Halifax to reunite customers with their cash

20 February 2007
In what cynics may construe as a bid to boost its popularity, Halifax has begun a 'campaign' to retrieve unclaimed funds in dormant accounts and return them to their rightful owners.

This 'reunification' campaign aims to establish whether forgotten accounts left untouched for over 15 years, often because customers fail to alert the bank to a change of address, can be returned to their original owners – or the capital released for use elsewhere.

Halifax alone holds £44 million in dormant accounts, although 75 per cent of these contain less than £100.

The reunification strategy will entail contacting dormant account customers by letter as well as national and regional advertisements.

"Our job is to reunite as many of our customers as is possible with their cash," stressed Mike Regnier, head of savings at HBOS.

Customers will be able to reclaim funds via claim forms in bank branches before any reappropriation and redistribution occurs.

But Halifax, too, will profit from closing dormant accounts, given the often-cited operating cost of running accounts on customers' behalf.

The Unclaimed Assets Register estimates that more than £15 billion is currently languishing in untouched and forgotten accounts and investments in the UK.

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