Written reply to Parliamentary Question on dormant bank accounts in local financial institutions
Date: For Parliament Sitting on 19 September 2023
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis, MP, Sengkang GRC
To ask the Prime Minister (a) what is (i) the number and (ii) dollar value of deposits held in dormant bank accounts in local financial institutions (FIs); and (b) whether MAS requires local FIs to trace and contact holders of dormant accounts to activate their accounts or claim their funds.
Answer by Mr Lawrence Wong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, and Chairman of MAS:
1. There are about 215,000 deposit accounts of individuals in our three local banks, holding a total of about $300 million, that have been dormant for at least 15 years. They constitute 2% of the total number of deposit accounts in the three banks and 0.07% of total deposit value.
2. MAS currently does not prescribe how banks should treat their dormant deposit accounts but has been reviewing the issue. In practice, some banks send notification letters to holders of deposit accounts to inform them that their accounts have been inactive for a period of time. Beyond a certain point, it would not be practical for banks to continue efforts to trace these account holders. But account holders or their authorised personal representatives may at any time contact banks to reactivate their accounts or to claim the funds on behalf of the estate of the deceased account holder.