Banks have Rs3,652 crore of unclaimed deposits lying with them, as of end-December 2012; the State Bank of India (SBI) alone accounts for about 15% of the amount, the government informed parliament.
Banks are required to submit a return to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) within 30 days of the close of the calendar year for all accounts that have not been operated for 10 years.
Total unclaimed deposits in public sector banks stood at Rs3,237 crore; for private sector and foreign banks, these aggregated Rs340 crore and Rs75 crore, respectively.
SBI, the country’s largest bank, had Rs539 crore of unclaimed deposits. The SBI group, which includes five associate banks, had unclaimed deposits of Rs714 crore. Canara Bank had unclaimed deposits of Rs526 crore, followed by Union Bank of India (Rs390 crore) and Punjab National Bank (Rs385 crore).
Among private sector players, ICICI Bank had unclaimed deposits of Rs101 crore while HDFC Bank had Rs13 crore.
The new West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Bill, 2013, was passed in the state legislative assembly, after withdrawing the earlier one, following objections from the Centre. The Bill was moved by the state finance minister Amit Mitra incorporating some clauses as suggested by the Union finance ministry.
Clarifications were sought on widening the powers of special designated courts dealing with cases related to chit funds and that no court could grant anticipatory bail. The new Bill incorporates fresh penal provisions like attachment of property in case of default in payment of deposit and transfer of property.
A similar Bill, introduced by the previous Left Front government in 2003, did not get the Presidential nod. The TMC government decided to repeal that Bill and introduce a new one. Ponzi or chain-money schemes have thrived in West Bengal for over a decade. One of them, Saradha, went belly-up in April 2013, after sucking thousands of crores of deposits.
The government has received as many as 3,763 complaints against banks with respect to credit card charges as of 1 July 2013, minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena informed the parliament. The government received complaints against banks and financial institutions for their deficient services and practices related to credit cards like undue penal charges, late payment charges, issue of unsolicited cards and harassing telephone calls.
“Complaints on non-adherence by banks to the instructions of RBI on ATM/debit/credit card operations are considered under the RBI’s banking ombudsman scheme,” he said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. A total of 7,744 such complaints were received in 2012-13, and 5,146 complaints in 2011-12, he said.