The UK government is seizing funds in dormant bank accounts worth approximately $185 million to fund its coronavirus relief efforts. So far, 30 banks have been voluntarily transferring money from dormant accounts to the government, including HSBC, Barclays, Clydesdale, Credit Agricole, Danske, Santander, Lloyds, and Bank of Scotland. The government has also proposed adding other types of assets that can be seized, such as insurance policies and share proceeds.
Government Unlocks Funds From Dormant Accounts
The U.K. government announced last week that “£150 million [$185.74 million] from dormant bank and building society accounts is to be unlocked to help charities, social enterprises and vulnerable individuals during the coronavirus outbreak.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden detailed that “This includes accelerating the release of £71 million of new funds from dormant accounts alongside £79 million already unlocked that will be repurposed to help charities’ coronavirus response and recovery.” According to “The Dormant Assets Scheme: A Blueprint For Expansion” report, published by the British government in April last year:
UK banks and building society accounts collectively hold over £1.3tn of customers’ money in savings or current accounts that would be eligible under the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008.