Posted on 24th December 2008

Tracking Down the Missing Millions

The news that up to 968 million is lying unclaimed in dormant bank, building society and National Savings Investment Bank (NSIB) accounts, is particularly frustrating for anyone struggling to make ends meet in these tough financial times.

Mary Everitt, of Latimer Hinks Solicitors, is calling for people to think hard about any money that they or their family may have lost track of - possibly following the death of a relative or a house move.

Mary said: A dormant account is defined as one that has been unused for at least 15 years, so it may have been completely forgotten.

Following the launch earlier this year of www.mylostaccount.org.uk, a web based account-tracking service set up in partnership between NSIB, the British Bankers Association (BBA) and the Building Societies Association (BSA), more than 140,000 people have used it to track down their money. According to the NSIB, they alone have reunited customers with more than 41 million.

Using the service is certainly the first step to take, added Mary. There can be cases, however, where a little more detective work is needed. For example, you may believe that someone else has staked an invalid claim to money in an account that you believe is rightfully yours or your familys.

In such cases, particularly if you believe that there might be some dishonesty involved, it could be sensible to talk to a solicitor or even to alert the police. Such cases are rare, but we would be delighted to talk through your situation if you have any suspicions.

In the meantime - happy hunting.