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Words of Wisdom : "The man who does not read books, has no advantage over the man who cannot read them." ~ Mark Twain

Reclaiming your unclaimed deposits is now just a click away

As on Dec 31, 2013, more than Rs.5,000 crores was lying with banks in accounts not operated for more than a decade. Over the last one year, this number would have surely gone up. Does any of it belong to you?

RBI is keen that, to the extent feasible, this amount should be returned to their rightful owners.

As such, it has advised banks to become more pro-active in trying to locate the holders (including nominees and legal heirs) of such unclaimed deposits and inoperative accounts. 

One such step, in this regard, is to provide everyone ready and easy access to the relevant information. Accordingly,

- Each bank will display, on its website, the list of all deposits and accounts that have remained unclaimed, inactive or inoperative for a period of ten years or more.

- They will, however, ensure that only the names and addresses of the account holders are displayed. (In cases where such accounts belong to a company, firm or such other legal entity i.e. non-individual accounts, the names of persons authorized to operate the account will also be displayed.)

- Important details such as account number, type of account, account balance, name of the branch, etc. are to be kept strictly confidential and hence will not be disclosed on the website. 
- A "Find" option would be provided that would enable you to search for any unclaimed deposit or inoperative account based on the name of the account holder.

- You will also be informed of the process, along with all the necessary forms and documents required, to claim the amounts lying in any such inactive accounts that may belong to you. 

- Each bank will have suitable safeguards in place so that the money goes to the genuine account holders only and fraudulent withdrawals are prevented.

- It is expected that this list of unclaimed deposits and inoperative accounts, together with the search facility, would be available by Mar 31, 2015. Thereafter, banks would periodically update the list.    

- In addition, each bank has to formulate a policy, duly approved by its Board, with respect to classification of unclaimed deposits / accounts; grievance redressal mechanism; timely resolution of complaints; record keeping; and regular review of such accounts.

As life becomes increasingly busy, job changes happen frequently and shifting across cities becomes common, our poor old fixed deposits and bank accounts lie neglected somewhere. 

Time has come to recover and reclaim this forgotten money. RBI has made it really simple. Click of the mouse from the comfort of your home and you may discover your lost treasure.

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