NS&I launches advertising campaign to reunite its savers with lost and forgotten accounts

From: National Savings and Investments
Published: Tue Jul 31 2007

NS&I (National Savings and Investments) has for the first time launched an advertising campaign to promote its free of charge Tracing Service to encourage savers to come forward to reclaim the £435 million in lost and forgotten accounts.

NS&I says the most common reason people lose track of their savings accounts is due to them moving home without passing on their address to NS&I and often due to forgetting about accounts opened for them as a child. Also unless executors are aware that a deceased person has NS&I products the money may become forgotten.

The financial services industry and the government have settled on the definition of a dormant account as: "Current and deposit accounts where there has been no customer-initiated activity for at least 15 years." Under this definition NS&I, which formed 146 years ago in 1861, holds £435 million in dormant savings accounts. The main accounts are:

Post Office Savings Account (1861 - 1969)
The Post Office Savings Account was the original passbook account that was opened when NS&I was first formed. It was renamed as the Ordinary Account in 1969 when NS&I (then called National Savings) split from the Post Office.

Ordinary Account (1969 -2004)
This passbook account was closed in 2004 and alongside the Post Office Savings Account holds £196 million in funds (where there has been no activity for 15 years or more).

From April 2007 to June 2007 NS&I has received 196 passbooks which have had to be converted to decimal (all pre 1971), of these the oldest was opened in 1924.

Investment Account (1966 to date)
This passbook account is still being used by savers today; however, 450,000 accounts with £239 million invested have not been used in the past 15 years.

NS&I launched its Tracing Service in November 2001 and 43,000 people have already been reunited with £42 million. NS&I wants more of its savers to use the service to reunite themselves with any savings accounts they may have, although there is no time limit on making a claim.

The advertising will direct NS&I savers to the NS&I website www.nsandi.com/ where Tracing Service information and application forms are available. NS&I have also set up a phone line 0845 964 5000 for savers who do not have internet access, to be able to request the forms.

NS&I are asking savers to complete the Tracing Service forms in as much detail as possible, including any previous names or addresses, to increase the chance of locating possible savings, and then returned them directly to NS&I. The customer will be contacted once the trace has been completed, usually within one month.

NS&I's Tracing Service can also be used to trace other NS&I lost, forgotten accounts and products no longer on sale, for example, Savings Certificates, Income Bonds and closed products such as Deposit Bonds.

Peter Cornish, NS&I Customer Director, said, "We want to help re-unite as many people as possible with savings they have forgotten they had invested with NS&I, or as we were formerly known, National Savings. We have launched an advertising campaign to jog as many memories as possible and the service is completely free-of-charge."


Notes to Editors

For details of tracing service case studies, images of the advert, passbooks and the Tracing Service brochure in hi-res jpeg format, contact the NS&I Media Team.

NS&I does not endorse any company which charges customers a fee to search for lost or forgotten money held by NS&I. This includes unclaimed Premium Bond prizes.

Maximum call charges from a BT landline are 4p per minute. Charges from other service providers will vary.

NS&I is an Executive Agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is one of the UK's largest savings and investments providers, with 27 million customers and £80 billion invested.

For more information, contact the NS&I Media Team
NS&I PR contact:
Jonathan Akerman
National Savings and Investments
375 Kensington High Street
W14 8SD
020 7348 9433
Company: National Savings and Investments
Contact Name: Jonathan Akerman
Contact Email: enquiries@pr-sending.co.uk
Contact Phone: 020 7348 9433

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