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07 March 2023

Millions of pounds released from Dormant Accounts to support vulnerable people with cost of living

The most vulnerable people in society will be given additional support to deal with the cost of living, as £76 million tied up in forgotten accounts is unlocked.

The cash will support people to get out of debt and assist social enterprises with innovative energy saving solutions.

Beneficiaries include no-interest loans for 69,000 individuals struggling with finances via a £45 million grant distributed by Fair4All Finance, and hundreds of charities and social enterprises will receive support from a pot of £31 million, distributed by social investors Access and Big Society Capital. This will be used to retrofit premises with cleaner, greener, and more efficient energy systems, such as new boilers or heat pumps, solar panels, and new lighting.

Dormant assets are financial assets left untouched for long periods. Led by the financial services industry and backed by the government, the Dormant Assets Scheme aims to reunite people with these lost funds. Where this is not possible, it can be transferred to the Dormant Assets Scheme, so it can be distributed to important social and environmental initiatives.

The Dormant Assets Scheme unlocks money from forgotten bank and building society accounts, and will soon include further assets from the insurance and pensions, investment and wealth management, and the securities sectors.

An estimated £738 million more will be made available over time thanks to the expansion of the Scheme to the new sectors.

Since 2011, £892 million has been released via the Scheme. In England, dormant assets money has been used to support young people, help those in financial difficulty, and generate social investment.

The government is also today announcing that community wealth funds will become an additional beneficiary of the Dormant Assets Scheme. A community wealth fund is a pot of money distributed to communities in deprived areas and released over a long time period, with local residents empowered to make decisions on how to use the money.

To ensure that local decision-making sits at the heart of a community wealth fund, the government will shortly launch a public consultation to gather public and industry views on the overarching design of this important new initiative.

Youth, social enterprises, and people in financial difficulty will continue to be supported, with previous beneficiaries including community centres and charities providing care for the socially isolated and elderly.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said:

“Today we are announcing that millions of pounds will be redirected from dormant accounts to help the most vulnerable in society deal with the cost of living. 

“This will have a real impact on people’s lives, help alleviate debt and provide money saving solutions for charitable organisations.”


Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Stuart Andrew said:

“The public consultation on dormant assets funding provided people with the opportunity to name how money that will be unlocked should be spent, and I’m delighted to announce our plans to introduce a community wealth fund as a new cause. The creation of a community wealth fund will give local residents in some of the more deprived areas of the country the power to improve where they live and invest in what’s important to them.”

Social Investment Business CEO Nick Temple said:

“We’re delighted that future dormant assets will go in part to social investment – and look forward to working with our partners on effectively putting that money to work to benefit the organisations, people and places that need it most.”