Published and draft legislation - Colombia

Operability in dormant accounts

Decree 953, Ministry of Finance & Public Credit

In June, Columbia’s Ministry of Finance & Public Credit published a decree regulating operability over the transfer, withdrawal, deposit and investment of money in dormant accounts, which will go into a special fund managed by ICETEX.

As reported  in issue 6 of PROGRESO, the dormant accounts fall within the provisions of Law 1777/2016, which defines them as those current or savings accounts which have had no ledger movements (deposit, withdrawal, transfer or, in general, any debits or credits), in the previous three years.

The Decree covers the following areas:

  • Fund transfers. Every three months a list of dormant accounts must be sent to ICETEX, with the rate of interest being paid by the financial institution where the accounts were held and the balance that is being transferred. The first transfer must be effected by 1st August 2016.
  • Withdrawal of funds. When money is withdrawn by the account holder, the financial institution will have one working day from when the account holder requests this withdrawal, to pay out the funds. The request will be made directly to the financial institution in question, and not to the Special Fund.
  • Returning the funds from the Special Fund to the financial institutions. The owner of the money or an authorised third party should make the request and they will be reimbursed either by an order from the relevant authorities or when the account is no longer classified as dormant. Under any of these three eventualities, the financial institution should present its request for the fund return to the ICETEX, using the channels put in place by this authority. The balance paid will be the amount transferred by the institution, plus the interest accrued, at the rate declared by the financial institution.
  • Finally, investing the funds. The Special Fund may invest them in sight or term deposits in authorised deposit-taking institutions. A percentage of the money will be invested by ICETEX in sight and term deposits that have a rating of AA+ or higher. The institution receiving the investments will be decided by auction.

In the interval after the Decree passes into law and before 30th June 2016, financial institutions must inform account holders with current or savings accounts that have been entirely dormant for three years, with no debit or credit ledger movements, that the provisions of Law 1777/2016 will apply to them as of 1st August 2016.