India’s Central Bank – the Reserve Bank of India, has initiated a national campaign focused on the eight states with the highest number of unclaimed deposits. Accordingly, the monetary authority has begun a campaign in the languages of these eight states along with Hindi and English.
According to the central bank’s annual report, unclaimed deposits in banks increased substantially to Rs 48,262 crore in FY22 from Rs 39,264 crore in the previous fiscal.
According to an RBI official, the majority of this money is held by banks in Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bengal, Karnataka, Bihar, and Telangana/Andhra Pradesh.
Accordingly, the monetary authority has begun a campaign in the languages of these eight states along with Hindi and English.
Balances in savings/current accounts that have not been used for 10 years, or term deposits that have not been claimed within 10 years of maturity, are categorized as “unclaimed deposits” by the RBI. Following that, banks transfer such funds to the Reserve Bank of India’s “depositor education and awareness fund” (RBI).
Banks transfer these funds to the RBI’s “Depositor Education and Awareness” (DEA) Fund.
” banks already host the list of Unclaimed Deposits on their website with some identifiable details. Members of the public are encouraged to identify and approach the bank concerned for claiming such deposits”, RBI said.
Depositors, on the other hand, can still retrieve their money from the bank at a later date, along with any applicable interest. However, despite periodic public awareness initiatives by banks and the RBI, the volume of unclaimed deposits is increasing, according to the central bank.
The volume of unclaimed deposits is primarily due to the failure to close savings/current accounts that depositors no longer intend to use, as well as the failure to file redemption claims with banks for matured fixed deposits. There have also been incidents of accounts belonging to deceased depositors where the nominees/legal heirs have failed to come forward to claim the funds.
The initiative intends to assist such depositors or the nominees/legal heirs of dead depositors in identifying and claiming their deposits, according to the central bank.