimed deposits is showing an increasing trend, the central bank said.
The volume of unclaimed deposits arises mainly due to non-closure of savings/ current accounts, which depositors do not intend to operate anymore or due to not submitting redemption claims with banks for matured fixed deposits. There are also cases of accounts belonging to deceased depositors, where the nominees/legal heirs do not come forward to take the money back.
The campaign aims to help such depositors or the nominees/legal heirs of the deceased depositors identify and claim the deposits, the central bank said.
With agency inputs