Uncontrolled bank deposits have been growing year on year. At the end of the 2019 financial year, the total number of unwanted deposits increased to approximately ₹ 18,380 crore. A year back, the value was, 14,307 crore.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) sets a deposit as unclaimed when a customer has not made a transaction on account for 10 years or more. Unrealized fees include those amounts in current and savings accounts, fixed deposits, and other deposits (such as recurring deposit, payment orders, etc.) and banks.
All such funds are transferred to RBI’s Depositor Education and Awareness (DEA) fund on a monthly basis. For the 2019-20 financial year, the DEA fund was almost 33,114 crore. Last year, it was 25,747 crore, according to the central bank’s annual report.
Money transferred to various banks are invested in instruments such as government security by a committee set up by the RBI. The proceeds are used to pay interest on deposits and are used for investor awareness and educational purposes.
Let’s understand how the money lying in the deposit ends up in the DEA fund and how you can claim it again.
HOW DOES THE STATUS CHANGE
- According to RBI rules, if a bank account remains inactive for 10 years, the money can be transferred to DEAF.
- An account is considered inactive or inactive if no action has been taken (other than interest paid or maintenance paid) for a period of two years.
- If the bank account remains inactive, the bank is required to transfer the money to the DEAF account by the end of the following month and the interest earned.
- Unbound interest will accrue interest on the rates set by the RBI and not on the deposit amount.
HOW TO CLAIM YOUR MONEY
- According to RBI rules, all banks are required to show the details of the unwanted accounts on the website of the bank. After checking the details as mentioned on the website, you can visit the bank branch with a properly completed claim form, deposit receipts and get to know your customer (KYC) claim documents.
- If a claim is related to an old account (where digital banking is not allowed), you may experience difficulties. Therefore, it is a good idea to visit your home branch.
- If you are the legal heir or a nominee, you need to contact the bank for a deposit receipt, proof of ownership and a copy of the account holder’s death certificate. After verifying the authenticity of the claim, the bank will issue a payment.
- After the bank has paid the customer, it will file a claim with the RBI at the end of the month to get a refund on the DEAF account.
- After a customer makes a claim, the account can be renewed and activated. In the event that the legal beneficiary or nominee makes a claim, the bank will start the account payment process, for which no fee is charged.