One In Five Brits Has Experienced Four Or More Life Changes Making Them Susceptible To Losing A Financial Asset Such As A Pension Or Bank Account

24th August 2020 | Blogs, News


By IntelliTeq


Gretel’s new study found only 39% of working Brits feel fully secure in their current job

15% of Brits have moved house eight of more times in their adult life and 8% have changed jobs eight or more times

Estimated 19.6 million people in the UK have become disconnected from their money, valued at £50 billion1

Almost 9.7 million2 Brits (18%) have had four or more life changes during their adult life that leaves them susceptible to losing a financial account or asset, such as a bank account, pension or savings account, according to Gretel, the free online service which helps people bring lost accounts, pensions and investments back home.

Moving house, getting married or divorced, and changing jobs, are all common ways that consumers can become disconnected from their financial assets, leaving them lost or classed as dormant.  Gretel’s new study has found women are more likely to experience a large number of life changes during their adult life (29% of women vs 8% of men have had four or more life changes) as are those aged over 55 years (30% have had 4+ life changes). Only 9% of all Brits claim to have had no life changes that could make them susceptible.

In fact, as the UK economy enters into a recession for the first time in 11 years, the study has found that only four in 10 (39%) of all working Brits feel secure in their current job. One in 10 (10%) working adults has considered moving job unrelated to Covid 19, a further 9% have had to take a pay cut or work reduced hours to ensure they have employment (rising to 12% among men) and 6% have, or plan to, retrain to consider a different role or vocation, while 7% have set-up, or are considering setting up, their own business.

Gretel estimates that 19.6 million2 people in the UK have become disconnected from financial services products and are sitting on dormant or unclaimed money, including 10 million bank accounts, 2.5 million life insurance policies and 1.6 million pensions, with a collective value of over £50 billion.

Duncan Stevens, Chief Executive of Gretel said: “When people get married, move home and change jobs, it is often difficult to keep track of every bank account, pension and investment along the way.  Our study shows that so many people are making these life changes at a frequent rate during their lifetime that could leave them susceptible to losing a financial asset or account. In the current climate, the economic impact of the lockdown looks set to create more life changes as people feel increasingly vulnerable in their jobs.

“At Gretel, we want to get the £50 billion of dormant, lost and unclaimed money back into the hands of the consumer, where it belongs. Our belief is that consumers are entitled to receive all the money due to them and should not have to pay to get their own money back, nor face numerous complex barriers to access it. We are opening pre-registration now because this is a time of financial uncertainty for many and being reunited with forgotten money could make all the difference to some people. “

The study found that 15% of Brits have moved house eight or more times in their adult life and 8% have changed jobs eight or more times. Almost a fifth (19%) have changed their name, rising to 28% among the over 55s, 12% have got divorced (23% of over 55s) and over a third (34%) have been married/remarried (52% of over 55s).

While many financial services companies have an obligation to reunite customers with their lost money, many only have part of a customer’s financial picture. The launch of Gretel reflects the recommendations of the Government’s Independent Commission on Dormant Assets which called for the extension of the scheme beyond banking to include the rest of the financial services industry and made it a priority for firms to attempt to reunify dormant assets with their rightful owners.

Once Gretel is fully launched consumers will be able to identify lost pots of money in old financial accounts in less than three minutes. Once lost accounts are flagged to the customer, Gretel provides an easy path for them to reclaim it.  Uniquely, once a customer has signed up with Gretel, the service will keep working for them to constantly look for lost monies and flag any new accounts as and when they are identified. As Gretel prepares to launch and bring on banks, insurers and pension companies, consumers can log on and pre-register with Gretel by simply submitting their email address –

For further information, please contact:

Louise Ahuja, LouiseBComms +44 7788 676913

Karen Mignon, LouiseBComms / +44 7766 651327

Notes to editors

The research was conducted by Opinium Research between 7-11 August 2020 among 2,003 adults in the UK.

1 – 18% of the 52,673,000 million UK population (based on 368/52,673,000 (UK adult population) = 9,677,316 or 9.7 million.

- Based on Intelliteq’s calculations below:

Financial Product Total lost/dormant Number of people effected Average value
Pensions £37bn 1.6m £23,125
Shares £2.5bn 2.0m £1,250
Bank & Building Society Accounts £4.5bn 10.0m £450
Wealth & Investments £2.8bn 1.0m £2,800
Life Insurance £2.0bn 2.5m £800
Child Trust Funds £2.2bn 1.0m £2,200
NS&I £60m 1.5m £40


Notes to editors

Gretel is part of IntelliTeq, which focuses on simplifying complex financial processes. IntelliTeq solutions assist companies in complying with regulatory challenges around data and empower customers through the use of proprietary technology.

Duncan Stevens, Tom Simmonds and Ashley Hollands, as the founders of Gretel, have over 60 years of experience in financial services and technology between them. They have run some of the largest financial tracing businesses in the UK, returning over £2.5bn in forgotten and dormant assets to over 1.5m people.

They have been directly involved with the Government’s Independent Commission on Dormant Assets in recent years and, in response to the Commission’s recommendations, have built Gretel as a free to use platform for consumers, transforming the ease and speed with which they are able to find their money, regardless of where it is in the financial system it was lost.

How will Gretel work?

Gretel is designed to help consumers find everything from their first bank account to a forgotten pension. It uses cutting edge technology to make the financial world a smaller place, bringing together companies and consumers creating a “hub” which acts as a one stop shop for finding and recovering lost assets.

Gretel will cover the whole financial industry in the UK including bank accounts, pensions, child trust funds, premium bonds, investments and life insurance policies.

Gretel uses intelligent technology to see a customer’s past ‘financial path’, where they might have left money and then helps them reclaim it.

Once Gretel has found a customer’s pots of money, it will then connect them with the bank, investment company, pension provider and walk them through how to reclaim their money.

And importantly membership to the Gretel platform and its use is free. Our belief is that consumers are entitled to receive all of the value of the money due to them and should not have to pay to get back their own money.

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