The UK has millions of pounds lying in dormant accounts in banks and building societies. The UK government has passed an act that proposes to take this lost money and re-invest it for community welfare if the account holder does not act within a specified time line. Here are the facts about unclaimed deposits and how you can get your dormant money back.
Unclaimed funds: FAQ
Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act As per the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act of 2008, the UK government can take away money from dormant accounts and re-invest it back into the community. This act covers missing money in banks, building societies and National savings & Investments (NS&I) accounts. The act empowers the government to take away the unclaimed funds if the account is inactive for a period exceeding 15 years. The government donates the funds to charities and community projects. Dormant bank account A bank account is considered dormant if it is inactive between 3 and 15 years. Typically, a bank will classify an account as dormant if there is no activity for three years. Activity is defined as establishing contact with the bank or transacting by using the account. If there is “activity” within the period, the account cannot be classified as dormant. Banks write to customers to check whether they would like to close the accounts or continue operating. However, when people change homes or names, they cannot be reached, and such communication bites the dust. Reclaiming the money The good news is the customers can reclaim their rightfully owed money even if the UK government has re-distributed it under the provisions of the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act of 2008. Increased activity has been noticed in the unclaimed account area with the mushrooming of many unclaimed money trackers. This activity can also be because of the recession.
How to find money
People must work to get their money back and not leave it lying dormant. After all, they earned that money after taxes. They can even trace and recover money that is lying in their deceased relative’s account (if they are entitled to it). The money is returned with interest.
Reputed companies like Experian can help to track lost accounts. They operate an Unclaimed Assets Register on their site and all that the user has to do is pay a small fee and then, conduct an asset search, by using their database.
The Unclaimed Assets Register then, helps in establishing contact with the financial institution, and from there on, the claimant has to prove that the found money belongs to him or he is entitled to it, to get his money back.