The financial industry scheme to reunite account holders with lost accounts has conducted more than 400,000 searches in its first three years of operation – and reunited customers with more than £475 million.
In all, 1.3 million people have visited the website www.mylostaccount.org.uk since it was launched in January 2008. More than 430,000 people have submitted search requests via the website and the account tracing schemes of the British Bankers’ Association, the Building Societies Association and NS&I, plus individual banks and building societies, have also succeeded in tracing owners of dormant accounts.
The website www.mylostaccount.org.uk was launched three years ago to provide customers with a free, easy-to-use service to help customers trace accounts they have lost touch with.
The central service was set up as a prelude to banks and building societies joining the statute-backed unclaimed assets scheme. Under the scheme, bank and building society accounts dormant for 15 years or more will be transferred to a reclaim fund. The fund will be responsible for setting aside some money to meet future reclaims and releasing the rest for distribution to community causes. The final arrangements for this are currently being put in place. The reclaim fund will ensure that all customers can claim back their money, even after the 15 years have elapsed.
Angela Knight, BBA chief executive, said:
"It is vitally important that customers know that their money is their money, however long it may take to find it. This simple scheme has been set up to put forgotten money to good use – but it will always guarantee that customers can reclaim money that is rightfully theirs."
Brian Morris, BSA head of savings policy, said:
"The mylostaccount website is really easy to use and there's no charge to the customer for using it. No surprise then that it's proving so popular. If you think there’s an old account out there that you’ve lost touch with, this is best place to start."
Jane Platt, NS&I chief executive, said:
"The combined efforts of individual institutions and the mylostaccount website have reunited people with almost half a billion pounds in lost or forgotten accounts in the last three years; however, there are many more millions still to be reclaimed and we hope that this simple and straightforward tracing service will continue to help even more people to get back in touch with their money."
1. mylostaccount.org.uk is a 'one-stop shop' website that helps account holders search for lost bank, building society and NS&I accounts.
2. mylostaccount.org.uk covers:
For more information on the British Bankers’ Association, including information on its own tracing scheme, visit www.bba.org.uk or contact:
British Bankers' Association
Tel: 020 7216 8970
Out of hours: 020 7216 8888
For more information on the Building Societies Association, including information on its own tracing scheme or case studies, visit www.bsa.org.uk or contact:
Building Societies Association
Tel: 020 7520 5905
Out of hours: 07 773 489 644
For more information on NS&I, including information on its own tracing scheme or case studies, visit www.nsandi.com or contact:
Tel: 020 7348 9433
Out of hours: all phones diverted to staff mobiles