RTI reply - Over 1 crore inoperative bank accounts in India
According to the information provided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in reply to an application filed under Right to Information (RTI) Act, it has been revealed that there are over one crore inoperative accounts in India involving an amount of nearly 2,400 crores till December 31, 2011. These involve:
- public sector banks over Rs 1,900 crore in about 86 lakh accounts,
- private sector banks over Rs 233 crore in more than 14 lakh accounts, and
- foreign banks over Rs 69 crore in over 46,000 accounts.
Amongst the public sector, the State Bank group has over Rs 233 crore unclaimed funds in its 10 lakh accounts. As per a RBI circular, all those savings as well as current accounts are treated as inoperative or dormant if there are no transactions in the account for over a period of two years. No charges are levied for the activation of an inoperative account and the bank’s interest on savings accounts is on regular basis whether the account is operative or not.
The banks are expected to make efforts to find the whereabouts of the customers or legal heirs in respect of the inoperative accounts.