Unclaimed bank money to be used for depositors education: RBI

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Unclaimed bank deposits, which are estimated at Rs 3,500 crore, will be utilised for education and awareness of depositors, the Reserve Bank said today.

The 'Depositor Education and Awareness Fund Scheme, 2014' has been finalised and forwarded to Government for notifying in the Official Gazette, the RBI said

"...The amounts to be credited to the Fund shall be the credit balance in any deposit account maintained with banks which have not been operated upon for ten years or more, or any amount remaining unclaimed for ten years or more," it said.

The deposit accounts, include savings bank deposit accounts, fixed or term deposit accounts, recurring deposit accounts and current deposit accounts. Also, any amount payable in foreign currency under an instrument or a transaction, that has remained unclaimed for 10 years or more.

As per an estimate, banks have as much as Rs 3,652 crore of unclaimed deposits lying with them, with the State Bank of India alone accounting for about 15 per cent of that.

RBI further said in case of demand from a customer or depositor whose unclaimed amount/deposit had been transferred to Fund, "banks shall repay the customer/depositor, along with interest if applicable".

The Fund will be utilised for promotion of depositors' interests and similar purposes which may be necessary for promotion of their interest, it added.

The central bank further said that the Fund will be administered and managed by a Committee headed by a Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank.

RBI has asked banks to be in "readiness" to take necessary action as the Scheme would be effective on the date of notification in the official gazette.

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