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1.Introduction

 
The intent of this policy is to lay down clear guidelines with respect to claim settlement of deceased depositors and missing persons in respect of deposit accounts.
 
 
2. Background
Indian Banks' Association (IBA) has issued Model Operational Procedures (MOP) for settlement of claims of deceased depositors in October 2007 and revised them in March 2008. As per the Reserve Bank of India vide circular No. DBOD.No.Leg.BC.95 /09.07.005/2004-05 dated 9th June, 2005 and Master Circular on Customer Service No. DBOD No.Leg.BC. 19 / 09.07.006/2010-11 dated 1st July 2010, the Bank should have a Board approved policy on claim settlement of deceased and missing persons. In order to facilitate expeditious and hassle-free settlement of such claims on the death of a depositor, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also has asked the banks to follow a simple procedure with minimum documentation for release of balance amounts in deceased account holders’ accounts, without insisting on production of succession certificate, letter of administration, probate or obtaining any bond of indemnity or surety from the survivor(s) or nominee.
For accounts which do not have ‘Either or Survivor’ clause nor have a nomination, the RBI has asked banks to fix a threshold limit upto which they could release the balance amount lying in the deceased account holders’ account after obtaining a letter of indemnity and without insisting upon production of any other documents.
 
 
3. Settlement of Claims within Threshold Limit
In guidance with the Model operational procedure and approved by the Reserve Bank of India, this model operational procedure will be applicable to settlement of claims falling within the threshold limit for such cases having no nominee or survivorship clause. Qatar National Bank, SAQ (herein under called the ‘Bank’) has approved a threshold amount of INR.500,000 - (Rupees five Hundred Thousand Only) for settlement of claims in such cases.
Settlement of claims in such cases within the threshold limit will be settled against -
1. Notarized copy of Death Certificate
2. Indemnity to be furnished by legal heir(s) of the deceased depositor as may be applicable to specific claims.
3. Indemnity by Existing account holder of Qatar National Bank, SAQ known to the claimant/s. (Legal to provide Format)
4. NOC (letter of Disclaimer) from all legal heirs if settlement to be done to one of them
 
 
4. Settlement of Claims above Threshold Limit
All claims beyond the said threshold limit of INR.500,000.00 (Rupees five Hundred Thousand Only) would be settled against submission of legal representations by the legal heirs as under:
 
Type of case. Document required.
1) Where there is a Will Probate
 
(this is a certified copy of the Will issued by the Court)
2) Where there is no Will Succession Certificate or Letters of Administration
 
(this document issued by the Court names the Successor or the Administrator of the estate of the deceased. It is only to this person we can pay the claim)Legal heirs certificate issued by the Village administrative Officer.
3) In any other case Order of a Court or Administrator General
 
(The order of the Court may be for payment to an applicant or allowing withdrawal from an account / deposit of the deceased with the bank. It could be a garnishee/attachment order or a stay order. Whereas the order or Certificate of the Administrator General would identify the legal heir who can receive payment. Such Orders are normally restricted to a certain threshold as decided by each State Govt).
 
In all the above cases to the Bank will not insist on an indemnity, as these documents would suffice in taking a decision to pay. However, the documents will be reviewed by the Bank’s Legal Department before making the payment.
To reiterate, all claims above INR 500,000/00 (Rs.Five lacs) shall be settled by obtaining documents as shown above in thetable. Any case falling outside this purview or when in doubt, Bank’s Legal department would be consulted immediately.
 
 
5. Guidance to customers on advantages of Nomination facility/ survivorship mandate
 
Nomination facility
Nomination Facility is an ideal tool to mitigate hardships of common persons in settlement of claims in the event of death of the account holder.
• Nomination facility simplifies the procedure for settlement of claims of deceased depositors as banks get a valid discharge by making payment of the balance outstanding in a depositor's account at the time of his death or delivering contents of locker or articles kept in safe custody to the nominee.
• Nomination is optional for bank customers. It is therefore necessary that nomination facility is popularised and customers are made aware of its advantages while opening a deposit account.
• Relationship Managers / Customer Service Officers of the Bank should inform account holders about the availability of nomination facility, on a voluntary basis. Nomination facility, if availed, would ensure smooth settlement of claim to the nominee.
• It should also be made clear to the depositor(s) that nomination is introduced solely for the purpose of simplifying the procedure for settlement of claims of deceased depositors and nomination facility does not take away the rights of legal heirs on the estate of the deceased. The nominee would be receiving the stock from the bank as a trustee of the legal heirs. There cannot be more than one nominee in respect of single / joint deposit accounts.;
 
Survivorship
• A joint account opened as "Either or Survivor” will permit the surviving account holder(s) to have unimpeded access to the credit balance in the account for withdrawal if one of the co-account holders dies.
• If the mandate of survivorship is given / provided, the survivor(s) can give a valid discharge to the bank in the case of "Either or Survivor” joint accounts.
• In short, payment to survivor(s) can be made in the normal course subject to the only rider that there is no order from a competent court restraining the bank from making such payment.
 
 
6. Settlement of claims in various types of Accounts / Facilities
 
A. "Single" Account with or without nomination
 
Savings Account/Current Account
 
With Nomination:
The balance outstanding at the time of death of the depositor will be paid to the nominee on verification of his /her identity and proof of death of depositor.
 
Without Nomination:
The balance outstanding will be paid to the legal heirs (or any one of them as mandated by all the legal heirs) on verification of the authority of the legal heirs and proof of death of depositor (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
 
Ascertaining Authority of the Legal Heirs:
Where there is no Legal Heirship Certificate , the Authority of the Legal Heirs has to be verified as said in this document. It is to be ensured that, all rightful legal heirs are identified and taken into account while processing the claim
It is therefore advisable to make as many local enquiries as possible to ascertain all the legal heirs. It is not sufficient to accept those, who have approached the bank with a claim. In case, the deceased customer's residence or the legal heirs are not living in the vicinity of the Branch then, Bank's staff will be used for such verification.
In addition to the above and as may be required in each case, legal heirs be asked to produce documents such as a Passport or School Leaving certificate, which would reveal the father’s name. A Ration Card would reveal the names and the number of family members. A Marriage Certificate would give the name of the spouse, while a Family Photograph would help identify the number of family members and resultant legal heirs.
It is to be noted that, where there is dispute amongst the legal heirs for the claim and a reasonable doubt about the genuineness of the claimants being the only legal heirs, then, legal representation like a Succession Certificate or a Probate, as applicable should be insisted upon. Bank’s Legal Department should be consulted when in doubt in such cases.
 
 
 
Term Deposit Account
 
With Nomination:
The balance outstanding will be paid to the nominee on verification of his / her identity and proof of death of depositor on maturity of deposit.
 
Without Nomination:
The balance outstanding will be paid to the legal heirs (or any one of them as mandated by all the legal heirs) on verification of the authority of the legal heirs and proof of death of depositor on maturity of deposit (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
 
Premature termination of Term Deposit Account with Nomination:
The nominee will have right to seek premature termination of term deposit account as per terms of contract on verification of his identity and proof of death of depositor.
 
Premature termination of Term Deposit Account Without Nomination:
Premature termination will be permitted on joint request by all legal heirs (or any of them as mandated by all the legal heirs) as per the terms of the contract on verification of the authority of the legal heirs and proof of death of depositor. (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
 
Care: No penalty is to be levied on such withdrawals in line with RBI Circular No DBOD.No.Leg. BC.95 /09.07.005/2004-05 dated 09 June 2005 and Master Circular on Customer Service No. DBOD No.Leg.BC. 19 / 09.07.006/2010-11 dated 1st July 2010.
 
 
B. "Joint" Account with or without nomination and without survivorship mandate (operated jointly)
 
Savings Account / Current Account
 
With Nomination:
a) In the event of death of one of the joint account holders, the balance outstanding will be paid jointly to survivor(s) and the legal heirs of the deceased. joint account holder(s) (or any one of them as mandated by all the legal heirs) on verification of the authority of the legal heirs and proof of the death of the depositor.
b) In the event of death of both / all joint account holders, the balance outstanding at the time of death of the depositor(s) will be paid to the nominee on verification of his identity and proof of death of depositors.
 
Without Nomination:
(a) In the event of death of any of the joint account holder(s), the amount outstanding will be paid jointly to the legal heirs of the deceased account holder (or any one of them as mandated by all the legal heirs) and surviving account holders against their joint claim on verification of the authority of legal heirs and proof of death of depositor (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
(b) In the event of death of both/all joint account holders, the balance outstanding will be paid to the legal heir(s) of all the depositors (or any one of them as. mandated by all the legal heirs) on verification of authority of the legal heirs and proof of death of the depositors (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
 
 
Term Deposit Account
 
With Nomination:
(a) In the event of death of one of the joint account holders, the balance outstanding will be paid jointly to survivor(s) and the legal heirs of the deceased joint account holder(s) (or any one of them as mandated by all the legal heirs) on verification of authority of the legal heirs and proof of death of the depositor on maturity of the deposit.
(b) In the event of death of both / all the joint account holders, the balance outstanding at the time of death of the depositor(s) will be paid to the nominee on verification of his identity and the proof of death of depositors on maturity of the deposit.
 
Without Nomination:
(a) In the event of death of one of the joint account holders, the balance outstanding will be paid jointly to the survivor(s) and the legal heir(s) of the deceased (or any one of them as mandated by all the legal heirs) on verification of authority of the legal heirs and proof of death of the depositor on maturity of the deposit (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
(b) In the event of death of both / all the joint account holders, the balance outstanding will be paid to the legal heirs, or any one of them as mandated by all legal heirs) on verification of authority of the legal heirs and proof of death of depositors on the maturity of the deposit (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
 
Premature termination of Term Deposit Account
 
With Nomination:
(a) In the event of death of one of the joint account holders, premature termination will be permitted against joint request of the survivor(s) and the legal heir(s) (or any one of them as mandated by all legal heirs) as per the terms of contract on verification of authority of the legal heirs and proof of death of depositor.
(b) In the event of death of both / all joint account holder, the nominee will have right to seek premature termination of term deposit account as per the terms of contract on verification of his identity and proof of the death of the depositors.
 
Care: No penalty is to be levied on such withdrawals in line with RBI Circular No DBOD.No.Leg. BC.95 /09.07.005/2004-05 dated 09 June 2005 and Master Circular on Customer Service No. DBOD No.Leg.BC. 19 / 09.07.006/2010-11 dated 1st July 2010.
 
Without Nomination
(a) In the event of death of one of the joint account holders, premature termination will be permitted against joint request of the survivor(s) and the legal heir(s) of the deceased (or any one of them as mandated by all legal heirs) as per the terms of contract on verification of authority of legal heirs and proof of death of depositor (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
(b) In the event of death of both / all the joint accountholders, premature termination will be permitted against joint request by all legal heirs of the deceased depositors (or any one of them as mandated by all legal heirs) as per the terms of contract on verification of authority of legal heirs and proof of death of depositors. (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
 
Care: No penalty is to be levied on such withdrawals in line with RBI Circular No DBOD.No.Leg. BC.95 /09.07.005/2004-05 dated 09 June 2005 and Master Circular on Customer Service No. DBOD No.Leg.BC. 19 / 09.07.006/2010-11 dated 1st July 2010.
 
 
C. "Joint" account with mandate "Either or Survivor" - with or without nomination.
Savings Account / Current Account
With Nomination:
(a) In the event of death of one of the joint account holders the balance outstanding will be paid jointly to survivor(s) on verification of proof of death of the depositor.
(b) In the event of death of both / all joint account holders the balance outstanding will be paid to the nominee on verification of his identity and proof of death of depositors.
 
Without Nomination:
(a) In the event of death of one of the joint account holders the balance outstanding will be paid jointly to survivor(s) on verification of proof of death of the depositor (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
(b) In the event of death of both / all the account holders, the balance outstanding will be paid jointly to the legal heirs (or anyone of them as mandated by all the legal heirs) on verification of authority of legal heirs and proof of death of the depositors (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
 
Term Deposit Account
With Nomination:
(a) In the event of death of one of the joint account holders the balance outstanding will be paid jointly to survivor(s) on verification of proof of death of the depositor on maturity of deposit.
(b) In the event of death of both / all joint account holders, the balance outstanding will be paid to the nominee on verification of his identity and proof of death of depositors on maturity of deposit.
 
Without Nomination:
(a) In the event of death of one of the joint account holders, the payment will be made to the survivor(s) on verification of proof of death of the depositor on maturity of deposit. (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
(b) In the event of death of both / all the joint account holders, the balance outstanding will be paid jointly to the legal heir(s) (or any one of them as mandated by all the legal heirs) on verification of authority of legal heirs and proof of death of depositors, on maturity of deposit. (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
 
Premature termination of Term Deposit Account
With Nomination:
(a) In the event of death of one of the joint account holders, premature termination will be permitted to survivor(s) as per the terms of contract on verification of proof of death of depositor.
(b) In the event of death of death of both / all joint account holders, the nominee will have right to seek premature termination of term deposit account as per the terms of the contract on verification of his / her identity and proof of death of depositors.
 
Without Nomination
(a) In the event of death of one of the joint account holders, premature termination will be permitted to survivor(s) as per the terms of contract on verification of proof of death of depositor. (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
(b) In the event of death of both / all the account holders, premature termination will be permitted against joint request by all legal heirs of the deceased (or any one of them as mandated by all the legal heirs) as per the terms of contract on verification of authority of legal heirs and proof of death of depositors. (this would be upto INR 500,000.00 and on indemnity).
Care: No penalty is to be levied on such withdrawals in line with RBI Circular No DBOD.No.Leg. BC.95 /09.07.005/2004-05 dated 09 June 2005 and Master Circular on Customer Service No. DBOD No.Leg.BC. 19 / 09.07.006/2010-11 dated 1st July 2010.
 
 
7. Some clarifications regarding Provisions in Nomination Rules
The Banking Companies (Nomination) Rules, 1985 have been framed in terms of Sections 45 ZA to 45 ZF of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
 
(i) Nomination facility is intended only for individuals including a sole proprietary concern.
(ii) There cannot be more than one nominee in respect of single / joint deposit account.
(iii) Banks may allow variation/cancellation of a subsisting nomination by all the surviving depositor(s) acting together. This is also applicable to deposits having operating instructions "Either or Survivor".
(iv) it may be noted that in the case of a joint deposit account the nominee's right arises only after the death of all the depositors.
 
 
8. Simplification of the process for settlement of claims in deceased depositors' accounts
 
A. Documentation
Documents which are required to be submitted along with the claim form:
1. Notarized copy of Death Certificate.2. Proof of identification of nominee(s) wherever applicable such as Ration Card, Election ID Card, PAN Card or Passport or any other satisfactory proof of identification acceptable to the bank or proof of authority of legal heir(s) wherever applicable.
(a) The Bank should exercise due care and caution in ascertaining the identity of the survivor(s)/nominee and the fact of death of the account holder, through appropriate documentary evidence;
(b) It should be made clear to the survivor(s)/nominee that he / they would be receiving the payment from the Bank as a trustee of the legal heirs of the deceased depositor, i.e., such payment to him / them shall not affect the right or claim which any person may have against the survivor(s)/nominee to whom the payment is made.
(c) It may be noted that since payment made to the survivor(s) / nominee, subject to the foregoing conditions, would constitute a full discharge of the bank's liability, insistence on production of legal representation in such cases is superfluous and unwarranted and it would only serve to cause avoidable inconvenience to the survivor(s)/nominee. In such case,therefore, while making payment to the survivor(s)/nominee of the deceased depositor, the branch should not insist on production of succession certificate, letter of administration or probate, etc., or obtain any bond of indemnity or surety from the survivor(s)/nominee,irrespective of the amount standing to the credit of the deceased account holder.
(d) In case where the deceased depositor had not made any nomination or for the accounts other than those styled as "either or survivor" (such as single or jointly operated accounts),member banks may adopt a simplified procedure for repayment to legal heir(s)of the depositer keeping in view the imperative need to avoid inconvenience and undue hardship to the common person. In this context,member bank will keeping in view its risk management systems,fix a minimum threshold limit,for the balance in the account of the deceased depositors ,up to which claims in respect of the deceased depositors would be settled without insisting on production of any documentation other than a letter of indemnity.
 
 
B. Time Norms for settlement of claims
The Bank will settle the claims in respect of deceased depositors and release payments to survivor(s) / nominee in case of accounts with survivor / nominee within a period not exceeding 15 days from the date of receipt of the claim subject to the production of proof of death of the depositor and suitable identification of the claimant(s) to the bank's satisfaction. In the case of accounts without survivor / nominee clause the claim will be settled within 1 month from the date on which the requisite documents have been submitted to the Bank’s satisfaction.
 
 
C. Competent authority for settlement of claims
Keeping in view the objective of settling the claims within a period not exceeding 15 days from the receipt of the claim a limit of INR 500,000- is approved for delegation to the branch.
 
 
D. Premature termination of Term Deposit Accounts and payment of interest / other issues relating to Term Deposit Accounts
(a) In the case of term deposits, in the event of the death of the depositor(s), premature termination of term deposits would be allowed, Such premature withdrawal would not attract any penal charge.
(b) Payment of interest in case of term deposit accounts of deceased depositor(s)
In case of a term deposit standing in the name/s of -
(1) a deceased individual depositor, or
(2) two or more joint depositors, where one of the depositors has died, interest shall be paid in the manner indicated below
(i) on the maturity of the deposit at the contracted rate.
(ii) In case of premature withdrawal i.e., in the event of the payment of deposit being claimed before the maturity date the bank will pay interest at applicable rate with reference to the period for which the deposit has remained with the bank without charging penalty.
(iii) In case of deposit being claimed after the date of maturity: Payment of interest on matured deposit is left to the discretion of the individual banks subject to their Board laying down a transparent policy in this regard.
(c) Splitting of Term Deposit
If, on request from the claimant(s) the bank agrees to split the amount of term deposit and issues two or more receipts individually in the names of the claimant(s), it shall not be construed as premature withdrawal of the term deposit, provided the period and aggregate amount of the deposit do not undergo any change.
 
E. Treatment of flows in the name of the deceased depositor
In order to avoid hardship to the survivor(s) / nominee of a deposit account, the bank may obtain an appropriate agreement / authorisation from the survivor(s) / nominee with regard to the treatment of pipeline flows in the name of the deceased account holder. In this regard, the banks may consider adopting either of the following two approaches:
• The bank could be authorised by the survivor(s) / nominee of a deceased account holder to open an account styled as ‘Estate of Mr./Ms _______________ the Deceased' where all the pipeline flows in the name of the deceased account holder could be allowed to be credited, provided no withdrawals are made.
OR
• The bank could be authorised by the survivor(s) / nominee to return the pipeline flows to the remitter with the remark "Account holder deceased and to intimate the survivor(s) / nominee accordingly. The survivor(s) / nominee / legal heir(s) could then approach the remitter to effect payment through a negotiable instrument or through ECS transfer in the name of the appropriate beneficiary.
 
9. Check-list of Documents
Claims Document obtained: Yes/No
1. Accounts with Nomination clause:
(i) Application for Deceased Claim from Nominee/ Guardian of nominee (Annexure-1)  
(ii) Copy of Death Certificate (Verified with original)  
(iii) Identify proof (as defined in Part-IV)  
2. Joint Accounts with Either or Survivor clause:
(i) Application for Deceased Claim from Survivor(s) (Annexure-1)  
(ii) Copy of Death Certificate (Verified with original)  
3. For cases other than Nomination/Joint Accounts with survivor clause:(For amounts up to threshold limit)
(i) Application for Deceased Claim (Annexure -2)  
(ii) Copy of Death Certificate  
(iii) Letters of Indemnity signed by claimant(s) and surety. (Annexure -3)  
4. RECEIPT (Annexure – 4)
 
 10. Settlement of claim in case of missing persons
We may receive requests for settlements of claims in respect of persons reported missing from their nominees / legal heirs.
RBI vide its notification RBI/2007-08/308 DBOD.No.Leg. BC.80 /09.07.005/2007-08 dated May 2, 2008 and Master Circular on Customer Service No. DBOD No.Leg.BC. 19 / 09.07.006/2010-11 dated 1st July 2010, has provided guidelines for settlement of claims in such accounts.
As per the provisions of Section 108 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872, presumption of death can be made only after a lapse of seven years from the date of a person being reported missing, i.e. the date when the FIR / non-traceable report was lodged. After the lapse of seven years, the decision to set the threshold beyond which a court order for settlement of claim is required has been left to the discretion of banks by RBI.
Qatar National Bank, SAQ has set the threshold limit as Rs.500,000.00 (Rupees Five hundred thousand). Below the threshold limit, after a lapse of seven years from the date of a person being reported missing, i.e. the date when the FIR / non-traceable report was lodged, nominee / legal heir has to essentially submit the FIR and the non-traceable report issued by police authorities for settlement of claims, along with the documents similar to those required for deceased claim settlement.
For any settlement beyond the threshold limit, the claimant would be required to submit the court order (presuming the death of the missing account holder) along with other documents as above.
 
ANNEXURES
 
 
 
 
Annexure 3 –   Indemnity cum Affidavit
 
 
Annexure 4 –  Receipt

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