Many a time a person forgets the small account he or she may have opened in a bank to oblige the Manager for a target or account opened by his or her parents when minor. It also happens that a person moves away from a town and it is not practical to come back for closing the account. The same happens to the married girls who move out of the city.
As per the RBI directives, amounts in any such account which is not been operated for the last 10 years, is centralised at a location, usually at head office with access to it restricted even to bank employees to avoid any misuse. It is called Depositor Education and Awareness Fund (DEAF) and is maintained by RBI.
The total amount in such accounts lies with Indian banks totalling up to Rs. 48200 crores as of March 2022. RBI is going to launch a special drive for awareness and disposing off the rising pile of money to their legitimate owners again. The RBI wants the depositors to submit redemption claims with banks.
There are many cases of accounts belonging to deceased depositors, where the nominees/legal heirs do not come forward to make a claim. RBI has been running an awareness campaign encouraging people to get back their unclaimed deposits from banks but without much success. There have been many public awareness campaigns undertaken by the Reserve Bank of India also.
In fact, the total amount lying unclaimed with banks, insurers, and MFs is Rs 70,000 crore. in the case of Life Insurance Corporation Of India, the unclaimed amount is about over Rs 21,000 crore.
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