New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India has said that credit balance in any deposit account maintained with banks, which have not been operated upon for ten years or more, or any amount remaining unclaimed for ten years or more are required to be transferred by banks to RBI’s DEA Fund.
“As per extant instructions, the credit balance in any deposit account maintained with banks, which have not been operated upon for ten years or more, or any amount remaining unclaimed for ten years or more, as mentioned in paragraph 3(iii) of the “Depositor Education and Awareness” (DEA) Fund Scheme, 2014, are required to be transferred by banks to DEA Fund maintained by the Reserve Bank of India,” reads the Central Bank’s circular.
The RBI circular is applicable to all Commercial Banks (including RRBs) and all Co-operative Banks. The revised instructions shall come into effect from April 1, 2024.
As a measure to assist the account holders and with a view to consolidating and rationalising the extant instructions on inoperative accounts, a review was carried out in consultation with all stakeholders.
“Based on the review, it has been decided to issue comprehensive guidelines on the measures to be put in place by the banks covering various aspects of classifying accounts and deposits as inoperative accounts and unclaimed deposits, as the case may be, periodic review of such accounts and deposits, measures to prevent fraud in such accounts/deposits, grievance redressal mechanism for expeditious resolution of complaints, steps to be taken for tracing the customers of inoperative accounts/ unclaimed deposits including their nominees/ legal heirs for re-activation of accounts, settlement of claims or closure and the process to be followed by them. These instructions (provided in the Annex) are expected to complement the ongoing efforts and initiatives taken by banks and the Reserve Bank, to reduce the quantum of unclaimed deposits in the banking system and return such deposits to their rightful owners/ claimants,” said the RBI.
These instructions are issued in exercise of the powers conferred by Sections 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 read with Sections 26A, 51 and 56 of the Act ibid and all other provisions of this Act or any other laws enabling Reserve Bank to issue instructions in this regard, RBI added.