/ Money

Striking gold: rediscovering lost savings

Looking for money

Over 366,000 people have successfully traced their lost National Savings & Investments, claiming back £645m investments. And I’m one of them.

A few years ago, as a bored student during my summer break, I reluctantly agreed to help my mother clear out some old paperwork. Paperwork that in my mind had been accumulating since the Stone Age.

It was a mammoth task. Piles of paperwork dating back to the 80s – goodness knows why it survived a house move. But little did I know that my hard efforts would lead to striking gold. I discovered my golden ticket. In big calligraphic scrawl the ticket I had found was in fact my lost Children’s Savings Bonds.

Golden ticket

I was vaguely aware that I had some sort of savings which had been gifted to me by my grandmother. My parents once mentioned it, but I thought they were referring to savings in my building society account.

And I know I’m not alone in my vague awareness. When we recently surveyed 1,346 Which? members, we found that some 10% thought they’d lost track of their Premium Bonds, and 8% their savings. Let’s be honest, sometimes these things can slip through the net.

Now that I’d found this bond, the question was – what now? Being the days before I worked at Which?, I took to Google for help.

I wasn’t sure that Google would have the answer I was looking for, especially as this battered old document looked like something from the last century. To make it all that more complicated it was also registered to an old address – an address I hadn’t lived at for 10 years.

But I shouldn’t have allowed my pessimism to triumph, after all the internet is a wonderful thing. A short search brought me to the National Savings & Investments (NS&I) website’s tracing a lost investment page. I could have also used mylostaccount.org.uk

Of course now you can read the Which? advice, which will give you all the information for tracking down your lost cash.

I filled out the NS&I’s tracing service request form and a fortnight later I had a letter confirming that I did indeed have a dormant investment. The bond had stopped earning interest, since I was no longer a child, and so I was asked to either cash it in or reinvest.

Thank you grandma

So thanks very much to my grandmother. Much to her delight, my Children’s Bond purchased my very first sofa 🙂

But there are a few lessons I’ve learned here. It really can pay to do a little bit of tidying up every now and again – thank you to my mother for hoarding paperwork. It’s also really worthwhile to keep track of your savings and change your address when you move – that goes for my parents too.

Have you kept track of all your savings and investments? Have you ever found any lost savings before?

Comments
Member

I am in process of clearing out the loft of the bungalow where I have lived for over 30 years and have found a building society passbook that was last updated in 1995. I remember hiding it before going on holiday and I had to have it replaced when I could not find it. The building society did ask me to hand in the old passbook if I found it.

Member

That was a lucky find Lauren.

I found my National Savings Bank account with 25p in it. Don’t think even with over 30 years interest it would get me very much.

Member

It was indeed a lucky find, although my grandmother was a little bit disappointed that it had been misplaced in the first place. I also found my brother’s bonds and demanded a finders fee cut… he refused 🙁

I think 25p may be able enough to buy yourself a Cadbury’s Freddo, and with the interest you may even be able to buy yourself two 😛

Member
Colin C says:
18 April 2016

You might be surprised just how much interest has accrued even though there was only a small amount to start with. The power of compound interest over 30 years might yield more than you would think. I used to hide away my old Post Office savings book and forget about it, and it usually only reappeared years later with house moves. But I would send it in and each time the amount of interest added on was more than I expected. (Still only a few pounds, sadly).

Member

Your post has prompted me to look into my account especially as I can’t see any interest ever added to it although it was a fairly pathetic attempt at saving and the balance was never that high.

I found a 2010 article in thisismoney entitled ‘How much has my £1 grown over 35 years. According to NS&I it had grown to the princely sum of £1.94 !!!

Member

💰💰💰 that’s not bad for 25p!

Member

I keep hoping we shall find a fortune under the mattress but no such luck so far. The sitting room furniture occasionally yields the odd shilling and I found a pound note the other day at the back of a drawer [together with some old banknotes from Spain, Brazil and Czechoslovakia].

Member

mrs r had a childhood bank book (TSB savings account) with 6d left in it. It did, however, qualify her to join the Lloyds customer share issue and buy 600 shares at a preferential price, later topped up with a further 60 as a free bonus.