Over seven million people have lost track of their investments and savings accounts, new research from NS&I has revealed.
Despite the current spending squeeze, 40% of those with ‘lost’ accounts said they had made no attempts to retrace their savings.
If reunited with their money, almost a quarter (23%) said they would use the funds to pay off bills or debts and nearly one in ten (9%) would use them for day to day living costs.
Of those people who had made efforts to recover savings, more than 70% have successfully tracked down their money.
Lack of organisation to blame for lost savings
Misplacing original account details is the main reason for losing track of savings, accounting for over a quarter of cases.
Moving house and forgetting to update the old address is the reason given by over a fifth of people who have lost their savings.
Nearly a quarter of people said they had been given savings or investments as a child, but were not aware of the full account details.
Keep track of your savings
Online and phone banking makes it easier to keep track of your savings and to update your details if your circumstances change. NS&I savers can use these services to manage their Premium Bonds, Direct ISA and Direct Saver accounts. If you hold Premium Bonds, you can also register to have any prizes paid directly into your bank account.
John Prout, Retail Customer Director at NS&I, said: ‘Even small amounts of money can help with the costs of day to day living, so it’s important people keep a track of their savings no matter how much they’ve previously put away. NS&I to date has reunited customers with more than £450 million through its tracing service and the website, MyLostAccount.org.uk’