The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the launch of a special 100-day campaign to trace and settle unclaimed deposits in every district of the country. Under the campaign, which will begin on June 1, 2023, banks will trace and settle their top 100 unclaimed deposits in each district. The move is aimed at reducing the quantum of unclaimed deposits in the banking system and returning such deposits to their rightful owners.
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Definition of Unclaimed Deposits:
Balances in savings or current accounts that have not been operated for 10 years or term deposits that have not been claimed within 10 years from the date of maturity are classified as unclaimed deposits. Banks transfer these amounts to the Depositor Education and Awareness (DEA) Fund maintained by the RBI.
Efforts to Reduce Unclaimed Deposits:
The RBI has been making efforts to reduce the quantum of unclaimed deposits in the banking system and return such deposits to their rightful owners. In addition to the 100-day campaign, the RBI has also announced the setting up of a centralized web portal for the public to search unclaimed deposits across multiple banks.
Encouragement for the Public:
Through its public awareness initiatives, the RBI has been encouraging members of the public to identify and approach the bank concerned for claiming unclaimed deposits. The RBI has been maintaining the DEA Fund to promote depositors’ awareness and to educate them about the banking system.
Discussion on Unclaimed Deposits in the FSDC Meeting:
The issues related to unclaimed deposits were also discussed during the meeting of the high-powered Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) headed by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier this week. The FSDC discussed ways to reduce the quantum of unclaimed deposits in the banking system and ensure their rightful return to depositors.
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