Global Fintech Fest 2023 FM Nirmala Sitharaman Asks


Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the Global Fintech Fest (GFF) in Mumbai on Tuesday asked banks and financial institutions to ensure that their customers nominate heirs, which can help reduce the quantum of unclaimed money. The minister, in her inaugural address, said, “I want banking system, the financial ecosystem (including) the mutual funds, stock markets… everybody to keep in mind that when someone deals with his (customer’s) money, the organisations will have to think about the future and ensure that they (customers) nominate their heir, give the name and address.”

According to a report, the banking system alone has over Rs 35,000 crore of unclaimed deposits, while the overall quantum of the unclaimed money is said to be more than Rs 1 lakh crore. The finance minister also said that it is essential to build a responsible financial ecosystem, and added that one laggard can cause a disruption. She also said that tax havens and round tripping of money are a threat to responsible financial ecosystem. She asked fintech companies to invest in cybersecurity and said that trust is very important. 

Sitharaman also pointed out that building a responsible financial system is important to tackle various financial threats including cyber threats, crypto regulations, and tax evasion. The FM, in her inaugural address, said that today global collaboration with more intensity is the key. It’s an absolute necessity to have global collaborations. “We’re talking about responsible financial ecosystem when globalisation is being questioned. Globalisation has helped remove poverty. Disparity is not just in wealth, but also in well-being, demography, access to resources, digital literacy globally,” she said.

In her speech, the minister also touched upon the necessity of international cooperation for effective cryptocurrency regulation. She said, “India’s (G20) presidency has put on the table key issues related to regulating or understanding that there should be a framework for handling issues related to crypto assets. Active discussions are happening,” as reported by Reuters.

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