RBI: Rs2,481 cr lying idle in unused bank accounts

The Reserve Bank of India is concerned that several commercial banks are yet to comply with its directive to furnish details of accounts which have been inoperative for a decade or more.

The RBI had asked all public sector and scheduled commercial banks to provide the details of dormant accounts online by 30 June last year, according to a report in The Hindu citing unnamed RBI officials.

As on 31 December 2011, a total amount of over Rs2,481 crore was lying as unclaimed deposits in 11 lakh accounts of various banks in the country, according to the RBI.

At a modest estimate, at least Rs100 crore could be remaining idle in banks operating in Kerala alone.

RBI officials said the apex bank had not extended the deadline and a circular was issued as a follow-up to all banks to review the position by 30 September 2012. Most banks have complied with the norms, an official said.

State Bank of Travancore, one of the major public sector banks operating in Kerala, maintained that the process of furnishing the account details was underway. The delay was on account of the large number of inoperative accounts, a senior official of the bank said. The bank has initiated steps to trace inert accounts holding a low balance and follow-up measures have been initiated.