A total amount of over Rs 51,500 crore is lying unclaimed with financial institutions, like banks, insurance companies and mutual funds, in the country, the Parliament was informed on Tuesday.
Under Section 26 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, banks are required to submit a return in the prescribed form and manner to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) within 30 days after the close of each calendar year about all accounts in India which have not been operated upon for 10 years, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Rajya Sabha.
"As per information received from RBI, as on 31.12.2020, the total number of such accounts in Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) was 8,13,34,849 and the amount of deposits in such accounts was Rs 24,356 crore," Sitharaman said.
Similarly, the number of accounts not operated for more than 10 years and the amount in such accounts with Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) was 77,03,819 and Rs 2,341 crore, respectively, as on December 31, 2020.
The finance minister also said that as per the information received from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the total amount of unclaimed deposits with life insurance companies as on March 31, 2021 was Rs 22,043.26 crore, and that with non-life insurance companies was at Rs 1,241.81 crore.
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"Similarly, as per information received from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), as on 31.03.2021, the amount lying unclaimed with mutual funds was Rs 1,590.67 crore which comprised of Rs 671.88 crores towards unclaimed redemption and Rs 918.79 crores towards unclaimed dividend," she said.
As per the instructions issued by the RBI to banks, they 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 the same.
Similarly, IRDAI has mandated that no insurer shall appropriate or write back any part of the unclaimed amounts belonging to the policyholders/ beneficiaries under any circumstances, Sitharaman said.
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