Apr 29, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka will take over ‘abandoned property’ of depositors in banks to start a mandatory deposit insurance scheme, the island’s central bank, which is the banking regulator, has said. The central bank said it had ‘temporary custody’ of 371 million rupees of ‘abandoned property’ unclaimed by depositors in licensed commercial banks of the country.
“These funds are to be transferred to the Consolidated fund of the Government Treasury for contribution as initial capital for the establishment of a mandatory Deposit Insurance scheme,” the Central Bank said in its 2009 annual report.
The take-over of abandoned assets created a controversy at one time with some Tamil citizens in particular who had fled the country during a 30-year war raising concerns that they would not be able to reclaim their deposits.
But the regulator had said that depositors and their heirs would be able to reclaim their moneys.
Sri Lanka had a voluntary deposit insurance scheme at one time but it failed to gain widespread support.
A deposit insurance scheme operates by charging a fee from depositors and is usually limited to retail deposits with a ceiling. Deposit insurance may encourage mora