Summary of Survey Results:

Bank Policies on Dormant Accounts

GGD-83-45: Published: Mar 31, 1983. Publicly Released: Apr 13, 1983.

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GAO was asked to review bank policies on dormant accounts to gather information on policies and practices in the banking industry.

Based upon its survey, GAO found that more than five out of six banks apply the designation dormant or inactive to savings and checking accounts after a certain period of time without customer contact. Nearly all of the banks that use the dormant or inactive designation treat dormant accounts differently from active accounts. While this special treatment usually involves some form of increased administrative control over the accounts, it can include suspension of interest or the imposition of inactivity service charges, GAO estimates that more than 10 million savings and checking accounts were considered dormant by U.S. banks at the end of 1981. The total estimated value of these dormant accounts was more than $5 billion.

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