Proposals for a UK Unclaimed Assets Scheme
As announced in the 2005 Pre-Budget Report the Government has been working together with the bank and building society sector to design a scheme in order to allow money in dormant bank and building society accounts to be reinvested in society, while protecting consumers' rights to reclaim their money at any time.
The Economic Secretary, Ed Balls, has launched a consultation document on proposals to introduce an unclaimed assets scheme in the UK, building on the ongoing commitment from the sector to working together to make the scheme a success. The document sets out details of the banks and building societies' proposed changes to the Banking Code in addition to proposals for legislation.
The key principles underlying the proposed scheme are:
- wherever possible to re-unite account holders with the assets that are rightfully theirs;
- to provide a legal right for account holders to reclaim their money at any time;
- to take a light touch approach which minimises running costs for the scheme and participating institutions by wherever possible building on existing infrastructure in order to maximise the money available for reinvestment in the community; and
- to take account of better regulation principles. The proposed UK scheme will therefore differ significantly from other international arrangements being, in part, a self-regulatory scheme.
A further Government consultation document will be published later in the Spring to consider the most effective means of distributing the available assets.
A UK Unclaimed Asset Scheme: a consultation is available in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer you can download the software free of charge from the Adobe website. For alternative ways to read PDF documents and further information on website accessibility visit the HM Treasury accessibility page.
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