‘100 Days 100 Pays': How RBI Aims To Make Retrieving Unclaimed Deposits Easier

RBI will launch a 100-day campaign from June 1, 2023, to settle unclaimed bank deposits across India. As part of the drive, banks must first trace the owners of unclaimed deposits.
‘100 Days 100 Pays': How RBI Aims To Make Retrieving Unclaimed Deposits Easier
‘100 Days 100 Pays': How RBI Aims To Make Retrieving Unclaimed Deposits Easier

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced a 100-day campaign to trace and settle unclaimed bank deposits across India. The “100 Days 100 Pays” campaign will begin on June 1, 2023, in which banks will try to trace the owners of unclaimed deposits and settle the claims. The drive aims to settle each bank's top 100 unclaimed deposits in every district within 100 days.

Unclaimed Deposits

Unclaimed deposits are funds locked in dormant or inoperative accounts for 10 years or more. Balances in savings accounts, current accounts, and term deposits that have not been used for 10 years are considered unclaimed deposits. It can happen for various reasons, such as the account holder's death, they moved overseas, or they forgot about the account. Banks transfer the unclaimed amounts to the "Depositor Education and Awareness" (DEA) Fund maintained by the Reserve Bank of India. RBI has been encouraging the public through its public awareness initiatives occasionally to identify and approach the concerned bank for claiming such deposits.

The campaign also reminds the public to check their bank accounts regularly and ensure they are aware of any unclaimed deposits.

How To Find Unclaimed Deposits

RBI aims to make the retrieval process of unclaimed deposits easier. First, to identify unclaimed deposits, banks must publish lists of deposits or inoperative accounts on their websites. These lists typically contain the names and addresses of the account holders. But, locating these deposits requires navigating multiple bank websites, making it a tedious and time-consuming affair for beneficiaries.

During a recent Monetary Policy Committee meeting, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das announced the development of a centralised web portal with information from various banks about unclaimed deposits. So as of now, the account holders or the legal heirs have to navigate multiple bank websites.

Individuals simply need to enter the depositor's name or telephone number on the bank's website. Upon locating the account, they must then visit the bank's home branch, where they will be required to provide Know Your Customer (KYC) documents. If the individual is a legal heir, they must also submit a copy of the death certificate to claim the deposit.

Recent data indicate a substantial increase in unclaimed deposits within public sector banks. According to a report by Mint, between December 2020 and February 2023, unclaimed deposits in public sector banks grew by 70 per cent compared to the end of December 2019. As of February 2023, approximately Rs. 35,000 crore worth of unclaimed deposits, belonging to 102 million accounts, had been transferred to the Reserve Bank of India's Depositor Education and Awareness Fund (DEAF) by public sector banks.

Besides the ‘100 Days 100 Pays campaign' for bank deposits, the Centre is keen to start similar drives for unclaimed shares and dividends, mutual funds and insurance, etc. Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman, on February 1, 2023, announced to set up an integrated IT portal for investors to help them reclaim their unpaid dividends and unclaimed shares.

Also Read: Special Drive On Unclaimed Deposits: How To Claim Stuck Bank Deposits

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