I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can state the estimated amount of deposits in the banks of the United Kingdom, including Post Office and trustee savings banks, and what proportion of these are on dormant accounts and have been unclaimed for ten years and upwards; whether he is aware that in the United States, the Dominion of Canada, and several British Colonies the banks are required to furnish periodical returns for publication of unclaimed balances, deposits, and dividends; and, whether there is any reason why the Queen's Remembrancer should not call for similar returns in the country for the benefit, in the first instance, of those directly interested and, failing them, of Her Majesty's Treasury?
Neither the Post Office nor the trustee savings banks can give the amount of dormant and unclaimed accounts. With regard to the suggestion that these unclaimed funds should be taken by the Treasury, both the Post Office and the trustee savings banks continue liable in respect of the deposits, without limit of time. We have no power to make any such demand upon private banks, nor do I think it would be advisable to do so.
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether the Edinburgh Savings Bank had already taken steps to furnish the information suggested in the question?
I was not aware of that.