The banking industry has launched a new website to help reunite people with savings languishing in forgotten accounts.
The site, www.mylostaccount.org.uk, brings together for the first time information on dormant accounts held with banks, building societies and National Savings and Investments (NS&I).
The free tracing services covers 42 banks operating in the UK, all 59 UK building societies and all NS&I products, including money won through Premium Bonds.
Government to use it
The move aims to help reunite savers with their money before the government begins using it for community projects in 2009, although people will never lose their right to reclaim their cash.
Angela Knight, chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association, said: “Mylostaccount.org.uk will enable account holders to initiate a search for their lost bank, building society and NS&I accounts at the click of a button.
‘It builds on the three existing central tracing services and will improve accessibility significantly.
‘It is a key part of the industry’s commitment to make further steps towards reunifying customers with their money in advance of the statute-backed unclaimed assets scheme.’
More than £250 million dormant
It is estimated that there is currently between £250 million and £350 million in dormant bank accounts, with a further £150 million in building society ones, while NS&I is sitting on around £466 million of unclaimed cash, rising to £1.02 billion once Premium Bond prizes are included.
Under the unclaimed assets scheme, which is being introduced in 2009, money in accounts that have not been used by customers for at least 15 years will be used for projects within communities.
Financial services groups are redoubling their efforts to reunite people with their money in the run up to the scheme’s introduction and the launch of the new website will be backed by a national advertising campaign.
NS&I has so far reunited 49,424 people with more than £50 million, with customers receiving average payouts of £1,021. Figures for banks and building societies were not available.
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