Understanding Dormant Bank Accounts: Risks and Solutions

22 Feb 2024

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We all have that one drawer in our homes where we stow away things we rarely use. It might be old gadgets, dusty books, or random knick-knacks. Similarly, in the realm of personal finances, many of us have a drawer equivalent in the form of our unused bank accounts. When it comes to managing our finances, many of us have a similar tendency to forget about our inoperative accounts. We might open one with all the intention of saving money, but then life gets busy, and the account stays unused for months. Your bank savings account is inactive, much like those items tucked away in that drawer. In the world of banking, this is a big no-no. In this blog, we'll explore what a dormant account is and why you should avoid leaving your bank account dormant.

What is a Dormant or Inactive Bank Account?

So, what exactly is a dormant or inactive bank account? Well, think of it as your piggy bank that you haven't tapped into for ages. If you haven't made any transactions using your savings account for more than a year, it's labelled as "inactive bank account." If you're even more neglectful and leave your bank account inactive for more than two/three years, it gets tagged as a "dormant bank account." Now, why should you care about these labels? Let's find out.

The Importance of Not Leaving Your Savings Account Inactive

Your savings account is not just a digital piggy bank. It offers various benefits, and here are some compelling reasons why you shouldn't let a savings account become inactive:

1. Penalties from the Bank

One of the most critical reasons to keep an eye on your savings account is to avoid penalties. Most savings accounts have a minimum balance requirement. When your bank account is inactive, there's a good chance you won't meet this requirement. As a result, the bank may slap you with a penalty charge. This can eat into your hard-earned savings over time, eroding your account balance and causing you to lose out on any interest you might have earned.

2. Missing Out on Investment Opportunities

Your savings account isn't just a parking lot for your money. It can be a stepping stone to more lucrative financial options. When you leave a substantial sum of money sitting idle in your savings account , you miss out on the chance to invest it elsewhere. For example, you could have put that money into a Fixed Deposit, which often offers higher returns. By keeping your savings bank account inactive, you're essentially leaving potential profits on the table.

Also Read: Features & Benefits of Savings Account

3. Forfeiting Benefits and Offers

Savings accounts often come with additional perks and features. These can include reward points, special programs, and the ability to link to sweep-in Fixed Deposits , which allow your money to grow even faster. However, if your bank account remains unused, you won't be able to take advantage of these benefits. This means you're not maximizing the potential income you could generate from your savings account.

What Does a Dormant Account Mean for You?

If you ignore your savings bank account and let it become dormant, you'll face limitations. You won't be able to write checks, renew your ATM/debit card, change your address on file, or perform any transactions through ATM, internet banking , or phone banking. In other words, an inoperative account tag can cause you to lose easy access to your inactive savings bank account!

So, what should you do if you have an unused bank account? It's simple. Consider closing the account if you no longer need it, or make sure to transact in it at least once a year to keep it active. This way, you'll avoid those pesky penalties of an inoperative savings account, seize investment opportunities, and enjoy the full range of benefits that come with your savings account.

In conclusion, don't let your savings account be inoperative and gather dust in the digital vaults of your bank. Keep it active, keep an eye on your balance, and make the most of the opportunities your savings account offers.

Also Read: Savings Account Meaning & How it Works .

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