It might seem a surprise but around £15 billion are kept in bank accounts, life insurances and other commodities in the UK unclaimed. Most of these bank accounts belong to people who were supposed to inherit it but were unaware of its whereabouts, people who deceased without leaving back a will, or people who conveniently forgot about their bank accounts.
These accounts may belong to you somebody you may know or a deceased relative of mine. If it’s the former or the latter, you may be a in for an unexpected cash windfall. How do you find and reclaim lost bank accounts? This article takes a look.
Is there a way to know you have lost an asset?
Considering it’s called a lost bank account, you are not expected to have knowledge of the lost asset. Banks can declare bank accounts dormant, when they are unable to reach you on your last known address. It is best if you are able to contact the bank and inform them about your whereabouts before your bank account is declared dormant.
Since it’s your old bank account, there is no need to pay any new fees to reclaim what is rightfully yours in the first place. Banks can help you search bank accounts, there are also other financial institutions that can help people find their lost investments, etc.
How to Find It?
It may seem a daunting task, but finding bank accounts is not that difficult. The only thing that is needed to make the whole thing work is perseverance. Different bank accounts can be relocated differently. If this sounds complex, there is another, easier way to find bank accounts that have been lost. The “My Lost Account” portal from the British Banker’s Association, the National Savings and Investments and the Building Societies Association can help you search for your lost bank accounts.
This portal has been designed after the three organizations decided to combine their lost account portals to make one effective portal. It is estimated that the portal holds £850 million in lost assets, so it may worth the try to find out if yours is part of this lost account treasury.
Is my Deceased Relative’s Account mine?
The account isn’t yours, but yes it can be claimed. The above bank account search not only helps you search for your accounts, it also helps you search for those that are of a deceased person. When making the search, the portal does at one point ask the user whether the search is for their account or someone else’s.
Irrespective of whom the account belongs, the people running the portal will contact you to confirm your identity. The process of finding bank accounts is different from one case to another. Not all portal work exactly the same way and bigger reclaims will typically take longer than other claims of smaller nature.
You can also claim a deceased relative’s account before it gets lost as long as you have the proper account details.