May 25, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is looking at the possibility of taking over the dormant accounts and property deposited in commercial and specialised banks which have remained unclaimed over a long period of time, banking sources said. The Central Bank is already collecting data on all bank accounts and properties which have not been claimed in over a decade.
Monetary authorities plan to use provision in the 1988 Banking Act relating to ‘abandoned property’ to access dormant funds.
The provisions have not been used before, thought they existed in the statutes.
It says that the earning of profits by banks on such unclaimed properties goes against banking practice.
Steps are also being taken to establish the rightful owners of such property, or their next of kin, through the media.
In the event that no one comes forward to claim such accounts or property, there is a possibility that they would be transferred to a special fund in the care of the government.
However, banking regulations regarding dormant accounts and property apply only to commercial banks.
The National Savings Bank has already made arrangements to transfer dormant accounts to its capital as per their governing act. By the end of 2004,