Dormant Assets Scheme expansion proposal

Since 2008, the government authorised Dormant Assets Scheme has enabled participating banks and building societies to redistribute money held in accounts that have remained unused for over 15 years and the account holder cannot be traced. The money is given to charities and other social and environmental initiatives.

For several years the government has been consulting with the financial industry to expand the scheme and have come up with the following proposals for additional dormant assets that could be included –

  • Proceeds of life insurance and retirement income policies
  • Shares or units in collective investments
  • Certain investment asset distributions and proceeds
  • Shares and distributions from shares in public limited companies
  • Proceeds from corporate actions

The government remains committed to maintaining the three principles of the scheme should it be expanded –

  • The industry’s first priority is to reunite owners with their assets
  • Owners are able, at any point, to reclaim the full amount owed to them
  • The scheme is voluntary for the participant financial organisations involved

The government have indicated that they will bring legislation forward to expand the scheme when parliamentary time allows. For further details see their Dormant Assets Scheme webpage.

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