By Sam Bridge
Regulation sets out the mechanism for customers to claim their funds from banks, regardless of the time period since last transaction
The Central Bank of the UAE has announced the issuance of a new Dormant Accounts Regulation to establish a framework for the control and protection of dormant funds in local banks.
The central bank said in a statement that to ensure the funds in dormant accounts are kept safe and available whenever the customer seeks repayment, banks are expected to have in place appropriate governance policies and procedures.
The regulation sets out the mechanism whereby customers can claim their funds from the bank and customers must be able to receive any balances that are due to them at any time, regardless of the time period the customer was dormant.
Where the customer classified as ‘dormant’ remains so for a period of five years after the last transaction on their account, the funds in their accounts must be transferred to the Central Bank for safeguarding.
The central bank said this will not affect ownership of the account and the funds transferred will always remain available to be reclaimed by the dormant customer.
However, dormant funds transferred will no longer attract any interest payments and the central bank said it will not be liable for any such payments on the transferred funds.
CBUAE governor Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori said: "As part of our ongoing efforts towards enhancing our consumer protection function, we have introduced the Dormant Accounts Regulation to ensure the security of consumers’ dormant funds. The regulation introduced will safeguard dormant accounts and will make certain that consumers are able to access them at any time.
"Through this regulation, we aim to further reinforce the UAE’s position as a leading financial services provider in the region, as well as foster an ideal banking environment for consumers. Consumer protection remains a focus of our overarching strategy and we are committed to continuously enhancing our regulative provisions to safeguard consumer rights," he added.