Jo seeks to reunite ‘forgotten’ funds with savers

Over £22,000 is held in dormant HBOS accounts in East Dunbartonshire

Over £22,000 belonging to savers in East Dunbartonshire could be affected by Government legislation on dormant bank accounts.

On Monday 3rd November, MPs at Westminster will debate the Dormant Banking Bill, which proposes to collect money from dormant bank accounts into a central fund to be used for worthwhile causes. In conjunction with the Halifax Bank of Scotland Dormant Accounts Campaign, Jo Swinson has highlighted the amount held in HBOS accounts that will be classed as dormant under the new law.

72 dormant accounts are held by HBOS in East Dunbartonshire, containing funds totaling £22,569.

Jo said:

“These figures from HBOS show that there is a substantial sum of money sitting in dormant accounts held by East Dunbartonshire residents.

“Some customers may not even realise their accounts are classed as dormant, they may even have left the money there untouched as a nest egg. Any account that has not had any activity on it in the last 15 years is considered dormant and the addition of interest does not count as activity.

“I would urge people to take note that this money is lying dormant and to check if they have dormant funds to be claimed.

“For funds that really are simply lying dormant, I support the principle of them going to charitable causes. However, every effort should be made first to reunite customers with their savings and in this respect I applaud HBOS for its Dormant Accounts Campaign.”

It is estimated the Government may begin collecting dormant funds in the second half of 2009.

Dormant accounts are classed as having been inactive for at least 15 years and many no longer have the correct address held, so contact with the customer has been lost. Under Government proposals these funds would be taken in to a central fund and used for worthwhile causes. Customers will always be able to come forward and claim these.

The expectation from the Government is that all banks and building societies will try to reunite customers with their money before the scheme is launched. Halifax was the first provider to launch its reunification programme in February 2006.

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