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How to reclaim the money in your dormant account

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Can't see Lucy's film? Watch it here.

There's £860 million lying unclaimed in "lost" or forgotten accounts in British banks and building societies.

Lucy Siegle told us what to do if you think you may have lost touch with your account or savings.

She recommended visiting, a free service brought to you by the British Bankers' Association, the Building Societies Association and National Savings and Investments.

If you need to trace a lost account, you can make a claim online, by clicking here.

Or you can make a claim by post. Download the forms below:

Bank: Trace dormant accounts leaflet.

Building society: Trace dormant accounts leaflet.

National Savings: Trace dormant savings leaflet.

Have you been reunited with money in a dormant account? Any hints and tips you can pass on?


  • 1. At 7:29pm on 15 Jan 2009, handsomeJupiter wrote:

    I conntacted mylostaccount over six months ago, concerning an account last used in 1965 and is now part of TSB and I still have the passbook. Apart from an initial email confirming they have received the details I have heard nothing. Mylostaccount is a complete waste of time and does NOT work. Maybe the banks are only pretending and dont really want to give the money back.

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  • 2. At 7:37pm on 15 Jan 2009, Xanthum wrote:

    I have the grand some of 5 pounds in an old account from when I was a child, I think I shall see if I can trace it, the interest might be worth a pound or two! :)

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  • 3. At 7:46pm on 15 Jan 2009, mightyoneshow wrote:

    handsomeJupiter..... Mylostaccount definitely does work and is not a waste of time. Could be a perfectly good explanation why you haven't heard anything including the fact it have gone astray in the post. Request another trace.... or you will never know if there's anything in it and how much.

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  • 4. At 7:49pm on 15 Jan 2009, Gegwod wrote:

    When I left the RAF in 1957 I had 8s. 6d (about 43p) left in my RAF Savings Account with the Post Office. Last year (2008) I heard about MyLostAccount and sent them my details. A couple of months later I received the grand sum of £3.77p - not bad interest!
    The Account was still active after 51 years - don't give up hope.

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  • 5. At 7:52pm on 15 Jan 2009, bewilderingBRUCE1 wrote:

    On tonights show Lucy stated that you will be entitled to the acrued interest on dormant accounts. I recently discovered two savings books from the 1960's and sent them in for closure to Giro Bank & National Savings. In both instances they told me that no interest was payable on the balances as dormant accounts were frozen automatically!


    Bruce Ivey

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  • 6. At 7:53pm on 15 Jan 2009, stable33 wrote:

    As someone who has had a stroke and has been brain damaged, may I put in a plea for the disabled generally?

    I was conscious that I had a few accounts of which I had not used for at least ten years and would no doubt now be considered dormant. I really struggled with the form sent to me by the BBA, but eventually got it off to them. I then had to wait well over the stated period before hearing that the Alliance & Leicester had an account or accounts in my name, and that I would hear from them very shortly. Again I had to wait well over the alotted time, but eventually I did hear from that Society, only to be sent another BBA form asking for full details of the two accounts in question, including account numbers and accounts !!!!!

    Seemingly it never occured to anyone in the Banking fraternity that this was just the information I was hoping to receive !

    The procedure seems to be stacked against me, and has caused me so much stress that I have had to drop the matter pro tem in the hope that the passbooks may turn up in my possessions at some time in the future.

    In my case I am quite disabled, and as well as stroke have a brain tumour, prostate cancer and diabetes. I am also hard of hearing and have changing eyesight. Yet I am not at all sorry for myself and in fact keep myself occupied working in the community for others who are disabled.

    But the Institutions have seemingly forgotten that there are a lot of people like us about. If they did realise this then we would enjoy the help we require in tracing what is rightfully ours !

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  • 7. At 7:55pm on 15 Jan 2009, rach19770 wrote:

    I cant get on the website i opened a bank account at school it was a school bank account and was with the yorkshire bank might have a fiver in it like the other lady!!!!

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  • 8. At 8:26pm on 15 Jan 2009, nobleoneshowfan wrote:

    I have had £2 in the Skipton Building Society since 1983. I tried to withdraw the money (with interest) in Jan.08. I have the passbook but my account could not be traced. Eventually having provided endless proof of identity my passbook was returned showing total interest from 1983 to Dec.1986 as 40pence. Iwas told my account was closed in Dec1986 apparently by them and without my knowledge or authority. Phone calls are ineffective and correspondence will not be replied to. Trying to get my £2.40 is proving to be an impossibility and I do believe I should be entitled to interest to date.There may be unclaimed money in some vast pot but the banks and building societies are not prepared to part with it!

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  • 9. At 8:32pm on 15 Jan 2009, claremylove wrote:

    I've never heard of 'my lost account' until tonight. I have an account which is undoubtedly classed as dormant so have filled in the forms and hope for the best. It won't be much but it all helps.

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  • 10. At 8:51pm on 15 Jan 2009, maryday1 wrote:

    My mother died in 1991 and last year I found her Alliance and Leicester pass book with £14.72 in it. I contacted the dormant accounts at Alliance and Leicester and filled in the form giving, amongst other things, her date of birth 23/4/1902 and the date of her death 26/5/1991.
    I explained that I was her daughter and had come into possession of her bank book.
    I eventually had a reply saying that as the account was not in my name they would have to speak to the person concerned.!!!
    Now I didn't think that it would take much working out that a person aged 106 wouldn't really have been in a position to talk so I just shook my head and gave up

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  • 11. At 9:19pm on 15 Jan 2009, Blogian wrote:

    Many years ago I opened an account with the NatWest as a co-signatory with two friends. I put £100 into the account to keep it “current” and the only cheque drawn on it was for £80, leaving £20 in the account. In the event the account wasn’t needed and some 10 years later I tried to reclaim the residual balance. Cutting a long story short I ended up being told by NatWest that the account had been closed (which it hadn’t to my knowledge) and their representative went on to say that “I regret I cannot give you the precise date because we do not keep our records indefinitely”. In my opinion the NatWest appropriated the small residual amount and conveniently “destroyed” the records. I still have all my records and correspondence about this and have come to the conclusion that all is not what it seems about so called “dormant” accounts. In my case the money wasn’t very significant but it demonstrates their approach to such things.

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  • 12. At 10:47pm on 15 Jan 2009, geminimalcolmmac wrote:

    When my father died in 1991 my mother went to change a joint account at Barcleys bank and she was told that the account had been closed because there had been no transaction for two years. It took me several months to re-establish this account, containing her money for my mother. I never managed to get any outstanding interest on this money. The bank made my mother feel that it was her who in the wrong and it was her fault for not making any transactions.

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  • 13. At 09:27am on 16 Jan 2009, CairnTerrier wrote:

    I appreciate that Lucy may be getting bored talked about saving the Cairngorm Aardvark and making sofas out of tofu , but could you please give such a report to someone with a grasp of finance.

    The money is not being kept in vaults , like piles of gold in Gringott's. It does not physically exist.

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  • 14. At 11:54am on 16 Jan 2009, sarahonefan wrote:

    I found an old pass book with the last entry dated 7th August 1997. There was £380.08 in the account. When I took the book in for them to bring the account up to date with the intrest I was told that they could not go back futher than 2006. They also entered a removal of £372.37. They have no idea when this removal was made and it was not made with the pass book.

    When I queried this I was fobed off and passed on. I have since written several letters demanding the return of my money and an explination with no avail. I feel this money was taken from my account without my knoweledge or my consent as no money can be relesed without a pass book. The excuse that they cannot go back further than 2006 seems absurd.

    I hope you will be able to help and bring this to other peoples' notice as the banks could potentially be making millions in other peoples old accounts.

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  • 15. At 12:59pm on 16 Jan 2009, CairnTerrier wrote:

    Has Dom been given the boot - this is normally his territory.



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  • 16. At 7:35pm on 16 Jan 2009, dazedandconfused wrote:

    I opened an account with the former Midland Bank about 16 years ago but hadn't used it for about 12 years and I thought there was no money left in it so didn't bother with it any more.... recently after applying for an HSBC mortgage and they asked me a few questions about my former addresses, date of birth, etc. and did I know that I still had £472 left in my old account! And yes, it had been accruing interest during that time. So it shows that it can be quite easy to get this money back.

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  • 17. At 10:35pm on 17 Jan 2009, richernow wrote:

    I thought i had an account with Midland Bank. I used
    i am now £1762.24 richer and also very happy

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  • 18. At 5:15pm on 19 Jan 2009, Dustbinniker wrote:

    I have used the British Bankers Association (BBA) website to try to reclaim money from a dormant account. That was in October of this year. This was after being told by the local branch of the bank in which the account was held that it had been closed. I logged on to the website after receiving information on BBA with a bank statement.

    Like "handsomeJupiter" I was told by BBA that the bank could not trace the account, even though I had provided full details. When I complained I was told by BBA that they could not take the matter any further as they had closed their case file. The said I should complain to the bank in question. When I asked for their complaints procedure that said they didn't have one as they were only a trade association representing the banks. I have sent off a copy of the "Bank book" and suggeted that witholding the money is theft. They e-mailed back just before Christmas to say they had sent the information to the bank to ask them to try again. If the bank still refuses that I should pursue the matter though their complaints procedure and i stilol not successful, then I should take the matter up with the Finncial Ombudsman. I intend to take this to the end. It is not a great amount even with interest, but it is the principle that is at stake here.

    Perhaps the One Show should publicise the complying banks and those not complying. I note that HSBC/Midland do appear to be honouring dormant accounts. Please add BARCLAYS to the list of those not complying.

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  • 19. At 7:50pm on 08 Mar 2009, yammyrog wrote:

    Thanks to your programme on dormant accounts, i have recovered one which i had lost due to divorce & moving etc.
    Although not too happy with result, i had £15 in a building society,which i put in , in 1985, not a lot,but after 24 years of investing it, i did not even manage to double
    it, actually now have in my account an extra £9.53. was a little disappionted thought there might have been a bit more?
    But nevertheless thank you for assisting me in retrieving my lost account.
    Roger Howell

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  • 20. At 00:02am on 13 Mar 2009, ron9816 wrote:

    Why can't the banks just publish a list of the names of dormant account holders? No dates, no locations, just names. Some of these accounts go back generations Then if a name is recognised, say, of a grandfather only a genuine claimant would be able to give dates and places.

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