Unclaimed bank accounts in Pakistan: Surprise revelations made by SBP

Unclaimed bank accounts in Pakistan: Surprise revelations made by SBP
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ISLAMABAD - Startling revelations have surfaced regarding unclaimed bank accounts in Pakistan.

It has been revealed that thousands of Pakistanis have left their hard-earned money unclaimed in different banks accounts.

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has issued a public notice recently asking banking customers to contact bank branches if they want to withdraw their money which has been left unattended and unclaimed in the accounts of different commercial banks.

Unclaimed accounts are those which have not been used for many years by their owners and their deposits were being maintained by the banks. First, the banks carried the amount under unclaimed category and then transferred to the central bank. It means if someone wants to withdraw his money, he can contact the designated department of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

Besides a section of people who left their money for no special reason, there are some people who left the country and some who even left the world though their money could be withdrawn by their relatives as per procedures.

One of the senior journalists in Karachi, Ahmed Saeed, switched various organizations over the period of a decade and switched five bank accounts , one after another, based on the policy of the employers to keep a specific bank for a salary account.

He left thousands of Rupees in the accounts of different banks but did not touch them for many years. Similarly, there are hundreds of thousands of customers of banks who left money in their account. Some left an amount of Rs. 10 and some left an amount of Rs. 10,000.

It is pertinent to mention here that if a customer does not make transactions from his or her bank accounts in a 6 month to 1 year period, the account is termed as dormant by the banks but it can be opened with an application. Though if bank accounts are not used for many years or decades, they are declared as unclaimed and the deposits are transferred to the central bank.

Not only are these deposits maintained in local and foreign currency but other instruments such as pay order, demand deposit, time deposit, demand draft and etc. These were not attributed to any of the government’s departments nor to the legal affairs.

SBP recalled unclaimed deposits and unclaimed banking instruments from all commercial banks and DFIs under Section 31 of Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962.

It has provided complete details of unclaimed deposits and banks accounts of each bank in detail including account deposits, its number and its owner, which can be viewed here. link

Surprisingly, there are hundreds of people in every bank who left their amount unclaimed and let their banks utilize it. Not only banks but organizations and corporations also left their amount unclaimed in their banks accounts.

Economy