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.