The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has introduced a new directive on unclaimed balances and dormant bank accounts.
According to the central bank,
“This Directive shall be cited as the Unclaimed Balances and Dormant Accounts Directive, 2021.”
BoG said This Directive is:
a. issued pursuant to Section 92 of the Banks and Specialised Deposit- Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).
It stated that the directive is applicable to Banks, Rural and Community Banks, Savings and Loans Companies, Finance Houses and Microfinance institutions.
Also, the BoG indicated that the directive is applicable to any other deposit-taking institution as may be determined by the Bank of Ghana.
According to the Central Bank, the objectives of this Directive are to among other things, operationalise Section 143 of the Banks and Specialised Deposit- Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930); establish processes and procedures for reclaim of funds by Dormant Account Holders or their legal representatives; and
to as well ensure that funds of customers of regulated financial institutions that become dormant are adequately protected.
In this Directive, the Bank said, unless the context otherwise requires, “Dormant account register” means a separate register created in the books of the regulated financial institution to maintain and manage dormant accounts.
“Regulated Financial Institution“ means a bank, savings and loans company, rural and community bank, microfinance institution, finance house company regulated under the Banks and Specialized Deposit- Taking Institution Act, 2016 (Act 930) and any other deposit-taking institutions as may be determined by the Bank of Ghana,” it noted.
“Unclaimed funds” means balances on dormant accounts specified in Paragraph 7 and 8 of this Directive that are due for transfer to the Bank of Ghana.
According to BoG, This Directive shall not be applicable to accounts that are; subjects of litigation, subjects of fraud investigations by a regulatory authority or law enforcement agencies, subjects of any encumbrance including but not limited to liens and collaterals,
in credit due to errors including system errors and are under investigation for correction.
The directive comes on the back of some payments made into dormant accounts by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) during the distributions of the Coronavirus funds for small businesses.
Click on the link below to download the document
Unclaimed Balances and Dormant Account Directives 2021 – Final-1
By Melvin Tarlue