This resolution came about as one of the members of our Association found out about dormant bank accounts when she visited her partner’s bank, at his request, to withdraw some money from his account. She had all the relevant documentation to enable her to do this. She was told at the bank that the account could not be found as it had been made dormant and the bank had no record of knowing where the money was being held. There was no record on the computer of when this account had been closed or where the balance of money had gone. At no time had the account holder been notified that this account was being made dormant. Correspondence had to be entered into with the British Banking Corporation in order to find this account and then there was a considerable wait before the money was then paid into the relevant account.
If the British Banking Corporation had not traced the account on her behalf, this money, after 15 years would have been claimed by the Government. Banks and Building Societies have different rules as regards rules with dormant accounts. Our members request the Government to standardise the way banks and building societies manage their dormant accounts. At the present time, banks and building societies do not have standard procedures and it appears that it can differ very greatly from bank to bank. We look to the Government to standardise this as follows:-
1. Information leaflets regarding this should be available in all banks in the same way as they deal with interest rates and loans advertising etc.
2. If banks intend to make an account dormant, letters should be sent by recorded delivery at least twice, as this would prevent mail going astray and it may prevent people from not being notified. Statements should be sent at least twice a year to avoid information on accounts getting lost with time.
3. Once an account has become dormant, the computer system should show exactly where the account has gone without the need to go to the British Banking Corporation to trace it. After 15 years the government takes these funds.