Rs 35,000 crore. That’s the mammoth amount lying forgotten as unclaimed bank deposits for many years. And to help people claim their forgotten money, India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has launched the UDGAM (Unclaimed Deposits: Gateway to Access Information) centralised web portal.
It’s not a sudden move, as the RBI had announced its plan to launch the portal in April this year.
RBI Launches The UDGAM Portal
The UDGAM portal will help the public search for unclaimed deposits, according to RBI’s latest press release issued on August 17th..
The launch of the web portal will aid users in identifying their unclaimed deposits and accounts and enable them to either claim the deposit amount or make their deposit accounts operational at their respective banks. Reserve Bank Information Technology Pvt. Ltd. (ReBIT), Indian Financial Technology & Allied Services (IFTAS), and participating banks have collaborated on developing the portal.
According to the RBI, as of February 2023, Rs 35,000 crore in deposits were lying unclaimed. It was transferred to the RBI by public sector banks (PSBs) earlier this year.
What Are Unclaimed Deposits?Balances in savings or current accounts that have not been operated for 10 years or bank deposits (like FDs, RDs) not claimed within 10 years from the date of maturity are classified as “Unclaimed Deposits.” The unclaimed amounts are transferred by banks to the “Depositor Education and Awareness” Fund (DEAF), maintained by the Reserve Bank of India.
What Happens To The Unclaimed Money?
According to RBI norms, a customer’s savings and/or current account usually gets treated as inactive if there is no financial activity in it for 1 year, and further, it gets treated as an inoperative or dormant account if there are no transactions in the account for over two years.
And if the bank account remains inoperative for a period of 10 years, the money is transferred to the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund Scheme (DEAF). The DEAF framework was introduced in 2014 for the promotion of depositors’ interests. The scheme allows depositors to reclaim the amount after verification, and then the bank can transfer the claim to the depositor’s account and file a refund with the RBI.
Are All Banks Eligible For It?
No, not all banks are covered under the new portal.
To begin with, users would be able to access the details of their unclaimed deposits in respect of seven banks presently available on the portal. The search facility for the remaining banks on the portal would be made available in a phased manner by October 15, 2023.
1. State Bank of India
2. Punjab National Bank
3. Central Bank of India
4. Dhanlaxmi Bank
5. South Indian Bank
6. DBS Bank India