Presently, dormant bank accounts can be appropriated, in certain circumstances, and the funds used for charitable purposes. And before you rush out to your bank to check that your account balance has not been hijacked in this way, banks and building societies can only transfer funds to good causes from accounts which have remained untouched for 15 or more years and when the customer is no longer contactable.
We are assured that banks and building societies make significant efforts to reunite people with their money and customers can reclaim appropriated funds at any point. Money which will never be reclaimed is distributed, via the Big Lottery Fund to good causes.
Thus far, over £600m has been donated to charitable sources in this way.
The apparent success of the scheme has encouraged government to extend the range of assets that can be drawn into this process, beyond the appropriation of dormant bank accounts.
In a recent press release, government sources declared:
“The dormant assets scheme should be extended to other sectors such as investment and wealth management to benefit more good causes…”
The report authored by four industry champions from the banking, securities, insurance and pensions, and investment and wealth management sectors highlights the opportunities and challenges of an expanded scheme and makes a series of recommendations.
In a joint quote the industry champions said:
“We were pleased to be asked by Ministers in June 2018 to spearhead an industry-led approach to expanding the dormant assets scheme to include a far wider range of assets.
Today’s report shows how industry can significantly expand the money available to good causes, whilst ensuring customers can get their money back.”