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Facts on the Dormant Bank Accounts Government Act

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 5 Jul 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Dormant Bank Accounts Building Society

In November 2008 the government passed the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act. One of the major principles of the act is to reinvest unclaimed money back into the community. So what exactly does this mean for those who are looking to reclaim their lost money?

Dormant Bank Accounts and Unclaimed Assets

In banking terms a bank account is dormant if there has been no customer activity within a set time period; usually between three and 15 years. Most banks will write to customers asking if they wish the account to remain active. However, in a number of cases banks will not be able to reach customers due to reasons such as moving home or name changes. Customers can still reclaim money in dormant bank accounts even if the money has been redistributed under the Dormant Bank Account Act.

The Government Wants Your Money

The Dormant Bank and Building Society Act 2008 has been introduced to redistribute unclaimed money in dormant bank accounts. This will also include building societies and National Savings and Investments (NS&I) accounts. There is a huge amount of unclaimed money sitting in dormant bank accounts. With the new act in place the government will be able to collect and distribute unclaimed money from dormant accounts after 15 years.

Where the Unclaimed Money is Going

If the government does collect the money from dormant accounts then the money should be distributed into the wider community. This can include banks donating the money to charity and funds being donated to the Big Lottery Fund with funds then distributed into various community projects. According to the government the money from dormant accounts is allegedly being taken to benefit the wider community.

Customers Will Be Able to Reclaim Their Money

There has been a rise in customers reclaiming their lost or forgotten funds. Many customers have been using unclaimed money tracking services to recover old or forgotten bank accounts. Customers who find their dormant accounts can still claim back their money plus any interest due even if the account is dormant and the money has been collected by the government.

The Dormant Account Time Period is 15 Years

Different financial institutes have different rules as to what time period an account actually becomes dormant. The government has set the dormant account time period as 15 years before they can collect the unclaimed money. If there has been no customer activity in this 15 year time period then the government will collect this money. The definition of customer activity is contact with the bank or building society or any transactions on the account.

Protection from the Dormant Bank Accounts Act

If customers are aware that they have old accounts with money still in them then it is an easy process to keep the government from taking the money. Simply contacting the bank and asking for an account balance is classed as customer activity. Depositing or withdrawing money in an account will also be classed as customer activity. By doing this the government and the banks cannot class the account as dormant.

Find Your Old Accounts

There is around £500 million in unclaimed money sitting in dormant bank accounts. There is also a further unclaimed £435 million sitting in NS&I accounts. It’s no surprise that unclaimed money trackers have grown in popularity. Companies such as the Unclaimed Assets Register can help reconnect customers with forgotten and lost accounts. They will charge a small fee for this service, around £25, but if successful the payoff could be worth the small charge.

The Dormant Bank and Building Society Act 2008 means that millions of pounds will be taken from customer’s accounts. It is in customer’s best interests to find any dormant accounts. This can include deceased relatives who have died without leaving a will. It is up to the customer to prove that the account is actually theirs before they can reclaim any funds taken by the government under this new act.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi. I would like to know following I used to live in UK and got account of Midland bank from1991 to 1995. And I was back to Japan with remaining some money in the account. At the time I gone to Japan, I treated to changed address to my previous office, and I could collect statements, but the office had been closed unfortunately and I forgotten to treated change my home address in Japan. Already at least 19years passed from i couldn't get statements. Then I wonder if I can claim to get back my money.
Yasu - 5-Jul-17 @ 2:39 PM
Wendz - Your Question:
My son had a UK bank account and his cards were stolen ten years ago.how can we find out whether that money is still in that account? Secondly my partner has money in a British account which he hasn't used for fifteen years.how does he find out if that money is still there without incurring major cost.

Our Response:
It is difficult to advise on as you do not say whether he knows the name of the bank his accounts were held in. If he knows, he would need to find out from the bank directly. If he has 'lost' the accounts, then please see link here , which should help you more.
UnclaimedFinances - 28-Oct-16 @ 12:19 PM
My son had a UK bank account and his cards were stolen ten years ago.how can we find out whether that money is still in that account? Secondly my partner has money in a British account which he hasn't used for fifteen years.how does he find out if that money is still there without incurring major cost.
Wendz - 27-Oct-16 @ 11:32 AM
Hello I have a relative who passed away.And I volunteer my self to claim his fund from his bank account and they asked me to send some details to make sure that I have a legal papers to prove that I am his relative and I already comply all those papers and they approve already and asking me to pay 500 euro to make the money active again from being dormant for how many years ago. What do you think?Is it true that there's a fee to make it active again?And after that I can get the money. I hope you can help me with this Thank you
Gege - 14-Jul-16 @ 5:14 PM
Georgie - Your Question:
My mum passed away 2yrs ago and when clearing her house I found premium bonds in mine and my 2 siblings names.my older sibling has passed away ,so there is just myself and younger silling left.my bond is also still in my maiden name and the address on the bond doesnt exsist anymore.how do I go about transfering into my name and are they still valid.

Our Response:
You can access what to do via the NSand I link here which should inform you what to do.
UnclaimedFinances - 3-Sep-15 @ 12:24 PM
My mum passed away 2yrs ago and when clearing her house i found premium bonds in mine and my 2 siblings names.my older sibling has passed away ,so there is just myself and younger silling left.my bond is also still in my maiden name and the address on the bond doesnt exsist anymore.how do i go about transfering into my name and are they still valid.
Georgie - 2-Sep-15 @ 3:41 PM
tasha - Your Question:
My mum passed away nearly five years ago but she opened a premium bond in 1985 for me I'm not sure what to do about it.

Our Response:
You can find lost premium bonds via the link here. I hope this helps.
UnclaimedFinances - 7-Aug-15 @ 10:01 AM
My mum passed away nearly five years ago but she opened a premium bond in 1985 for me I'm not sure what to do about it....
tasha - 6-Aug-15 @ 11:26 PM
claiming your own money in the Philippines is a pain in our neck!BDO asst Manager,WOW!!
Mai - 27-Jul-15 @ 1:17 PM
I would like to trace my old post office account also my premium bonds
ljdbc - 19-Jul-15 @ 10:44 AM
Hi, my grandad recently passed away and although we have no documents or paperwork we have been told he had premium bonds, how do we go about tracing this
Boyce - 27-May-15 @ 8:39 PM
Hi my grandad recently passed away and although we cannot find any documents, we have been told he had premium bonds, how can we go about finding theses without any numbers or relevant paperwork
Boyce - 27-May-15 @ 8:36 PM
I have an account in HSBC London, last transaction was year 2009, last year I went to the HSBC and they told me my account is not exit anymore, they ask me to contact British Bankers Association, I visit the website and fill all the information, they come back to me said have not found my account, in this case, can you please advise what can I do? Thank you.
Nil - 9-Jun-14 @ 5:03 PM
Hello friends , Recently ive been waiting on an inheritance from 1990 , in which my great grandfather hans georg schroederopened a joint account with me ; for a brief time I had a visa card , my father destroyed it when he reliezedI would not give him my pin number so he could drain the account and steal my money . my grat father died and he had the bank place a hold on the account . until 1) I marry a blonde with blue eyes and bare offspring , or 2) I become an officier in the united states armed forces , or 3) I turn 36 , on 8-20-2012 which I have ! Recently , I went to the bank and waiting there for me was a banker , namedN. montero ; coincedence or was it a set up ?a banker with my sir name , there to greet me . he informed me that his bank does not have a current active account open at wells fargo bank as of today . he did not rule out wetherthere was one yesterday or even if there was one previously. in addition I had just gotten my picture id that day and may have looked like an identity thief , so he may have refused me full service on that light . “The dormant bank accounts government act “In November 2008 the government passed the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act. One of the major principles of the act is to reinvest unclaimed money back into the community. If a bank account is inactive the account is transferred to the government , until a time that it becomes claimed . im contacting a few friends that may or may not be able to help me with my present situation . I’m reading up on it now and plan on going back to the bank with more questions . but id like to pass this letter around in the hopes of finding productive advice . please help any way you can ? Jeremy montero schroeder
monte2012 - 4-Sep-12 @ 2:55 AM
I maintained a bank account with BPI at Pacita, San Pedro Laguna where I last had deposited in Jan. 2008. I am out of the country since that time till now, 8th April 2011. I asked one of my family members to make a deposit to my account and she was told that it become as "dormant." I have read the Government Act 2008 regarding dormant account and it says that during the 3rd year and 15years, it is still possible to reclaim the dormant amount. Please advise me as to how can I reclaim the amount since I am working outside of the Philippine Island and is expected to be back home next year in May 2012? I would be very pleased to receive any advice as to what the procedures are in order to reclaim my dormant account from BPI as I am still willing to reactivate my savings account with them.Thanks,Hazel
Hazel - 8-Apr-11 @ 7:43 PM
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