We’ve probably all done it – you put something really important in a safe place and then you can’t for the life of you remember where the safe place was. Usually, this just means a few minutes or hours scratching your head and retracing your steps until you remember where you hid it. But what if you couldn’t remember where you’ve saved some money?
Losing a savings bond is more serious than just forgetting where you’ve put your keys, especially if you’re short of cash. Let’s find out how you could claim any lost savings bonds by using a free account tracing service.
Retracing your steps
If you’ve owned Premium Bonds or other savings products with National Savings & Investments (NS&I) but you’ve lost the details, you can trace your money. Your money will still be safe with NS&I and the savings bank offers a free tracing service – they’ll just need some of your info.
Fill in the tracing request form and send it off to NS&I. Try to give as much information as possible – even if you don’t know the certificate number or exactly how much is in the account.
You can also trace lost savings online with the mylostaccount service. According to NS&I, you’ll get a response within a month of making the request.
If you’ve got your Premium Bonds details but you don’t know whether you’ve won, you can see this on the Prize Checker site. Just type your Premium Bonds holder’s number into the site and click ‘unclaimed prizes’. According to NS&I, there's over £50 million in unclaimed Premium Bond prizes, so make sure you’re not missing out.
Other lost accounts
You’ll still be able to use the mylostaccount service for other bank or savings accounts you’ve lost or if you can’t remember the provider. Just like if you’re tracing a savings bond, give as many details as possible – the bank the account is with, the sort code and account number and your name and address when you held the account.
Remember, if the account is from a long time ago, you might have moved since then or got married and changed your name.
Once you’ve submitted your request, you could be waiting a while – banks and building societies could take up to three months before they respond.
As long as the bank agrees that you have a legal right to the money, they’ll reopen your account and you can reclaim your cash, along with any interest.
If they don’t agree that you’ve got a valid claim or you’re the owner of the account, they’ll turn you down. You can appeal through the bank but if they still don’t agree with you, escalate your claim to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Keep in mind that you could still get turned down though and then you won’t get anything.