A special law would have to be enacted if the government is to claim the money lying in dormant bank accounts, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman William Tseng (曾銘宗) said yesterday.
Dormant accounts refer to those that have been inactive for a certain period of time, the length of which varies from bank to bank.
Tseng said one of the approaches adopted by the UK to deal with such accounts is to notify bankholders that if the money is not claimed within a certain period of time, the funds are to be transferred to the British Treasury.
However, it will require special legislation to make such a move legal in Taiwan, Tseng said at a meeting of the legislature’s Finance Committee.
There are more than 50 million accounts that are not being used in Taiwan, but banks have not issued notices to the account holders advising them to reactivate or close the accounts, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰) said.
It is not in the national interest to have money lying idle and the commission should consider what to do about dormant accounts, Fai said.
Tseng said the commission has asked banks to notify clients of accounts that have become dormant to either reactivate or close them.
As of September, banks can no longer be able to list an account as dormant unless the holder has been notified first, Tseng said.