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UK Government announces major boost to coronavirus recovery through expansion of Dormant Assets Scheme

Expansion will help unlock over £800 million for communities across the UK.

  • Expansion will help unlock over £800 million for communities across the UK
  • Dormant Assets Scheme to now include assets from the insurance and pensions, investment and wealth management, and securities sectors
  • Move builds upon over £745 million already distributed from dormant bank and building society accounts that have benefited social and environmental initiatives to date

The UK Government has announced that dormant assets across the insurance and pensions, investment, wealth management, and securities sectors are set to be unlocked, with the potential for more than £800 million to be made available to support the UK as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Funding raised through the expansion of the scheme will enable continued support of good causes, social investments and environmental initiatives.

This major expansion of the Dormant Assets Scheme marks the completion of a four year review and public consultation process. The responses showed widespread support for expanding the scheme from bank and building society accounts to include assets in these new sectors.

Led by the financial industry and backed by the UK Government, the expanded scheme will have consumer protection at its heart, with the priority continuing to be locating and reuniting people with their financial assets.

Where that is not possible, more businesses will now be allowed to participate voluntarily in transferring dormant assets into the scheme. People will still be able to reclaim their assets in full at any time.

Since 2011, 30 banks and building societies participating in the current scheme have enabled the release of over £745 million from dormant accounts that have been inactive for at least 15 years. These funds have been used to support a range of social and environmental initiatives across the UK, including helping young people on the path to employment, tackling financial exclusion, growing the social investment market, and supporting renewable energy solutions.

£150 million was unlocked in May 2020 to support the UK’s charity and voluntary sectors, as they continue to play a vital role during the coronavirus pandemic. The funding is supporting urgent work to tackle youth unemployment, expand access to emergency loans for civil society organisations and help improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, recently said:

Funds raised through the existing Dormant Assets Scheme have already made a huge difference to vulnerable people and communities across the UK, especially during the pandemic.

Expanding the scheme will mean hundreds of millions more for good causes, helping us to build back stronger in the years to come.

Baroness Barran, Minister for Civil Society, recently said:

Expanding the Dormant Assets Scheme provides us with two positive opportunities to highlight the importance of people tracing their lost financial assets. Firstly it will highlight the potential importance for people to trace their lost financial assets.

Secondly, where that is not possible, it will release over £800 million for social investment that will make a real difference to people - both young and old - experiencing challenging circumstances across the UK as we work hard to recover from this pandemic.

John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury recently said:

Banks and building societies across the UK are working tirelessly to reunite people with forgotten assets. But on occasions where this isn’t possible, it’s right that these funds are used to tackle some of the UK’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.

The expansion of the scheme will mean more people are reconnected wi

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