Okay, chances are you actually don’t have a rich uncle who left you part of his vast fortune without telling you. And no, if you had won the National Lottery, chances are you would’ve learned about it one way or another. But, amazingly, there are millions of pounds lying around in banks and other savings institutions in the UK which are classified as dormant. This implies that the rightful owner of this money cannot be contacted or found and that the bank doesn’t really know what to do with those funds. The law does not allow them to repossess them, so the money just sits there, perhaps earning interest, while it silently waits for its rightful owner to appear. Maybe, it belongs to you.
What You Can Do to Find out
If you have the sneaky suspicion that you may actually have an account at a local building society or bank which has been sitting idle for quite some time and you don’t know exactly how to go about figuring out what is where, there are a few things you can do. First of all, if you have moved anytime in the last few years, you may not have notified either the Postal Service or your bank or building society of your new address. Therefore, if they had been trying to write to you to let you know that you have money deposited that has been inactive, you wouldn’t be receiving such mail. Naturally, if you know exactly what financial institution is holding your money, you can instantly contact them to check on the status of your account. It is especially helpful if you have your account number or passbook information. Many institutions will actually have a section on their website where you can fill out a simple form to reclaim your money. But if you are not even sure where the money might be held, you are still not completely lost.
Pulling Together a Central Database
There is also the possibility that you’re not exactly sure the name of financial institution that holds your money, due to all of the mergers and acquisitions that have occurred over the last several years. Have no fear, help is at hand, thanks to a joint venture set up by the Building Societies Association, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and National Savings and Investments (NS&I). By contacting any one of these organisations, you can gain access to a website that will be able to pull information from a wide variety of sources, including any banks or building societies that have emerged in the past. It goes without saying that the more information you can provide about your account, the more reliable and accurate your results will be. If you locate your account this way, you will also have to provide identification before you can withdraw your funds.
Putting Your Money to Good Use
If you should happen to come across an old dormant account that has been lying there, just waiting for you to discover it, congratulations. If you have (and even if you have not), you might want to consider a more modern approach to your saving strategy. You can easily set up an Internet savings account online, where, without any trouble at all, you can check on your balance, statements and any other information pertaining to your account or accounts with just a few clicks of the mouse. Now that’s called fiscal control!