William Eichler 04 January 2018

Over £300m from dormant accounts to go towards ‘good causes’

Around £330m from dormant bank and building society accounts will be used to help disadvantaged young people, the homeless and other good causes across the UK, the Government has announced.

The minister for sport and civil society, Tracey Crouch, said today that initiatives across England to help disadvantaged young people into work, provide housing for families and vulnerable people, and tackle problem debt, will receive £280m of the funds.

Around £135m of this will be used by Big Society Capital (BSC) to fund ‘stable and long-term’ accommodation for vulnerable groups such as homeless people and those suffering with mental health issues.

BSC is an independent social investment institution which supports charities and other social sector groups. It will use the £135m to leverage private sector investment for the above causes.

The funds are from dormant bank or building society accounts. According to the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act, an account is dormant if there have been no transactions relating to it in 15 years.

There will be £90m invested in projects that help disadvantaged young people into employment, Ms Crouch said. These will be organised by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Education and Big Lottery Fund.

The remaining £55m will be awarded to financial inclusion and capability initiatives which will tackle issues such as problem debt, as well as improving access to financial products and services for those on lower incomes.

Around £50m of the total £330m will be made available for good causes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will be distributed by the Big Lottery Fund. The devolved administrations will decide how they are spent.

‘By unlocking millions of pounds from dormant accounts for a range of good causes, we can make a real difference to lives and communities across the country,’ said Ms Crouch.

‘This is part of the Government’s commitment to building a fairer society and tackling the social injustices that hold people back from achieving their full potential.

‘I am grateful to the banks and building societies, as well as Reclaim Fund Ltd, for their work to free up these funds for good causes. Working in close partnership with the financial sector and civil society, we are determined to help create a country that works for everyone and build a Britain fit for the future.’

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