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It’s time to claim what’s yours

Original article can be found here

There is a staggering £51.6bn of so-called dormant assets in the UK

The term “dormant assets” refers to pensions, bank accounts and other financial products that have been forgotten by their owners and have languished, untouched, often for many years. These eye-opening statistics reveal:

  • More than 10 million people have bank and building society accounts they forgot to close, with £4.5bn collecting dust in vaults around the country.
  • There is currently £37bn in unclaimed pensions, meaning 1.6 million people are missing out on an average value of £23,125 each.
  • Nearly £10bn more is sitting idly in investment and shares accounts, life insurance policies, child trust funds owned (and forgotten) by around 8 million savers.

WE KNOW THAT LIFE GETS IN THE WAY

Although £51.6bn is a huge amount, it is a gradual result of everyday life getting in the way of personal administrative tasks for millions of savers. When juggling work, family, day-to-day chores and still making enough time to relax, it’s easy to forget about your first bank account, a child trust fund from a great grandparent or an old pension pot you were saving into several job moves ago.

Over time, these forgotten billions reached a tipping point, leading the government to set up the Dormant Assets Commission to look at the issue. Investigations by the commission, set up in 2016, led to the decision that if the rightful owner of monies could not be traced then assets unclaimed after 15 years will be awarded to charitable causes.

But while this is great for charities, what about the original owners of this money?

The problem for most people is that they are unaware of how much they might have in dormant assets and wouldn’t know how to start to get them back even if they knew where they were. So, it’s easy to see how this financial housekeeping can fall down the list of priorities.

HOWEVER, COVID-19 HAS CHANGED EVERYTHING.

The virus has created an unprecedented economic crisis, shutting down a huge range of business sectors and resulting in 8.9 million workers being furloughed on reduced salaries. Many others don’t even have that to rely on during this period, with the Office for National Statistics revealing 600,000 jobs were cut between the beginning of March and the 14th May. Worryingly, debt advice charity StepChange has calculated that 4.6 million households risk building up dangerous levels of borrowing because of the pandemic. Faced with an uncertain future, more families are having to reassess their finances and look to their savings just to keep up with everyday expenses.

Amid this tough environment, imagine uncovering forgotten shares worth £1,250? An old bank account with £450 sitting in it? Or even a child trust fund worth £2,200? According to the newest data, these are the average sums many people do not realise they can access. In a challenged economy, being able to reclaim this kind of money could make a real difference to many families.

Happily, there is now an easy way to find out just how much of this £51.6bn is yours, where and how to find it. And, best of all, it is free.

Taking its name from the fairy-tale character and her famous trail of breadcrumbs, Gretel is the new service designed to help people like you find everything from your first bank account to a forgotten pension.

Follow our path to find your dormant assets and see how much you could reclaim today.