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Thursday, 10 September 2009

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Government Gazette

Unclaimed assets in banks:

New CB regulations to protect customers

The Central Bank

The Central Bank will calculate the total amount due from abandoned properties, which the local banking sector holds within a few weeks with the information submitted by the banks under the new regulations to protect customers.

Regulations promulgated by the Central Bank to regulate unclaimed assets of customers lying with the banks would bring in a large revenue to the Government, a senior official told Daily News Business.

The banks will publish the names, addresses and other details of such unclaimed accounts to give an opportunity for the children or heirs of the account holders giving them time to lodge their claims to the assets, he said.

However, even after such notification if there were no claims made it would be assumed that there were no claimants for these assets and all the property will be transferred to the Central Bank.

This practice of transferring customers unclaimed assets to a special account in the Central Bank is intended to protect the assets of such customers, he said.

An official of the Bank of Ceylon (BoC) said most banks have unclaimed assets such as deposits in various accounts of the account holders who are either dead or were abroad and not living at the given addresses.

Since some of these assets had not been claimed for over five years or more the banks have will now have to transfer the assets to the Central Bank under the regulations.

All unclaimed assets such as jewellery, title deeds or other valuables, which were not claimed will be administered under these regulations.

It had also been found that some banks were not aware of the ownership of certain assets that had been lying in their lockers.

Therefore, the banks have been asked to update their databases so as to recognize the unaccounted properties.



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