Public sector banks (PSBs) have transferred unclaimed deposits (till February 2023) of Rs35,012 crore to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.
Among the PSBs, State Bank of India (SBI) tops the list with an unclaimed amount of Rs8,086 crore, while Punjab National Bank has Rs5,340 crore and Canara Bank has Rs4,558 crore.
According to a written reply by the minister of state, finance, Bhagwat Karad, in Lok Sabha on Monday, SBI has informed that it assists the family of the deceased in settling all cases of claims. "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.
"For the convenience of SBI customers, the details or process of settlement of claims without legal representation in respect of account(s) of deceased constituents, the specimen of prescribed forms, as well as updated FAQs for easy understanding have been uploaded on SBI's website. Every application for settlement of account(s) of a deceased constituent received at the SBI branch are duly acknowledged. If the documents are incomplete or not in order or the claim is rejected, the same is duly recorded along with reasons thereof, under advice to the Claimants," read the reply.
As per the instructions issued by RBI to banks vide their Master Circular on "Customer Service in Banks", banks are required to make an annual review of accounts in which there are no operations for more than one year, and may approach the customers and inform them in writing that there has been no operation in their accounts and ascertain the reasons for it.
The reply informed that banks have also been advised to consider launching a special drive for finding the whereabouts of the customers or legal heirs in respect of accounts which have become inoperative, where there are no transactions in the account over a period of two years.
Further, banks are required to display the list of unclaimed deposits and inoperative accounts which are inactive or inoperative for 10 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 and inoperative accounts.
Finally, banks have been advised by RBI to play a more proactive role in finding the whereabouts of the account-holders whose accounts have remained inoperative, added the reply.
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