Money tip#76 – How to find your (or deceased relatives’) lost assets and get an expected windfall

3 min Read Published: 24 Jun 2010

Billions of pounds are left lying dormant and unclaimed in forgotten bank accounts and investments. However, with a little effort you could be reunited with your money, or that of a deceased relative, for an unexpected windfall.

How do assets become lost in the first place?

Banks, building societies and National Savings & Investments (NS&I) wherever possible seek to keep in touch with their customers. If, however, an account has been inactive for an extended period, the account holding bank or building society will write to the customer asking them whether they wish the account to remain open.

If no response is received, the bank, building society or NS&I will stop sending correspondence and will class the account as “lost”.

Similarly, other assets such as Investments and pensions can become ‘’lost’ in much the same way.

How to find lost assets

Current accounts, savings accounts, premium bonds and other National Savings products is a FREE central tracing scheme spanning banks, building societies and NS&I. It draws together the three central tracing schemes and is designed to help where a customer is unsure of which bank or building society holds an account to which they have entitlement, including instances where the bank or building society has since closed or merged. NS&I investments can also be traced using the online application form

Simply follow the above link and fill in the form and then wait. It may take up to three months to get a response but it could be worth it.

Lost investments

If you’ve lost either a unit trust or investment trust you can also get free help in tracing these down:

Unit trusts - For help in tracing unit trusts you can contact the Investment Management Association,

Investment trusts - The Association of Investment Companies will take you through the process of searching for lost investment trusts – tel:  0207 282 5555.

Lost pensions

See my post Money tip #62 – Find a lost pension fund and get an unexpected windfall for full details.

You mentioned that you can do searches for lost assets of a deceased relative?

All of the above searches allow you to search for assets of a lost relative. Obviously you will need to prove your identity at some point in the future to lay claim to anything.  But once again, a windfall may await you.