Dormant assets scheme to expand?

The Independent Dormant Assets Commission has published a report which looks at whether the current dormant asset scheme, which includes funds in banks and building societies, could be extended to other types of assets. These include insurance products, stocks and shares, and pensions that have been classed as dormant.

The Commission’s review concludes that:

  • there are potentially very significant values of dormant assets (approximately £1-2bn) that financial services firms have not, or have been unable to, reunite with customers. As a result of this, the current dormant accounts scheme should be expanded to include a range of these new types of assets.
  • firms’ participation in an expanded scheme should continue to be voluntary. However, If participation levels are low, the government should consider the reasons behind this and whether moving to mandatory participation in the scheme in the future would be appropriate;
  • the expanded scheme should retain the core principles of the current scheme. However, the way the scheme is managed should be modified to facilitate larger flows and the new types of assets.

The government is expected to introduce a legislative framework to facilitate the expansion of the scheme from 2018.

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