RBI has mandated banks to cut down any hassle for customers to reactivate their dormant accounts. (See RBI master circular at http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Notification/PDFs/78MCC010710_F.pdf )
Banks are expected to exercise due diligence in verifying customer credentials before reactivating accounts. Usually banks will require the account holders to present themselves with address proof and identity documents, at the nearest branch, to complete the formalities. Banks are cautious about sudden requests for withdrawal from a dormant account.
No Standard Procedure
RBI only instructs banks to exercise due diligence with inactive accounts. The actual process of reactivation may vary from bank to bank.
The bank will request a written application signed by all joint holders of the account, irrespective of operating mode, to reactivate an account.
All joint holders must comply with the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms currently in force, if they have not been complied to, for an inactive account opened earlier. This includes PAN, address proof and proof of residence
Cards, Passbook and Cheque Book
Account holders may be asked to show or surrender ATM cards, cheque books for issuance of new cards and cheque books. This may not be mandatory.
POINTS TO NOTE
Be prepared for due diligence from bank
Re-activation of a dormant account will be handled as meticulously, by the bank, as opening a new account, since unused balances may lie in such accounts.
Activation needs just one transaction
To avoid reactivation procedure of an account you would like to retain, make at least one transaction, online or offline, in a year.
There is no charge to reactivate a dormant bank account . If your bank imposes a charge, report to the banking ombudsman.
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December 21, 2010