FSDC pitches for a special
drive to settle unclaimed deposits in banks
Stability and Development Council (FSDC) headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
on Monday asked the regulators to initiate a special drive to settle unclaimed
deposits in banks and financial institutions.
Briefing reporters about
the discussions in the meeting, Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth it was
deliberated that regulators should conduct a special drive to facilitate the
settlement of unclaimed deposits and claims in the financial sectors across all
segments, such as banking deposits, shares and dividends, mutual funds, insurance,
"It was also noted
that, as the Union Budget has announced that unclaimed deposits and shares and
dividends, which are lying in the pool, a drive should be taken by the
concerned regulator, especially where the nominee details are available with
them though the nominees may not be aware of that.
In a time-bound manner,
that activity should be taken but where the nominee details are not there, the
process has to be put in place, he said.
About Rs 35,000 crore
unclaimed deposits as of February 2023 were transferred to the Reserve Bank by
public sector banks (PSBs) in respect of deposits, which have not been operated
for 10 years or more.
These unclaimed deposits
belong to 10.24 crore accounts transferred to the RBI as of the end of February
Last month, the Reserve
Bank Governor said that a centralised portal would be ready in three to four
months wherein depositors and beneficiaries can access details of unclaimed
deposits across various banks.
The 27th meeting of the FSDC
was attended by all financial sector regulators, including RBI Governor Shaktikanta
Das. This was the first meeting of the FSDC after the passage of the Rs 45 lakh
crore Budget for 2023-24 with greater emphasis on capital expenditure with an
outlay of Rs 10,00,961 crore.
The council discussed a
number jof issues starting with the issue of financial stability, noting that
thee are daunting challenges coming from the global economy.
"It was noted that
maintaining financial stability, being on our toes, and maintaining financial
stability is a shared responsibility and all the members will be working
towards that," Seth said.
Regulators should adopt a
focused approach to reduce the compliance burden further and ensure a
streamlined and efficient regulatory environment, he said, adding the progress
achieved in this regard will be reviewed by the Union Finance Minister with
each regulator in June 2023.
The regulators need to be
proactive and ensure cybersecurity preparedness of the information technology
systems to reduce the risk of cyberattacks, protect sensitive, financial data
and maintain overall system integrity, thus safeguarding the stability and
resilience of the Indian financial ecosystem, he said.
During the meeting, it
was discussed that the policy and legislative reform measures required to
further develop the financial sector may be formulated and implemented
expeditiously to not only increase the financial access of the people but also
increase their overall economic well-being.
Further, the secretary
said, the council also decided that wherever legislative changes are required,
as announced in the budget, that should be expedited so that the government can
take a final view on those matters and the plan is that those lists of changes
to the extent of necessary approvals within the government with a competent
authority can be put to Parliament for consideration.
Beyond that the council
also discussed issues relating to early warning indicators for the economy, he
The council also
deliberated reducing the compliance burden on the regulated entities in the
financial sector by improving regulatory quality, debt levels of corporates and
households in India, simplification and streamlining of KYC framework to meet
the needs of Digital India, he said.
Besides, the seamless experience
for retail investors in government securities, Bimakrit Bharat - Unique Value
Proposition to take insurance to the last mile and support required in terms of
resolving inter-regulatory issues for GIFT IFSC to play a strategic role in
Atmanirbhar Bharat was also discussed.
The council took note of
the activities undertaken by the FSDC Sub-Committee chaired by the RBI Governor
Shaktikanta Das and the action taken by members on the past decisions of the
Besides RBI governor,
Securities and Exchange Board of India chairperson Madhabi Puri Buch, Insurance
Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) chairman Debasish Panda,
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) chairman Ravi Mital and Pension
Fund Regulatory and Development Authority's newly appointed chairman Deepak
Mohanty participated in the meeting.
According to sources, the
FSDC meeting was also attended by Minister of State for Finance Pankaj
Chaudhary and Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, Finance Secretary T V Somanathan,
Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth, Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra, financial
Services Secretary Vivek Joshi and other top officials of the finance ministry.