The Dormant Assets Scheme is to be expanded to include assets from a wider range of finance sector accounts, including pensions and insurance.
Through the scheme dormant assets scheme more than £745m from dormant bank and building society accounts have already been handed to good causes.
The government has this week announced that the scheme will be expanded to include dormant assets from across insurance, pensions, investment, wealth management and securities sector.
The expansion will unlock more than £800m for good causes, according to the government.
Expanding the #DormantAssets Scheme could unlock more than £800m.— DCMS (@DCMS) January 9, 2021
Money has so far supported:
▶️ Young people on path to employment
▶️ Growing social investment market
▶️ Supporting renewable energy solutions
▶️ and much more...https://t.co/lZTgbgqSSa pic.twitter.com/pzN1ZNnvCT
The scheme has been expanded following a four-year review and public consultation.
“The responses showed widespread support for expanding the scheme from bank and building society accounts to include assets in these new sectors,” said the government.
“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.”
Sarah Vibert, NCVO director of public policy and volunteering. has welcomed the expansion saying it has been “long awaited”.
The announcement of the long-awaited expansion of dormant assets and the commitment towards good causes is very welcome 1/5— Sarah Vibert (@sarahvibert82) January 9, 2021
The NCVO is a member of the charity sector campaign group Community Wealth Fund Alliance, that has also welcomed the expansion and is urging the government to ensure unlocked assets are used to support communities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
We welcome @DCMS’ announcement that over £800m from the expanded #dormantassets scheme will benefit communities across the UK.— Community Wealth Fund (@CommWealthFund) January 9, 2021
The funds should be invested in #leftbehind areas through a #CommunityWealthFund so they can recover from #COVID & prosper. https://t.co/xVtrvGMgpc. pic.twitter.com/HwYs2Iy4sf
Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, 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,” said culture secretary Oliver Dowden.
“Expanding the scheme will mean hundreds of millions more for good causes, helping us to build back stronger in the years to come.”
Over the last decade, 30 banks and building societies have taken part in the scheme to release funds of accounts that have been inactive for at least 15 years.
In May £150m was unlocked from the scheme to support the charity and voluntary sectors to support communities impacted by the pandemic.
Civil society minister Baroness Barran added: “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.”