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Banks: Unclaimed Assets

Volume 685: debated on Tuesday 10 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their response to the publication in July by the Commission on Unclaimed Assets of a consultation paper on the creation of a social investment bank to disburse unclaimed assets held in British financial institutions. [HL7475]

The Government welcome the contribution of the independent Commission on Unclaimed Assets to this issue. The commission's proposals, including those for a social investment bank, will be carefully examined by the banking industry and the Government.

The Government are committed to seeing genuinely unclaimed assets reinvested in society and we strongly welcome the banking industry's commitment to introduce such a scheme. We are clear that under any scheme individuals will retain the right to reclaim their assets at any stage. With that in mind, we will continue to assess the legal and accounting issues involved, and we welcome the industry's commitment to introduce a comprehensive reuniting programme prior to the launch of the scheme. The industry's steering group will continue to look at all the issues around reuniting, definition, operation and distribution.