In India, there are thousands of crores (Rs 35,000 crore) lying across banks as unclaimed deposits. So many people want to know if there is some money that they are unaware of. Such accountholders or their nominees need to be aware of latest unclaimed deposits RBI guidelines to figure out – How to Find your Unclaimed Bank Deposits? Or How to Claim back Unclaimed Bank Deposits?
What are Unclaimed Bank Deposits?
If an account or deposit doesn’t have any transactions for more than 2 years, it becomes inoperative or dormant. The bank is required to contact the customer via e-mail, phone, SMS, mails about this.
Now if this account/deposit does not see any activity (like deposit or withdrawal) from the accountholder for 10 or more years, then such accounts are deemed as unclaimed.
Each bank then has to report the amounts of unclaimed deposits to the RBI periodically. After that and as per the latest unclaimed deposits RBI guidelines, the
unclaimed deposits are transferred to RBI’s Depositors Education and Awareness Fund (or DEAF). Once the amount is transferred to RBI’s DEAF account, it earns simple interest of 3% per annum.
You may ask why does the account become unclaimed in the first place? After all, it is hard earned money and why would anyone forget about it? But generally, dependents (or nominees) of the deceased account holder do not know about these accounts at all. And many times, the account holders fail to update the nominee details. At times, the account holder’s address and contact details may have changed but the banks would still not have the updated details. In such cases, the accounts get forgotten and eventually turn into unclaimed accounts/deposits.
How to Find Unclaimed Bank Deposits?
If you think there are some unclaimed deposits that you or your family members forgot about, then you need to find such unclaimed deposits. As of today, if you wish to find an unclaimed amount with any bank, then you need to go and check for this on the website of each bank individually.
You will have to provide basic information like account holder’s name, address, date of birth, or PAN etc. to check if there is an unclaimed amount. You are not required to provide the account number (as anyways that may not be known to most who are searching for unclaimed deposits).
Many banks proactively put out a list of names and addresses of customers with inoperative accounts and unclaimed deposits regularly. So that is another place to look for.
As of now, and for reference, SBI has more than Rs 8000 crore in unclaimed deposits. PNB has more than Rs 5300 crore in unclaimed deposits. Canara Bank has more than Rs 4500 crore in unclaimed deposits. Bank of Baroda has more than Rs 3900 crore in unclaimed deposits. Bank of India has more than Rs 2500 crore in unclaimed deposits.
So if you are looking for SBI Unclaimed Deposits or Bank of Baroda Unclaimed Deposits or Bank of India Unclaimed Deposits or for RBI unclaimed deposits in banks, then you first need to go to their website to check the same.
How to make a Claim for Unclaimed Bank Deposits?
Once you find the unclaimed account, the nominee needs to fill up and submit the claims form, the notarised death certificate of the account holder and the nominee or claimant’s own KYC documents.
In case there is no nominee updated in the account records, the RBI has laid out a simplified claims process. If the deceased accountholder has left a will, then a probate is required from a competent court, otherwise, the claimant can provide any of the following documents: an heirship certificate or a succession certificate or a letter of administration. That said, as per this circular, for claims below a certain amount, the RBI has instructed the banks not to insist on any of these documents. It has been left to the discretion of each bank to decide on this limit.
There is no time limit for filing such a claim and even if one comes across these several years after passing of the account holder, one can make the claim. However, the good part is that the banks must settle any such request within 15 days of the claim being filed.
Centralized RBI Portal to Track Unclaimed Deposits (2023)
As of now, one needs to check individual banks’ websites to find the unclaimed deposits. RBI has announced that very soon, there will be a Centralized RBI Portal to Track Unclaimed Deposits. A centralised portal will make it easier for a family to search for their unclaimed deposits in a user-friendly manner and in a single place.
This portal is soon to be launched in 2023.
As you can see and may have realized by now, it’s very important to keep your dependents, especially, nominees and heirs informed about all your accounts, deposits and investments, and how to access the required documents if and when required. So make sure you have this sorted if you have still not given it the importance.
So that was about How to Find your Unclaimed Bank Deposits and How to Claim back Unclaimed Bank Deposits in India (2023).