Is this the perfect time to do some financial spring cleaning? Here’s why it’s always a good idea to check on accounts that the banks describe as ‘dormant’.
I’ve had a lot of calls to the Which? Money Helpline lately asking why banks consider an account to be ‘dormant’ and what can be done to get any money in them back.
Earlier in the month, the Culture Secretary announced that £150 million pounds would be released to various charitable organisations from what is called the Reclaim Fund, established in 2011 to redirect unclaimed money to good causes.
An account is normally considered ‘dormant’ when there has been no activity for three years and the account is taken off the live account systems.
If there is no further contact from the customer for a further 12 years, the money is transferred to the Reclaim Fund.
If this has happened, you could still get your money back and not leave charities out of pocket.
The good news is that tracking down lost savings shouldn’t cost you anything. If you have found an old passbook or bank statement, the best course of action is to contact the organisation directly.
However, sometimes that’s not easy where the bank or building society has merged or been taken over by someone else.
This is where a free service named MyLostAccount could be invaluable. It brings together the three tracing systems of UK Finance, The Building Societies Association and National Savings and Investments into one single website.
All you need to do to start a search is go on to the site and complete an application form.
Remember that when you have successfully tracked down your money, you are likely to be asked to provide documents or certified copies of documents confirming you are who you say you are and are legally entitled to the money.
Do you think you could have money in a dormant account? Have you ever tried to track one down? Let me know in the comments.
Helping our members
Did you know about Which? Money Helpline? It’s staffed by financial experts with more than 100 years’ experience in the financial services industry between them.
Members can ask us questions about a range of personal finance subjects, and there are no limits to the number of calls you and your family can make, or the length of time you can spend talking to us.
What the Which? Money Helpline can help you with
- Borrowing – credit cards and loans
- Car, home and travel insurance
- Equity release
- Long-term care
- Protection insurance
- Savings and Isas
(We do not offer regulated financial advice)
Which? members can call the helpline on 029 2267 0001.