Presently Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has a provision for unclaimed deposits and funds in inoperative accounts of banks to be transferred to Depositor Education & Awareness Fund (DEAF) if accounts are not operated for last ten years.
But ten-year period is a very long period and banks must not be allowed to become self-custodian of huge amount of unclaimed money lying in banks especially when private sector dominates bank-industry with many foreign banks also becoming beneficiary to mint money out of depositors’ unclaimed bank-deposits.
There have been cases of banking-frauds where some bank-employees committed fraud by transferring such long unclaimed funds to their accounts. Even Central Information Commission in respect of such unclaimed funds in post-offices gave a verdict in tune with such observations.
Legal provisions should be urgently changed to reduce period of transfer unclaimed bank-deposits in ‘Depositor Educative and Awareness Fund’ (DEAF) to a reasonable three-years’ period like exists in case of companies where unclaimed dividends are transferred to a government-regulated account after three years.
1775, Kucha Lattushah
Dariba, New Delhi- 110006 (India)