Select Committee on Treasury Written Evidence

Memorandum submitted by National Savings and Investments (NS&I)

  At the Sub-Committee meeting on Wednesday 21 February, there was discussion on the amount that NS&I held in unclaimed assets/dormant funds.[17]

  The 2005 Pre-Budget Report set out a definition under the proposed unclaimed assets scheme. This stated:

    "The Government and the industry have agreed that the definition of an unclaimed asset should generally cover accounts where there has been no customer activity for a period of 15 years as that will be best identify those accounts that are genuinely unclaimed."

  In addition, the recently published HM Treasury consultation "A UK unclaimed Asset Scheme" proposes to define dormant accounts:

    "Current and deposit accounts where there has been no customer-initiated activity for at least 15 years."

  Previously NS&I had used a figure of £1.8 billion which was based on a different definition which included:

    —  all unclaimed Premium bonds prizes;

    —  all lost contact holdings—where we know where have lost touch with our customer (eg mail returned undelivered); and

    —  account products where there have been no transactions for five years or more.

  At the Sub-Committee session, we stated that a preliminary review of the 15-year definition had produced an estimated figure of £1.4 billion.

  We have now completed the review and the level of unclaimed assets under the 15-year definition is £993 million.

March 2007

17   This memorandum was submitted as further supplementary evidence following NS&I's appearance before the Treasury Sub-Committee on the National Savings and Investments: Annual Report and Accounts 2005-06, 21 February 2007. The oral and written evidence of that session was published as HC 327-i. Back

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