The UK Government has announced that £76 million from forgotten accounts across England will be redirected to support initiatives that will help people get out of debt and improve energy efficiency.
The Dormant Assets Scheme releases funds from forgotten bank and building society accounts when it is not possible to reunite the owners with their lost funds.
One of the initiatives that will benefit from this money is a £45 million grant distributed by Fair4All Finance, which will provide no-interest loans to 69,000 people struggling with finances. Hundreds of charities and social enterprises will also receive support from a pot of £31 million, which will be distributed by social investors Access and Big Society Capital.
This money will be used to retrofit buildings with more efficient energy systems, such as new boilers or heat pumps, solar panels, and new lighting.
The Government plans to expand the Dormant Assets Scheme to include further assets from the insurance and pensions, investment and wealth management, and the securities sectors.
This will make an estimated £738 million more available over time. Since 2011, the scheme has already released £892 million.
The Government has also announced that community wealth funds in England will become additional beneficiaries of the Dormant Assets Scheme. These funds are a pot of money distributed to communities in deprived areas, and local residents will have a say in how to use the money.
According to Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, this initiative will help vulnerable members of society deal with the cost of living, alleviate debt, and provide money-saving solutions for charitable organizations. David Knott, the CEO of the National Lottery Community Fund, welcomed the Government’s plans to include community wealth funds alongside existing causes.
It is important to note that dormant assets remain the property of their owners, and the scheme must match what the business would have paid the owner had their assets never been transferred into the scheme. This means that owners can reclaim any money owed to them at any time.»£76m from dormant accounts allocated to support living expenses and energy-efficient initiatives«