The Indian banking system has been in the news for the wrong reasons of late. While cases of defaults have been on the rise over the last few months, there has also been an increase in the unclaimed amount with these banks. According to a report by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), unclaimed deposits to the tune of Rs.11,300 crore are currently held by banks in the country.
The amount is held by over 3 crore accountholders. While State Bank of India has the highest unclaimed amount (Rs.1,262 crore), Punjab National Bank comes second with over Rs.1,250 crore unclaimed.
Among private banks ICICI Bank has the highest unclaimed amount at Rs.476 crore, followed by Kotak Mahindra Bank at Rs.151 crore.
While the unclaimed amount with Public Sector Banks is Rs.7,040 crore, the combined amount with private banks is Rs.1,416 crore. The amount with foreign banks is limited to Rs.332 crore.
Experts are of the opinion that the unclaimed money is unlikely to be illegal, with most of the amount likely to belong to deceased accountholders.
Banks in the country are expected to provide a report of inactive accounts which haven’t been used for over 10 years. The report follows the information received by the RBI.
The amount in such accounts can be claimed by the accountholder even if the account has been dormant for a decade. Banks are liable to repay the money in such cases. The unclaimed amount is deposited into the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund.
Indian banks currently cater to over 100 crore deposit holders, with this amount accounting for a marginal fraction of the overall deposits.
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