DEAF stands for Depositor Education and Awareness Fund. It is a scheme or fund introduced by RBI in 2014. It is introduced for the unclaimed funds of depositors. According to this scheme, the banks are required to transfer money of the accounts, which have been inoperative for at least ten or more years, to the DEAF within a period of three months after the expiry of specified period of ten years. In other words, any amount lying with bank unclaimed for ten or more years is required to be credited to Depositor Education and Awareness Fund Scheme, 2014.
The depositor can claim for his or her deposit even after it is transferred to DEAF. He or she also gets interest for the deposit if applicable. The rate of interest on such deposits is decided by the RBI. RBI has a committee to manage this fund in accordance with the guidelines of this scheme. This committee comprises an ex-officio Chairperson and a maximum of six members as decided by the RBI.
There are a number of accounts which come under this scheme, some of which are as follows:
- Savings bank deposit accounts
- Current deposit accounts
- Fixed or term deposit accounts
- Cash credit account
- Cumulative or recurring deposit accounts
- Outstanding telegraphic transfer
- DDs, banker’s cheques, pay orders, sundry deposit account etc.
According to RBI, this fund would be utilized for the promotion of depositor’s interest and similar purposes related to the promotion of depositor’s interest as specified by the RBI from time to time. DEAF is defined under Section 26A of Banking Regulation Act, 1949.