Have you ever wondered how to claim unclaimed money in any bank account you have forgotten or lost track of? If yes, then you are not alone.
According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data for 2021, 31.08 crores are lying unclaimed in various bank accounts across the country. Data suggests the Number of Accounts With ‘Unclaimed Deposits’ in ‘Public Sector Banks’ Crosses 10 Crore.
But there’s no need to overthink how to claim unclaimed deposits when there’s an easy and fast way to find out about your unclaimed deposits right now. The Reserve Bank of India has recently launched a centralized web portal called UDGAM (Unclaimed Deposits – Gateway to Access information) for the public to search their unclaimed deposits across multiple banks in one place.
In this article, we will go over all you need to know about how to claim unclaimed deposits, kicking off with the basics. We will also go through how to use the RBI website efficiently and provide some ideas and suggestions to help you keep track of your deposits in the future. So, let’s get this party started!
What are Unclaimed Deposits?
Have you ever opened a bank account just to forget about it? Or have you ever deposited money in a bank and not claimed it for years? If you answered yes, how to claim these unclaimed deposits is more important to you than to anybody else.
Unclaimed deposits are the money lying idle in bank accounts that have not been operated or claimed by the customers for a long time. According to the RBI, a deposit is classified as ‘unclaimed’ if the customer hasn’t made any transaction using that account for at least 10 years. These deposits may include savings accounts, fixed deposits, recurring deposits, current accounts, or any other type of deposit account.
You may wonder why people leave their money unclaimed in banks. Now, there could be various reasons for this, such as:
- The customer may have passed away without informing the nominee or legal heir about the account.
- The customer may have changed their address, phone number, email, or other contact details without updating the bank.
- The customer may have lost or misplaced their passbook, checkbook, ATM card, or other documents related to the account.
- The customer may have multiple accounts in different banks and may not remember all of them.
- The customer may have no need or interest in using the account.
Whatever the reason, unclaimed deposits are a massive loss for both the customers and the banks. The deposits lying unclaimed after the expiry of 3 months after 10 years must be transferred to the RBI’s Depositor Education and Awareness (DEA) Fund monthly.
The balances in the DEA Funds may be used by the RBI for depositor interest or other purposes connected to depositor interest as authorized by the RBI. The customers lose their hard-earned money and the interest on it. The banks lose their potential business and goodwill. Moreover, unclaimed deposits are also vulnerable to fraud and misuse by unscrupulous elements.
Therefore, the customers and the banks need to track and know more about how to claim unclaimed deposits in the Bank.
Overview of the UDGAM Portal
The number of unclaimed deposits transferred to the RBI has decreased from 48,262 crores in March 2022 (in FY 2021-22) to Rs. 35,012 crores in February 2023 (in FY 2022-23) as a result of the RBI’s proactive activities to raise awareness about ‘how to claim unclaimed deposits.’
Among these initiatives to help customers learn how to claim unclaimed deposits, the RBI launched UDGAM (Unclaimed Deposits – Gateway to Access Information) on August 17, 2023.
UDGAM is a centralized web portal accessible to the public to search their unclaimed deposits across multiple banks in one place. Currently, only seven banks are included in the UDGAM site; however, this service will be extended to other Banks by October 15, 2023.
The seven Banks in the list include-
- State Bank of India (SBI)
- Punjab National Bank (PNB)
- Central Bank of India (CBI)
- South Indian Bank Ltd
- Dhanlaxmi Bank Ltd
- DBS Bank India Ltd
The “unclaimed deposits” that are covered under the umbrella of UDGAM include-
- Savings Account
- Current Account
- Fixed Deposits
- Credit account
- Loan account
- ATM Balances
- Unpaid Demand Drafts/ Banker’s Cheques
- Margin Money issued against Letter of Guarantee
- Unadjusted NEFT Credit Balances
You may simply identify and track your unclaimed deposits on the UGDAM site by entering the appropriate user credentials. UDGAM employs industry-leading AI technology to enhance the user experience.
How to Find Unclaimed Deposits from the UDGAM Portal?
If you’ve learned what constitutes an unclaimed deposit but are still unsure how to claim unclaimed deposits, follow the steps below-
Step 1: Register as a user on the UDGAM portal. Put in your-
- Date of birth
- Mobile number
- Email, etc.
Then, create a password. You will also receive an OTP on your mobile number and email for verification.
Step 2: Log in to the UDGAM portal using your registered mobile number, email, and password. You will see a dashboard with various options: search, view, edit, download, etc.
Step 3: Click on the search option and enter your search criteria, such as name, date of birth, PAN, Aadhaar, etc. You can also select the bank or branch names from the drop-down list if you know them.
You can also use the advanced search option to refine your search by entering more details such as account type, account number, deposit amount, etc.
Step 4: Click on the search button and wait for the results. The results will show you a list of all the banks where you may have unclaimed deposits and the account details such as account number, account type, deposit amount, last transaction date, etc.
Step 5: Verify the results and select the accounts that belong to you. You can also download or print the results for your reference.
Step 6: Contact the respective banks where you have unclaimed deposits and follow their procedures to claim your deposits or make your accounts operative again. You may need to provide documents such as identity proof, address proof, passbook, chequebook, etc., to prove your ownership of the accounts.
Tips and Suggestions to Avoid Losing Track of Deposits in the Future
We have given some efficient ways with which you will never have to worry about “how to claim unclaimed deposits” because all of your accounts will be sorted and organized-
- Update your contact details with your bank regularly. Ensure your bank has your address, phone number, email, and other contact information. This will help you receive timely notifications and alerts from your bank about your account activity and balance.
- Check your bank statements regularly. You can access your bank statements online or request them from your bank branch. Review your statements carefully and look for any errors or discrepancies. If you find any, report them to your bank immediately.
- Consolidate your accounts if possible. If you have multiple accounts in different banks, you may consider consolidating them into one or a few accounts. This will help you reduce the hassle of managing multiple accounts and avoid losing track of any of them.
- Use your accounts regularly. Make some transactions using your accounts at least once a year. This will help you keep your accounts active and prevent them from becoming dormant or unclaimed.
- Nominate a beneficiary for your accounts. You can nominate someone who will inherit your deposits in case of death. This will help you ensure that your money reaches the right person and does not remain unclaimed in the bank.
You can quickly claim unclaimed deposits if you have money in bank accounts you don’t remember or use. Just log in to the UDGAM site, a web platform by the RBI that allows you to search for unclaimed deposits for various banks.
But be careful; the banks may also have different rules and processes to settle the claims. You may also face some legal issues or disputes if there are multiple claimants for the same deposit.
The good news is that you can avoid these hassles by regularly updating your contact details with your bank, checking your bank statements, consolidating your accounts, using your accounts, and nominating a beneficiary. You should also use the UDGAM portal periodically to search and claim your unclaimed deposits.
We hope this article has helped you understand how to claim your unclaimed deposits and why it is essential.
Related investing topics
What is the Depositor Education and Awareness (DEA) Fund?
The RBI creates the DEA Fund from the unclaimed deposits the banks transfer monthly. The fund is used for promoting depositors’ interest and awareness.
If a claim is made on the deposit after the stipulated period of 10 years, the banks may settle and pay back the funds to the depositor and later claim it back from the DEA Fund.
What are the legal issues or disputes that arise while claiming unclaimed deposits?
The legal issues or disputes that may arise while claiming unclaimed deposits are related to the claim’s ownership, identity, or validity. For example, multiple claimants for the same deposit may exist, such as nominees, legal heirs, joint holders, etc.
There may also be cases of fraud or forgery of documents or signatures. In such cases, the banks may require additional proof or verification before settling the claims.
What are unclaimed deposits?
Unclaimed deposits are the money lying idle in bank accounts that have not been operated or claimed by the customers for a long time. According to the RBI, a deposit is classified as ‘unclaimed’ if the customer hasn’t made any transaction using that account for at least 10 years.
How to claim unclaimed deposits from the UDGAM portal?
To claim unclaimed deposits from the UDGAM portal, you need to verify the results and select the accounts that belong to you. You can then contact the banks where you have unclaimed deposits and follow their procedures to claim your deposits or make your accounts operative again.
I’m Archana R. Chettiar, an experienced content creator with
an affinity for writing on personal finance and other financial content. I
love to write on equity investing, retirement, managing money, and more.