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Bank Services

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the value of deposits in dormant bank accounts in the United Kingdom; and what steps his Department has taken to inform the public of the funds in these dormant bank accounts. (187219)

The Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Bill is currently before Parliament. It broadly defines a dormant account as a bank or building society account where there has been no customer-initiated activity for a period of at least 15 years. On this basis, an assessment by banks and building societies suggests that between £250 million and £350 million lies currently unclaimed in banks, and up to £150 million unclaimed in the building society sector.

The Government have encouraged the sector to build on its pre-existing arrangements to reunite dormant account holders with their money. The Government welcome the response of the industry and in particular the publicised launch of “mylostaccount.org.uk” by the British Bankers’ Association, Building Societies Association and National Savings and Investments in January. The Government also welcome the commitment of individual banks and building societies to undertake proactive search activity throughout 2008 and up to the introduction of the scheme.