The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 17th August 2023 launched a Centralised Web Portal UDGAM (Unclaimed Deposits – Gateway to Access inforMation) for the public to search their unclaimed deposits across multiple banks at one place.
This portal has been developed by RBI for use by members of the public to facilitate and make it easier for them to search their unclaimed deposits across multiple banks at one place.
The UDGAM web portal has been developed by the Reserve Bank Information Technology Pvt Ltd (ReBIT), Indian Financial Technology & Allied Services (IFTAS) and participating banks .
At present the users would be able to access the details of their unclaimed deposits in respect of seven banks available on the portal. These banks include State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, Dhanlaxmi Bank Ltd, South Indian Bank Ltd, DBS Bank India Ltd, and Citibank N.A.
According to the RBI the search facility for remaining banks on the portal would be made available in a phased manner by October 15, 2023.
Earlier in July 2023 RBI launched ‘100 Days 100 Pays’ campaign to trace and settle the top 100 unclaimed deposits of every bank in every district within 100 days. The launch of the UDGAM portal is a part of the RBI effort to reduce the quantum of unclaimed deposits in the banking system and return such deposits to their rightful owners/claimants.
If there is no transaction(withdrawal or deposit) by customer in its bank account for the last 10 years then the bank account is declared as unclaimed deposit . It includes all types of bank accounts like current account, saving account, fixed deposits ,recurring deposits , cash credit accounts etc.
Those bank accounts where no transaction (deposit or withdrawal) has been done by the customer for the last two years are called inoperative accounts .
Banks have to transfer the money lying in the accounts declared as unclaimed deposits to Depositor Education and Awareness Fund (DEAF) managed by RBI.
Under the Banking Regulation act 1949, RBI has set up Depositor Education and Awareness Fund in 2014.
The fund is managed by a committee of seven members appointed by RBI . One of the deputy governors of the RBI is the chairman of the Fund .
The Fund is used by RBI for promotion of depositors’ interest and for such other purposes which may be necessary for the promotion of depositors’ interests as specified by the Reserve Bank from time to time.
RBI says that if the customer or its legal heir reclaims the account then the bank will have to return back the amount with interest wherever applicable. RBI will return the amount to the bank and the bank will pay the amount back to the customer .
Every bank is required to show the details of unclaimed accounts on its website with some identifiable details. After checking the details on the website, customers can visit the bank branch with a claim form and receipts of the deposits and know your customers (KYC) documents to claim the money.
According to RBI some of the main reasons for the increase in unclaimed deposits with the banks are as follows:
non-closure of savings/current accounts which depositors do not intend to operate anymore
Depositors not submitting redemption claims with banks for matured fixed deposits.
The nominees or legal heir of the deceased depositors do not come forward to make claims on the bank.
Governor of RBI:Shaktikanta Das
There are four deputy governors of RBI. At present they are :