Government funds Big Society Capital with dormant bank account cash
Published 12 April 2012 by Lucy Bower
The Government is using £400 million of unclaimed cash from dormant bank accounts to fund social enterprises and charities in the UK.
This week the Government launched the Big Society Capital fund with £600 million of unclaimed money from dormant bank accounts. The unclaimed money will go to charities and community projects as part of the Governments' plan for a 'Big Society'.
The PM at the launch of the fund this week said that money from bank accounts that have been dormant for 15 years, amounting to £400 million, would go to good causes that tackle social problems. An additional £200 million has been invested by high street lenders Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and RBS, dubbing the fund the 'Big Society Bank'.
Mr Cameron hopes that social enterprises and charities will use the investment the same way a business would, ultimately becoming a "self-sustaining, independent market," but Phil Shanks, director of SAF Housing raised concerns in the Financial Times that when funding is cut, as often happens, banks foreclose on these enterprises.
The money has come from 'dormant bank accounts' which means a current account that hasn't been touched for several years with no trace of the owner. The Government passed legislation that they could access money that had been untouched for 15 years in 2009, but anyone who believes they have had money in a dormant account is completely entitled to reclaim it - even if it has been used in the Big Society scheme.
If you're wondering whether you have a dormant bank account that you've forgotten about, the place to find out is http://www.mylostaccount.org.uk.