Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to locate and refund unclaimed deposits of around R1,700 crore. "Keeping in view public interest, it has been decided that banks should play a more pro-active role in finding the whereabouts of the account holders of unclaimed deposits/inoperative accounts.
“Banks are, therefore, advised that they should display the list of unclaimed deposits/inoperative accounts, which are inactive/inoperative for 10 years or more on their respective websites," the RBI said in an instruction to banks.
A whopping R1,723.24 crore in 1.03 crore non-operational accounts in different banks were lying unclaimed as on December, 2010.
"Banks should also give on the same website the information on the process of claiming the unclaimed deposit/activating the inoperative account and the necessary forms and documents for claiming the same," RBI added. Banks have been asked to complete the exercise by June 30 and keep their websites updated at regular intervals.
Expressing concern over the "increase in the amount of the unclaimed deposits with banks year after year and the inherent risk associated with such deposits", RBI said the lists should contain only the names of the account holder(s) and his/her address.