Unclaimed Bank Deposits / Inoperative Accounts

Rs 48000 crore available for claim

In India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued policies and procedures regarding claims on inoperative accounts and unclaimed deposits in dormant bank accounts, in accordance with The Banking Regulation Act of 1949.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines for unclaimed deposits and inoperative accounts include requiring banks to make an effort at owner reunification by notifying owners or rightful beneficiaries of dormant status, and ultimately transferring money to RBI if funds remain unclaimed after a 10 year dormancy period.

  1. Dormant Accounts: A bank account is considered dormant if there have been no transactions for a specified period. The period varies depending on the bank’s policy, but it typically ranges from 12 to 24 months.
  2. Notification: The bank is required to notify the account holder when the account becomes dormant. The notification can be sent through various channels like SMS, email, or post.
  3. Claiming a Dormant Account: To claim a dormant account, the account holder needs to submit an application to the bank along with Know Your Customer (KYC) documents such as Aadhaar card, PAN card, and passport.
  4. Verification: The bank verifies the claimant’s identity and the authenticity of the claim. If the claim is found to be valid, the bank will reactivate the account and credit any balance amount.
  5. Unclaimed Accounts: If the account holder fails to claim the account for a specified period, typically 10 years, the account becomes an unclaimed account. The bank is required to transfer the balance amount in the account to the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund (DEAF) maintained by the RBI.
  6. Claims on Unclaimed Accounts: To claim an unclaimed account, the claimant needs to submit an application to the RBI along with KYC documents. The RBI verifies the claimant’s identity and the authenticity of the claim. If the claim is found to be valid, the RBI will credit the balance amount to the claimant.

It is important, therefore, for bank account holders in India to keep their accounts active and ensure that their contact details and beneficiary information is updated regularly.

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