Under the current scheme, banks and building societies transfer the money held in dormant accounts to a central reclaim fund. The reclaim fund is responsible for managing dormant account money, meeting reclaims and passing on surplus money to various charities for reinvestment in the community. The original account holder retains the rights to repayment upon providing satisfactory proof that the money is theirs.
The existing dormant accounts scheme came into effect in November 2008. The scheme defines a dormant bank account as an account which has been continually open for at least fifteen years during which time no transactions have been carried out by the account holder or at his or her instruction.
In June 2019, the government has announced plans to expand the dormant asset schemes to include a wider set of financial assets beyond bank and building society accounts. The government appointed four ‘industry champions’ to expand the dormant assets scheme. These experts represented the banking, securities, insurance and pensions, and investment and wealth management sectors.
The industry-led report was published earlier this month and has made a number of recommendations on how to broaden the current scheme. Government ministers will now consider the recommendations in more detail.