Public sector banks (PSBs) in India have transferred around ₹35,000 crore in unclaimed deposits to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as of February 2023, according to information shared in Parliament on Monday. The unclaimed deposits belong to 10.24 crore accounts that have not been operated for a period of 10 years or more.
“As per information available with the RBI, as of the end of February 2023, the total amount of unclaimed deposits transferred to RBI by PSBs in respect of deposits which have not been operated for 10 years or more was ₹35,012 crore,” said Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
State Bank of India (SBI) has the highest amount of unclaimed deposits at ₹8,086 crore, followed by Punjab National Bank at ₹5,340 crore, Canara Bank at ₹4,558 crore, and Bank of Baroda at ₹3,904 crore.
In response to a query on whether SBI officials assist the families of the deceased in settling claims, the minister stated that the bank does provide help in settling all cases of claims. For the convenience of SBI customers, the bank has uploaded details on the settlement of claims without legal representation, prescribed forms, and updated FAQs on its website.
“Settlement of account (s) of deceased constituent are taken up on priority by SBI. SBI staff has been sensitised and instructions are reiterated in all forums of banks at regular frequency,” he said.
The reply stated that SBI branches acknowledge every application for settlement of accounts of a deceased constituent received by them. Banks have been advised to launch a special drive to locate customers/legal heirs for accounts that have become inoperative, i.e., where there have been no transactions for two years.
“Further, it said, banks are required to display the list of unclaimed deposits/inoperative accounts which are inactive / inoperative for ten years or more on their respective websites, with the list containing the names and addresses of the account holder(s) in respect of unclaimed deposits/ inoperative accounts,” he said.
RBI has also urged banks to play a more proactive role in locating the account holders whose accounts have remained inoperative.