Nationwide alerts customers to £42m in forgotten cash

Nationwide building society, the UK's second-largest savings provider, wants to reunite customers with money held in dormant accounts.

Approximately £42m is held with the society that the rightful owners have either forgotten about or don't know exists. An account is deemed dormant by Nationwide if there has been no transaction on it in the past 15 years.

As a first step in making people aware of neglected assets, the society will be sending out 24,000 letters to the last known address of dormant account holders. Furthermore, Nationwide said it would be appointing a search agent to trace customers with whom contact has been lost.

"By contacting Nationwide members who have not transacted on their banking or savings account for over 15 years, we hope to increase the number of people reunited with lost or forgotten money," said Stuart Bernau, the society's executive director.

Last year, the Halifax began a similar scheme. So far, customers have claimed around £6m from dormant accounts.

Meanwhile, the Government is to launch the unclaimed assets scheme in 2009. Under this initiative, money in dormant accounts held with UK banks and building societies will be transferred to good causes, although the rightful owners will still be able to claim their cash.

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