RBI INITIATES AN AWARENESS CAMPAIGN FOR UNCLAIMED DEPOSITS.

The Reserve Bank has initiated a national campaign with a focus on the eight states that have the greatest number of unclaimed deposits. Accordingly, the monetary authority has begun a campaign in the languages of these eight states along with Hindi and English.

The unclaimed deposits in banks have drastically surged to Rs 48,262 crore in FY22 from Rs 39,264 crore in the prior fiscal, according to the annual report of the central bank.

Most of these monies are languishing with banks across Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bengal, Karnataka, Bihar and Telangana/Andhra Pradesh, according to an RBI official.

According to RBI standards, balances in savings/current accounts that are not operated for 10 years, or term deposits not claimed within 10 years from the date of maturity, are categorised as “unclaimed deposits”. After this, banks transfer such money to the ‘depositor education and awareness fund’ maintained by the RBI.

The depositors are, however, nevertheless entitled to retrieve their money at a later period from the bank together with relevant interest. However, despite public awareness initiatives launched by banks, as well as the RBI, from time to time, the quantity of unclaimed deposits is showing an increasing tendency, the central bank stated.

The amount of unclaimed deposits originates mostly owing to non-closure of savings/ current accounts, which depositors do not intend to run anymore or due to not submitting redemption claims with banks for matured fixed deposits. There are also situations of accounts belonging to deceased depositors, where the nominees/legal heirs do not come forward to collect the money back. The initiative intends to enable such depositors or the nominees/legal heirs of the deceased depositors identify and claim the savings, the central bank said.

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