Reply to Parliamentary Question on Dormant Accounts in Financial Institutions
QUESTION NO 83
NOTICE PAPER 189 OF 2014
FOR ORAL ANSWER
Date: For Parliament Sitting on 7 July 2014
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Laurence Lien
To ask the Prime Minister whether the Ministry will consider introducing a law to transfer funds from dormant accounts in financial institutions to a fund that can be used for charitable and community projects.
Answer by Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth on behalf of Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of MAS:
1 Account holders are the rightful owners of their funds even when their accounts are considered dormant. They should be able to fully recover their funds once they are properly identified.
2 There is no common definition of when an account is considered dormant and there is usually no time limit for filing a claim on the funds in such an account. If a financial institution (FI) has ceased operations in Singapore, it would set up trust accounts with other FIs to hold funds from its dormant accounts for possible claimants.
3 MAS is working with FIs on ways to trace and encourage holders of dormant accounts to come forward and claim their funds. MAS will also review the need for a policy on managing dormant accounts and unclaimed funds, taking into account practices in other jurisdictions.