The legislative proposal referred to in the first issue of the Update was adopted in final form on June 3, 2014. The new law clarifies the regime applicable to unclaimed banking account and life insurance contracts left dormant for a lengthy period of time. This legal initiative comes amid a number of enforcement actions being taken against insurance undertaking for alleged failure to conform to preexisting rules, which are substantially strengthened by the law. Lastly, an insurance undertaking has been fined EUR 10 million by the Enforcement Committee of the ACPR for failing to check the national register of natural persons ("RNIPP"), to search for beneficiaries and for the requirements relating to revaluations of policies after the policyholder's death. Further enforcement decisions are to be expected in this area.
Under the new rules, consultation of the RNIPP will have to be made annually. Institutions will be required to publish the list of dormant bank accounts and unclaimed life insurance policies. Credits to these accounts and unclaimed life insurance contracts will have to be transferred to a specific body (Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations) after a 10-year dormancy period (in most circumstances), the title of which will then pass on to the government after a 20-year period of time. The new law is due to come into force on January 1, 2016.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.