Britons have £4.5billion of unclaimed money in lost accounts – be sure to claim

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There is a huge amount of money in dormant savings accounts, and many people have between £450 and £1,500 just waiting to be claimed for savings, pensions and more.

Brits forget about savings, pensions, old wills and more

Households could be sitting on hundreds of books in oblivion Bank accounts and savings offers.

In fact, Britons have around £4.5billion unclaimed, according to the company Gretel.

The average person with a lost account has £450 to claim, but some have as much as £1500, The Sun reports.

Up to 10 million of us have this unclaimed money.

If you’re lucky, the money might even earn interest.

The Mirror reported last month that a woman was stunned to learn that the £2.50 she had in a 60-year-old account she had as a daughter had accrued 100% interest and now worth £250.

How to find a lost account

If you know the name of a bank, building society or thrift company where you might have money, contact them first.

The Accountdetective.co.uk website can tell you if any of these companies have rebranded and provide contact details.

If you can’t remember the details of an old account, or if your bank or building society can’t find it, you can use a service called My Lost Account.

The more details you have, the better.

Gretel has its own free online service that tries to find forgotten accounts for consumers.

Tens of thousands of young people are unaware that they might have £1,000 sitting in children’s trust fund (CTF) dating as far back as 2002.

You can use this online tool to check if you have a forgotten account.

The charity Share Foundation also runs a free search service.

If your request is unsuccessful, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you still believe you are owed money.

You can also see if a relative left you something by going online.

The government keeps a list of deceased persons with money still to be claimed – dating back as far as 30 years.

You can find a lost pension using tools such as the pension finder service.

One of the biggest pots of unclaimed money is with National Savings & Investments (NS&I), Britain’s largest savings company.

In fact there is over £600 million sitting in old NS&I accounts ready to be claimed.

The money ends up being placed in NS&I’s “residual account”.

This is a sort of graveyard account where NS&I puts your money when savings offers expire and you don’t claim them.

If NS&I can’t figure out how to contact you, maybe because you moved and didn’t say so, it wipes all the money into one big account. Then it waits for you to claim it.

To put it into context, £672m is roughly equivalent to Thailand’s annual GDP – more than two New Zealanders.

If you think you might have an old NS&I Savings Agreement that you never claimed, the first thing to do is see if you can find any documents with details.

If you can’t, you can use NS&I’s search service.

To do this you will need to print and complete an account search form and post it to the Search Service, NS&I, Sunderland SR43 2SB.

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