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Government announces intention to expand dormant assets scheme

Government announces intention to expand dormant assets scheme

The Government is seeking views on its intention to expand the dormant assets scheme from bank and building society accounts to also cover insurance, investment and wealth management, and securities products.

Since its 2011 launch, over £600 million has been redistributed to good causes, with 30 organisations, including all major high street banks, voluntarily transferring dormant funds into the scheme.

Over £400 million has been used to establish Big Society Capital, while in March 2019, Fair4All Finance was established with an allocation of £55 million to support the financial wellbeing of vulnerable people. The Youth Futures Foundation was also allocated £90 million to help unemployed, disadvantaged young people across the country into jobs.

The Government is now launching a consultation on its plans to expand the scheme. The public consultation follows an industry-led report that made a series of recommendations on how to broaden the current scheme beyond bank and building society accounts.

The Government is consulting on expanding the scheme to the following sectors:

  • Insurance and pensions
  • Investment and wealth management
  • Securities

Assets proposed to be within the scope of the expansion include:

  • Dormant insurance policy proceeds
  • Dormant share proceeds
  • Dormant unit proceeds
  • Dormant distributions and proceeds from investment assets
  • Other dormant security distributions

Customers will always be able to reclaim the same amount they would have had if their assets were never transferred, as they do in the current scheme, and companies would continue to participate on a voluntary basis.

Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran said:

“The dormant assets scheme is making a real difference to people across the nation. This includes helping to tackle youth unemployment, addressing financial exclusion and growing the social investment market. That’s why we are now seeking views on expanding the scheme to include even more unclaimed assets, in a way that continues to protect customers whilst potentially unlocking millions more pounds for good causes.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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