INTERSHOERS I HKMA Guideline - Dormant Account And Unclaimed Deposits

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has issued a circular to authorised institutions (AIs) on  18 November 2021 as a guideline to AIs’ handling of dormant accounts and unclaimed deposits.  Based on their business and operational needs, AIs are expected to take a risk-based and proportionate approach in handling dormant accounts by taking the quantitative thresholds such as length of dormancy (say 10 years or more), age of the account holder (say 90 years or more), the amount left unclaimed (say HK$10,000 or more).


In this respect, the HKMA expects AIs to adopt the following measures to enhance the handling of dormant accounts so as to protect the interests of the owners or beneficiaries of dormant accounts and unclaimed deposits:


1.   educate the customers to avoid having inactive and dormant accounts and facilitate customers’ recovery of lost accounts with due diligence

2.   review the inactive and dormant customer accounts periodically and endeavour to keep the contact information up-to-date

3.   identify the inactive and dormant accounts where

i.    there is no customer initiated transaction for a long period of time from the date of last operation of the accounts; and

ii.   the account holders cannot be contacted despite making reasonable efforts to do so over the years (i.e. “unclaimed deposit accounts”)

4.   make reasonable efforts to contact the customers of the inactive and dormant accounts

5.  monitor the inactive and dormant accounts to ensure that there is no unauthorized transaction

6.  authenticate the identity of the customers upon reactivation of the inactive and dormant accounts

7.  ascertain the status of the account holders of those “unclaimed deposit accounts” with the Immigration Department of Hong Kong for possible deceased account holders and handle any unclaimed deposits


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