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Dormant accounts to fund ‘Big Society Bank’

Dormant accounts to fund ‘Big Society Bank’

Category: Banking

Updated: 04/04/2011
First Published: 20/07/2010

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Savers could be forgiven for scrambling around trying to find old log books after it was revealed that dormant accounts are to fund the Conservatives' Big Society Bank.

As part of an effort to fund social enterprises, accounts that have not been touched for 15 years or more will have their funds transferred to a Big Society Bank, helping to fund Tory plans to have public services run by voluntary groups and charities.

"We have already said we will create a Big Society bank to help finance social enterprises, charities and voluntary groups through intermediaries," said Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday.

"And I can announce that it will be established using every penny of dormant bank account and building society account money allocated to England.

"These unclaimed assets, alongside the private sector investment that we will leverage, will mean that the Big Society Bank will – over time – make available hundreds of millions of pounds of new finance to some of our most dynamic social organisations."

The Co-operative Bank is to oversee the fund, with monies to be distributed from the middle of next year. It is estimated that as much as £500 million could be sitting in the dormant accounts held by around half a million people.

The Big Society Bank makes up something of a cornerstone of the Conservative party's Big Society agenda, but the original idea of holding deposits from dormant accounts was first floated by the former prime minister Gordon Brown.

While not successful at the time, an act was passed two years ago allowing the Government to hold and give money from accounts that had been inactive for 15 years or more.

If you think that you may have a lonely account sitting dormant and you don't want the government to get its hands on your money, you may be able to track it down by using the mylostaccount website.

Savers have been assured that they will be able to claim their money back even if they track down their account after their funds have been transferred into the Big Society Bank, while interest accrued will also be paid.

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