Bill to pave the way for youth to benefit from unclaimed assets

Gordon Brown yesterday announced a new bill that will allow banks to transfer dormant assets to a fund for use on youth services.

Outlining his draft legislative programme, which will later form the basis of the Queen's speech, the Prime Minister echoed his commitment in the 2005 pre-budget report which suggested that provision for young people should be the main focus of the dormant funds.

"Behind the Unclaimed Assets Bill is our determination that money in dormant bank accounts will be used to improve our country's youth and community facilities," Brown said.

The Government's official listing of the draft bills states that the assets bill will allow the money in England to be spent on youth services, financial capability and inclusion, and social investment "if funds permit".

The social investment stream is likely to refer to the social investment bank to finance third sector organisations, as proposed by Commission on Unclaimed Assets.

The government document also stated that unclaimed assets would be broadly defined as all bank and building society accounts on which there has been no "customer-initiated activity" for a minimum of 15 years.

The Treasury consultation on the assets issue, which was published in May, proposed that dormant money for youth projects could be distributed vial the Big Lottery Fund.

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