Could provide a huge cash boost to hard-up communities
An extra £800m could be made available for charitable activities when the UK government expands the dormant assets scheme.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport said the dormant intends to expand the scheme to include insurance and pensions, investment, wealth management and securities.
If funds are left untouched for 15 years or more and cannot be reunited with their rightful owners, they would come under dormant assets legislation.
Rightful owners are entitled to come forward at any time to reclaim their assets.
A consultation into the scheme was undertaken in 2017 which found that another £2bn could be freed up for good causes. A consultation into its expansion was started last February with the UK government hoping to free up more cash for communities as the pandemic continues to hit the public hard.
Baroness Barran, minister for civil society, said: “Firstly it will highlight the potential importance for people to trace their lost financial assets,” she said.
“Secondly, where that is not possible, it will release over £800m 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.”
In May last year, the government made £150m available from dormant assets to support charities and social enterprises through the coronavirus pandemic.
Since 2011, 30 banks and building societies participating in the current scheme have enabled the release of more than £745m from dormant accounts that have been inactive for at least 15 years.