Unclaimed deposits with banks have witnessed a 26 per cent jump year on year to ₹78,213 crore at the end of March 2024, as per the RBI Annual Report released on Thursday.

The amount with the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund stood at ₹62,225 crore at the end of March 2023.

Banks including cooperative banks transfer unclaimed deposits of account holders lying in their accounts for ten or more years to RBI's Depositor Education and Awareness (DEA) Fund.

As a measure to assist the account holders and with a view to consolidating and rationalising the extant instructions on inoperative accounts, the Reserve Bank issued a comprehensive guidelines earlier this year on the measures to be put in place by the banks covering various aspects of classifying accounts and deposits as inoperative accounts and unclaimed deposits, as the case may be.

The RBI advised banks for a periodic review of such accounts, measures to prevent fraud in such accounts, grievance redress mechanism for expeditious resolution of complaints, steps to be taken for tracing the customers of inoperative accounts or unclaimed deposits including their nominees or legal heirs for re-activation of accounts, settlement of claims or closure and the process to be followed by them.

These instructions were expected to complement the ongoing efforts and initiatives taken by banks, and the Reserve Bank to reduce the quantum of unclaimed deposits in the banking system, and return such deposits to their rightful owners/claimants.

The revised instructions are applicable to all commercial banks (including Regional Rural Banks), and all co-operative banks and have come into effect from April 1, 2024.

To facilitate the depositors to search the unclaimed deposits across multiple banks easily and at one place, the Reserve Bank developed a centralised web portal UDGAM - Unclaimed Deposits Gateway to Access information.