The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched its centralised portal called UDGAM (Unclaimed Deposits – Gateway to Access inforMation) on August 17, 2023. The portal will help individuals track all their unclaimed deposits or accounts across multiple banks in one place.
Earlier, the apex bank announced the launch of this portal at its monetary policy meeting on April 6, 2023.
As of February-end 2023, more than Rs 35,000 crore has been transferred by the public sector to the RBI, stating it to be unclaimed deposits. The money is with the RBI’s Depositors’ Education and Awareness Fund (DEAF), a scheme or fund launched in 2014 that earns simple interest as per rates declared by it.
Essentially, a bank account that remains unused first becomes inoperative and later an unclaimed deposit. The savings and current accounts become inoperative or dormant in case a customer or any third party undertakes no transactions for over two years.
At the same time, recurring and term deposits turn inoperative in case the deposit amount is not claimed even two years after maturity.
Subsequently, at the end of 10 years after an account–including savings, current, or term deposit – has become inoperative, the amount is suitably transferred as an unclaimed deposit to the DEAF.
It is important to note that balances in inoperative bank accounts continue to remain with the banks themselves; also, these cannot be searched for on the portal.
On the UDGAM portal, an individual is required to enter their mobile number and a password to register. The registration process is complete after an individual enters the One-Time Password (OTP) sent to the mobile number.
After this, an individual can log in, enter the name of the account holder or joint account holder, and select the relevant banks or select all banks by clicking on the drop-down menu. In addition, an individual will be prompted to enter one of the following details: Permanent Account Number (PAN), voter ID, driving licence number, passport number, date of birth, or address. Select ‘search’ after this.
The search results will highlight a list of banks where customers maintain their accounts based on potential matches. A click on the bank’s name will direct an individual to the official website, where they can access the ‘unclaimed deposits’ section. A customer can explore the list of unclaimed accounts under that and find more relevant information about the process of claiming the funds.
Also, only the name and address of the bank branch are displayed on the portal when an individual runs a search.
Further, once an individual has this information, they are required to start making claims with the relevant banks. At the moment, the process of claiming such deposits is still offline.
Currently, the portal will highlight information on unclaimed deposits with respect to just seven banks: the State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Central Bank of India, Dhanlaxmi Bank, DBS Bank India, South Indian Bank and Citibank.
The apex bank will roll out the search facility in a phased manner for the remaining banks by October 15, 2023.
Rajiv is an independent editorial consultant for the last decade. Prior to this, he worked as a full-time journalist associated with various prominent print media houses. In his spare time, he loves to paint on canvas.