Highlights

  • Unclaimed bank deposits soar by 28% to ₹42,270 crore.
  • Decline in Gross NPAs witnessed within Scheduled Commercial Banks.

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Unclaimed bank deposits surge to ₹42,270 crore in 2023

Among the unclaimed deposits, a substantial ₹36,185 crore resided in public sector banks, whereas private sector banks held ₹6,087 crore by March 2023.

Unclaimed bank deposits surge to ₹42,270 crore in 2023

The recent data disclosed in Parliament on December 19 has shed light on a substantial upsurge of 28% in unclaimed deposits harbored by banks, reaching a towering sum of ₹42,270 crore by the closure of March 2023.

Comparing figures to the previous fiscal year (FY22), where unclaimed deposits across public and private sector banks amounted to ₹32,934 crore, the latest statistics paint a stark picture of a hefty surge to ₹42,272 crore by March 2023, denoting a formidable 28% escalation.

Within this colossal pool of unclaimed deposits, a staggering ₹36,185 crore remained lodged within public sector banks, while private sector banks accounted for ₹6,087 crore by the conclusion of March 2023.

Addressing the management of these unclaimed deposits, Union Minister of State (MoS) for Finance, Bhagwat K Karad, emphasized the proactive measures adopted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). He highlighted the RBI's directive urging banks to publish lists of inactive accounts holding unclaimed deposits on their websites, aiming to reconnect with customers or their legal heirs, thereby facilitating the rightful return of these deposits.

In compliance with RBI guidelines, banks are mandated to formulate board-approved policies for handling unclaimed deposits, establish effective grievance redressal mechanisms for timely issue resolution, maintain meticulous records, and periodically review accounts holding unclaimed deposits.

RBI has introduced the Unclaimed Deposits Gateway to Access Information (UDGAM), a centralized web portal enabling searches for unclaimed deposits across various banks. Furthermore, the '100 Days 100 Pays' initiative, launched by the RBI, concentrated on settling the top 100 unclaimed deposits per bank in each district within 100 days from June 1, 2023, to September 8, 2023. Consequently, 31 major banks refunded a collective sum of ₹1,432.68 crore during this drive.

In addition to these developments, Minister Karad highlighted a declining trend in Gross Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) within Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) over successive financial years, indicating a substantial decrease from ₹9,33,779 crore (Gross NPA ratio of 9.07 percent) in March 2019 to ₹5,71,544 crore (Gross NPA ratio of 3.87 percent) in March 2023.

Despite the surge in digital payment transactions, reported frauds increased from 3,596 in 2021-22 to 6,659 in 2022-23 in areas such as credit cards, debit cards, and internet banking. Minister Karad outlined the division of responsibilities between states/UTs and the central government in combating cyber frauds, emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts to address these issues effectively.

Also Watch: RBI launches UDGAM- portal to track unclaimed deposits


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