Over a weekend some time ago two situations gave me reason to think about unclaimed money
being held by many of our institutions that perhaps will never be returned to the rightful owners.
- The first was a voucher from our largest UK grocer offering me money back because I could have bought my trolly load of goodies cheaper elsewhere. Whilst the amount was very modest to say the least, which I think I was glad about, the offer gave me one month to claim the sum of money concerned.
- The second situation started from a simple football bet with an account I have with a well known bookie that I gained following a free bet offer some months ago. (My first bet came in so I now have just short of £3.00 in this account). Bookies will never get rich via myself.
This got me into thinking:
What would happen to these sums of money should I suddenly meet my demise?
Who would know about these accounts?
The answer quite frankly is nobody!!
Neither of the accounts are the type that most people would keep a record of. At best they may be discussed over a Sunday afternoon shandy and quickly forgotten.
However this then led me to start some research into other types of accounts that potentially could prove more significant. What I discovered was fairly eye-watering. For example The Financial Times claims that their is a conservative £77 billion sitting in dormant accounts that have no owners or the owners cannot be traced. They are known as orphan funds.
The following is a list of institutions plus the amount of money being held in orphan accounts for people that for one reason or another cannot or have no wish to be traced:
All figures are estimates
British Banks Associations – (BBA) £15 billion
Building Socieities Association – (BSA) £15 billion
National Savings & Investments – £1.8 billion
Premium Bonds – 900, 000 unclaimed prizes totalling £44 million ranging from £25 unclaimed since 1957 to £100,000
National Lottery – £300 million. The largest unclaimed prize so far is £7,923,399
Pension funds – £3 billion
Windfall Shares – Standard Life Assurance Company alone have 300,000 shares unclaimed worth some £291 million. Qualifying members have until July 2016 to claim what is rightfully theirs.
Life Insurance policies – conservatively estimated at £2 billion unclaimed.
Unclaimed Shares and dividends – £3 billion
This is without the loyalty cards, stamps, air miles, travel season tickets (Oyster cards if
you live in London) and award schemes, that we all hold. I remember just recently hearing one of the Dragons from the Den stating that he was not a lover of Gift Vouchers because some 70% of them go unclaimed.
Their are many reasons why funds go unclaimed:
No records are kept
We all pass away at some point
Sometimes people do not want to claim money that is rightfully theirs
Whatever the reason, many lessons can be learnt from issues we come across, that should help us in protecting our assets and to ensure they are passed to those that we intended to receive them or better still benefit ourselves.
Most funds that have been orphaned do not have a claim by date on them and institutions do try very hard to trace people over a period of time. If you believe that some of the above money is yours, start researching. Websites that may help you are below this article. GOOD LUCK!
Right i’m off to redeem my 8 pence voucher cash back from our largest grocer. But what shall I do with the £2.77 with the bookie up in the SKY?
Some useful websites for you
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