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FoI/11/01302 Dormant Bank Accounts

FoI/11/01302 Dormant Bank Accounts

How much money has been retrieved from dormant bank accounts in Scotland under the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act (2008), and any other relevant legislation?

The lead Department on the use of Dormant Bank Account money for good causes in the UK is the Cabinet Office. Accordingly, whilst Scotland will receive a share of dormant account monies retrieved at the UK level, the Scottish Government does not have records of how much was retrieved from dormant accounts in Scotland.

Reclaim Fund Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Co-operative Banking Group, was established on 28 March 2011 to enable dormant account monies to be used for good causes. It is authorised and monitored by the Financial Services Authority, operates independently with an appointed Board and Executive, and is non-profit-making.

In its first quarter, Reclaim Fund Ltd received dormant account money from a number of banks and building societies. It made its first transfer of £30 million on 2 August 2011 to Big Lottery Fund for re-investment in the community. This will be followed by periodical transfers, as and when more bank and building society accounts become dormant, though sufficient funds will always be retained to meet any reclaims from customers.

Current plans for where this money will be spent?

Under the terms of the legislation, the BIG Lottery is responsible for administering dormant account funds to third sector organsiations in Scotland. In September, John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, issued a Direction to BIG Lottery, instructing them to take the following 4 themes into account in developing a means of disbursing dormant account monies in Scotland:

1. Opportunities for children and young people

2. Addressing health inequalities through increased activity

3. Strengthening inter-generational activities; and

4. Creating community-based employment opportunities.

These themes have been agreed by the Scottish Parliament. BIG Lottery will shortly conclude a consultation with key stakeholders on the shape of a grant scheme based on these themes.

Individual records of how much was retrieved from each account, along with as much information as possible on what type of account they were, why the funds could not be reunited with their original owners etc.

As indicated above, the Scottish Government does not hold details on dormant account monies retrieved in Scotland.