Home > Banking > Unclaimed Building Society Accounts

Unclaimed Building Society Accounts

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 2 Dec 2018 | comments*Discuss
Unclaimed Funds Unclaimed Assets

At one time or another many of us might have opened building society accounts with an eye towards a future mortgage - that's especially true of a slightly older generation. But as time and the financial wheels turned and money came from different sources, those accounts might not have been needed, and they might have ended up forgotten.

That's a way of saying you, or a relative, might have money lying in a dormant building society account, quietly earning interest all this time. After so long, how do you find it - and how do you claim it?

Finding The Money

Building societies generally consider an account to be dormant if there's been no activity in it for three years and if they've been unable to contact the account holder after that time. If you know which institution held you account, and if they still exist under that name, all you have to do is contact them. Once you proved your identity, they will make the account live again and you will have full access to your money.

What if it seems as if your building society no longer exists? Like other companies, building societies get gobbled up by larger institutions, and along the way you might have lost track of who actually handles your account because of name changes. You might even have assumed that because your local branch has closed or taken on a different name that your money has simply vanished.

You really don't need to worry - your money is still there.

If the building society no longer exists, but you know its name, finding out who they are now is very simple. The Building Societies Association (BSA) can do it for you from their website.

They can even help if you don't remember the name of the building society. There's a form on their site where you simply tick the names of the building societies where you believe you might have had an account. They maintain a comprehensive database of accounts, both current and dormant, and will be able to match you up - if you do actually have an account.

A few years ago some building societies did demutualise, meaning that instead of those with savings or mortgages being part-owners, they issued shares. If you had an account with one of these, the altered situation would mean that you could receive a "windfall" of cash or shares, but you might not realise that fact.

But also because of this, some building societies are no longer classed exactly as building societies. In these cases, to follow up on suspected dormant accounts, you'd need to go through the British Bankers' Association (BBA). The Building Societies Association has a complete of the 12 institutions involved.

You can also go to My Lost Accounts, a site maintained by the BSA, the BBA and National Savings and Investments. It's free to use.

Claiming The Money

Once you've established that you're the account holder and been able to prove your identity, it doesn't take too long for the account to become live and for you to obtain the money.

The process will be longer if you're claiming on someone else's account. You might be the heir of someone who had a dormant account, or the executor of a will, for instance. Obviously the chain of proof becomes a little longer then, but it's not that difficult under most circumstances. In those few instances where there are problems, the Financial Ombudsman Service will be able to help.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I have a Portman account how do I go about seeing if I am owed any money
Dan - 2-Dec-18 @ 8:58 PM
My son had an account with Portman We git the money back via Nationwide but never the bonus
Claudia - 23-May-17 @ 1:38 PM
trying to trace back halifax shares from 1997,any help please?
arch - 27-Jul-15 @ 2:28 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Matty
    Re: The Facts on Unclaimed Land and Property in the UK
    I found a row of 4 new build houses that have been boarded up and have been empty for at least 4 years…
    4 July 2019
  • Ned
    Re: The Facts on Unclaimed Land and Property in the UK
    Hello I have came across a piece of abandoned land,no buildings is on this land it is fenced all…
    27 June 2019
  • Babs
    Re: Unclaimed Pensions
    My husband worked for a Canadian bank from 1975 to 1978. He was badly brain damaged in a car accident and was never able to work again. We…
    27 June 2019
  • Dick
    Re: How To Claim Back Overpayments on Utility Bills
    I’m a council tenant in Kensington and Chelsea can I get a refund on my water bills ?
    25 June 2019
  • Jin
    Re: Unclaimed Pensions
    My husband paid into a pension scheme at both the pit and steel works. Sadly my husband died before he could find where to claim these…
    13 June 2019
  • Jin
    Re: Unclaimed Pensions
    My husband paid into a pension both at the pit and steel works. Sadly my husband died before he found out where to put a claim in for these…
    13 June 2019
  • Jin
    Re: Unclaimed Pensions
    My husband paid into two work pension both steel works and pit. He's since died before we found who we needed to get in touch with to put a…
    13 June 2019
  • Dave C.
    Re: How To Claim Back Overpayments on Utility Bills
    Since having a water metre fitted the price of water is £19-33.Before the metre was fitted we payed…
    11 June 2019
  • FatRay
    Re: Unclaimed Life Insurance
    Good evening. My name is Raymond Parsons and live at 7 Tapps Lane brixton Plymouth PL82BZ My mother passed away in December 2017 and…
    7 June 2019
  • Millzy
    Re: Unclaimed Life Insurance
    Hi my mum past away after taking care of her with dementia for 12 years.anyway my granny insured all her daughters and sons but mum was…
    6 June 2019