Rs.1000 crore lying unclaimed with banks in India: RBI
By Ankit Sharma
Dec 24, 2007
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Mumbai: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released the latest figures of unclaimed money lying with various banks in India and according to RBI as of December,06 Rs,.1,018 crore is lying in 1.3 crore accounts.

Though, this figure itself is pretty big but banks say that this amount could be even bigger this year because the claims on such deposits take a long time to settle.

Explaining the distribution of such funds RBI said that most of this money is lying in saving deposit accounts. More than 77.4 lakh accounts, which form a massive 75% of the entire accounts percent have these funds. In terms of unclaimed money this segment accounts for Rs. 629.94 crore, which is over 60% of the total amount. Rs. 232 crore is lying unclaimed in 8.3 lakh fixed deposit accounts.

Around Rs 941 crore of this amount is held in public sector banks, which is over 90% of the total amount. Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India corner more than one third of the entire unclaimed deposits among the public sector bank. Canara Bank topped the list with Rs. 178 crore, Punjab National Bank was second with Rs. 128 crore followed by the State Bank of India with Rs. 95 crore.

If any fixed deposit or saving account is not used for more than 10 years and lies unclaimed the funds are transferred from the concerned branch to the the bank's head office. RBI in a circular issued more than a decade ago had asked the banks to contact the customer, if it finds that the account is lying unused for over a year and if the customers do not respond efforts should be made to locate his recent address. However, most banks do not follow such practices.

In a similar looking measure RBI had recently asked the banks to refund the small credit balances to the customers and why do they mark a credit card account as closed in just six years. Small amounts left in the credit card accounts are written off to a suspense account and then transferred to a profit and loss account by the credit card companies. Though the amount is small in individual account but can become huge as the number of such account grows into millions.

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Phillip Harker (Posted: Oct 10, 2008)
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Phillip Harker (Posted: Oct 10, 2008)
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