19 Dec 2023 2:09 PM GMT


Unclaimed bank deposits jump 28% to Rs 42,270 crore in FY 23


Indian currency


  • As much as Rs 36,185 crore unclaimed deposits were with public sector banks
  • Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) was Rs 9,33,779 crore

New Delhi, Dec 19 (PTI) There has been a 28 per cent annual increase in unclaimed deposits with the banks to Rs 42,270 crore as on March 2023, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.

As compared to Rs 32,934 crore unclaimed deposits with public and private sector banks in FY22, the amount increased to Rs 42,272 crore at the end of March 2023, an increase of 28 per cent.

As much as Rs 36,185 crore unclaimed deposits were with public sector banks while Rs 6,087 crore were with private sector banks at the end of March 2023.

Banks send unclaimed deposits of account holders lying in their accounts for 10 or more years to RBI's Depositor Education and Awareness (DEA) Fund.

RBI has taken various steps to reduce the quantum of unclaimed deposits and return such deposits to rightful claimants, Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat K Karad said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

As per the RBI's direction, banks have been advised to display the list of unclaimed deposits in accounts that are inactive or inoperative for ten years or more on the banks' websites and find the whereabouts of the customers, or legal heirs in case of deceased account holders, in order to return unclaimed deposits to the rightful claimants.

RBI asked banks to formulate board approved policy on classification of unclaimed deposits; and put in place a grievance redressal mechanism for quick resolution of complaints, record keeping, and periodic review of unclaimed deposit accounts, he said.

A centralised web portal, Unclaimed Deposits Gateway to Access Information (UDGAM), to search unclaimed deposits across multiple banks, has been set up by RBI, he said.

Further, he said, RBI has launched campaign '100 Days 100 Pays' for banks to trace and settle the top 100 unclaimed deposits of every bank in each district within a 100-day timeframe, commencing from June 1, 2023 to September 8, 2023.

At the end of campaign, major 31 banks (which comprised of more than 90 per cent of unclaimed deposit balances with the DEA Fund), have refunded Rs 1,432.68 crore in the campaign.

Non-performing assets (NPAs)

Replying to another question, Karad said quoting RBI data, gross non-performing assets (NPAs), including those associated with Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), of scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) was Rs 9,33,779 crore (Gross NPA ratio of 9.07 per cent) as on March 31, 2019, Rs 8,96,082 crore (Gross NPA ratio of 8.21 per cent) as on March 31, 2020 and Rs 8,35,051 crore (Gross NPA ratio of 7.33 per cent) as on March 31, 2021.

It further came down to Rs 7,42,397 crore (Gross NPA ratio of 5.82 per cent) as on March 31, 2022, and Rs 5,71,544 crore (Gross NPA ratio of 3.87 per cent) as on March 31, 2023, he said.

It indicates that gross NPAs in SCBs have been declining over the years, he added.

Further, he said, slippage ratios (fresh addition to NPAs as percentage of standard advances at the beginning of the year) of SCBs have declined from 3.74 per cent in financial year 2019-20 to 2.77 per cent in 2020-21 to 2.74 per cent in 2021-22 and to 1.78 per cent in 2022-23.

In a separate reply, Karad said, as per Reserve Bank of India (RBI), data on frauds (Rs 1 lakh and above) reported by Scheduled Commercial Banks under the categories -- "Cards/internet - credit cards, cards/internet - debit cards and cards/internet - internet banking- based on date of reporting", during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 are 3,596 and 6,659, respectively.

In the context of the evolution of overall digital ecosystem, the number of frauds reported is significantly outweighed by the substantial increase in the number of total digital payment transactions during the same period.

Ministry of Home Affairs has informed that 'police' and 'public order' are state subjects as per the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India.

States/UTs are primarily responsible for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes including cyber frauds through their Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), he said.

The central government supplements the efforts of state governments through advisories and financial assistance under various schemes for capacity building, he added.