RBI To Develop Web Portal To Find Unclaimed Deposits In Different Banks 

RBI has announced a centralised Web portal to help beneficiaries search for unclaimed bank deposits rather than going through separate bank websites 
RBI To Develop Web Portal To Find Unclaimed Deposits In Different Banks 

Banks usually list the details of unclaimed deposits held with them on their website. Such unclaimed deposits arise in the event of the demise of the account holder, where the legal heirs are not aware of the existence of such deposits held by their deceased relative.  

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has now announced a centralised Web portal to better facilitate claims for such unclaimed deposits. 

At the Monetary Policy Committee meeting, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das announced that a centralised Web portal will be developed so that the public will be able to search for unclaimed deposits at a centralised platform rather than going through separate bank websites. 

“RBI announces the development of a centralised Web portal for the public to search for unclaimed deposits. At present, the depositors or beneficiaries of unclaimed bank deposits of 10 years or more must go through multiple websites of banks to look for unclaimed deposits ...This will help depositors and beneficiaries in getting bank their unclaimed deposits,” Das said. 

Technically, an unclaimed deposit is one that has not seen any activity from the depositor for 10 years or more and is inactive. 

Finding Unclaimed Deposits 

The banks are required to publish on their respective websites the list of unclaimed deposits or inoperative accounts. This list contains the names and addresses of the account holders. 

Obtaining unclaimed deposits is a simple process. One must simply enter the name of the depositor or their telephone number on the bank’s website. Upon finding the account, one must proceed to the bank’s home branch, provide KYC documents, and if one is the legal heir, submit a copy of the death certificate to claim the deposit. 

With the introduction of the RBI’s unified website, it is now possible to locate multiple accounts quickly and easily. 

Compared to the end of December 2019, unclaimed deposits in public sector banks have grown by 70 per cent between December 2020 and February 2023, according to a report by Mint. 

Unclaimed deposits of about Rs. 35,000 crore as of February 2023 were transferred to the RBI’s Depositor Education and Awareness Fund (DEAF) by public sector banks (PSBs). These deposits belong to 102 million accounts. 

State Bank of India (SBI) tops the list with Rs 8,086 crore in unclaimed deposits, followed by Punjab National Bank with Rs 5,340 crore, Canara Bank with Rs 4,558 crore, and Bank of Baroda with Rs 3,904 crore. 

After being asked about whether SBI is assisting the beneficiaries in reclaiming the unclaimed deposits, the Centre informed Parliament that it is the priority of SBI to assist depositors in reclaiming their funds. 

“SBI has informed that it assists the family of the deceased in settling all cases of claims. Settlement of account(s) of the deceased constituent are taken up on priority by SBI. SBI staff has been sensitised and instructions are reiterated in all forums of banks at regular frequency,” said Bhagwat Karad, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. 

In addition, Centre informed that banks have been encouraged to initiate a special drive to locate customers or legal heirs for accounts are inactive or have not been used for at least two years. 

RBI has also recommended banks to take a more proactive approach to locating account holders whose accounts have been inactive.

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