Q. I am a 45-year-old government employee. My father is a retired employee of one of India’s largest public sector companies. During the course of his career, he was posted across various states, and he had opened fixed deposits with various banks. At present, due to old age-related ailments he does not remember the details of all of the fixed deposits he had opened with various banks. I recently came to know that RBI allows individuals to claim back their forgotten deposits and bank accounts through their portal. Can you please explain what is the procedure to claim back deposits, specifically those deposits whose documents have been lost by the individual?
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched a centralised portal called the Unclaimed Deposits – Gateway to Access Information (UDGAM) to help people track and claim their forgotten bank deposits. The portal was launched in August 2023 and currently has information on unclaimed deposits of 15 banks. The remaining banks will be added to the portal in phases by October 15, 2023.
What is an unclaimed deposit?
An unclaimed deposit is a bank deposit that has been inactive for a certain period of time, usually ten years. The deposit is considered to be unclaimed if the bank has been unable to contact the account holder or the account holder's heirs.
Why does a bank deposit become unclaimed?
There are a few reasons why a bank deposit might become unclaimed. Some of the most common reasons include:
- The account holder has died and their heirs are not aware of the deposit.
- The account holder has moved and the bank does not have their updated address.
- The account holder has lost their passbook or bank statement.
- The account holder has stopped making regular deposits into the account.
How to find unclaimed deposits
The RBI's UDGAM portal is a helpful tool for people who are trying to track down their forgotten bank deposits. The portal is easy to use and provides clear instructions on how to search for your unclaimed deposits.
To use the UDGAM portal, you will need to create an account and provide some basic information, such as your name, date of birth, and PAN number. You can then search for your unclaimed deposits by providing the name of the bank and the account number. If the portal finds any unclaimed deposits, you will be able to view the details of the deposit, such as the amount, interest earned, and the date the deposit became unclaimed.
How to claim an unclaimed deposit
If you find an unclaimed deposit in your name, you will need to submit a claim form to the RBI. The claim form can be downloaded from the UDGAM portal. You will need to provide some supporting documents with your claim form, such as a death certificate if the account holder is deceased, or a power of attorney if you are claiming on behalf of someone else. The RBI will review your claim and will decide whether to approve or reject it. If your claim is approved, the RBI will transfer the money to your bank account.
How to protect your bank deposits from becoming unclaimed
There are a few things you can do to protect your bank deposits from becoming unclaimed:
- Keep your contact information with your bank up to date.
- Make regular deposits into your account.
- Keep your passbook or bank statement in a safe place.
- If you are the beneficiary of a bank deposit, make sure you are aware of the deposit and how to claim it.
The RBI's UDGAM portal is a helpful tool for people who are trying to track down their forgotten bank deposits. The portal is easy to use and provides clear instructions on how to claim your unclaimed deposits. If you think you may have an unclaimed deposit, I encourage you to use the UDGAM portal to search for it. Here are some additional things to keep in mind when using the UDGAM portal:
- You can only search for unclaimed deposits that are held by banks that are registered with the RBI.
- You will need to provide supporting documents with your claim form.
- The RBI may take some time to process your claim.
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Note: This is for informational purposes. Please speak to a financial advisor for detailed solutions to your questions.