The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated a special 100-day effort to find and settle unclaimed deposits in every district of the country. Banks will be liable for tracking down and settling their top 100 unclaimed deposits in each region beginning June 1, 2023. The goal of this project is to reduce the number of unclaimed deposits in the financial system and return them to their rightful owners.
100 Days Campaign to Settle Unclaimed Deposits – What are Unclaimed Deposits?
Unclaimed deposits are deposits in savings or current accounts that have been inactive for ten years or term deposits that have not been claimed within ten years of their maturity date. Banks transfer these funds to the Reserve Bank of India’s Depositor Education and Awareness (DEA) Fund.
Efforts to Reduce Unclaimed Deposits
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been taking steps to reduce the amount of unclaimed deposits in the banking system and return them to their rightful owners. One of the initiatives announced by the RBI is the launch of a special 100-day campaign to trace and settle unclaimed deposits in every district of the country. This campaign, which will begin on June 1, 2023, will require banks to trace and settle their top 100 unclaimed deposits in each district. The objective is to reduce the quantum of unclaimed deposits in the banking system and return such deposits to their rightful owners.
To complement the 100-day campaign, the RBI has also announced the establishment of a centralized web portal for the public to search for unclaimed deposits across multiple banks. This move will make it easier for depositors to identify and claim their unclaimed deposits. The portal will be a single point of contact for depositors to search for unclaimed deposits in various banks and will be accessible through the RBI’s website.
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 also been maintaining the Depositor Education and Awareness (DEA) Fund to promote depositors’ awareness and educate them about the banking system. The fund aims to create awareness among depositors about the importance of maintaining their bank accounts and the need to update their Know Your Customer (KYC) details with the banks.
Discussion on Unclaimed Deposits in the FSDC Meeting
The issues related to unclaimed deposits were discussed during the recent meeting of the high-powered Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) headed by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The FSDC discussed ways to reduce the quantum of unclaimed deposits in the banking system and ensure their rightful return to depositors. The FSDC members deliberated on measures to improve the effectiveness of the DEA Fund and strengthen the public awareness initiatives to promote depositors’ education.
In conclusion, the RBI has been taking various steps to reduce the quantum of unclaimed deposits in the banking system and return them to their rightful owners. The 100-day campaign and the centralized web portal are some of the recent initiatives announced by the RBI to achieve this objective. The public awareness initiatives and the discussion on unclaimed deposits in the FSDC meeting are expected to complement these initiatives and create awareness among depositors about the importance of maintaining their bank accounts and claiming their unclaimed deposits.
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