Dormant assets scheme set for estimated £2bn expansion

Its remit will be widened to include pensions, securities and other assets, and the government has appointed four 'industry champions' to expand the scheme across four financial sectors

The dormant assets scheme will be expanded to include pensions, insurance, securities and wealth-management assets, the government has announced, in a move that could be worth an estimated £2bn to the voluntary sector.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said yesterday that it had also appointed four "industry champions" to help expand the dormant assets scheme across four financial sectors.

More than £1bn has already been found in dormant bank and building society accounts since 2008 through the dormant accounts scheme, with more than £360m directed to good causes.

A report released last year by the Dormant Assets Commission said that bringing financial instruments such as bonds and shares into the scheme could raise an additional £2bn for charitable causes.

The DCMS said that its four industry champions would help to expand this work into a wider set of financial assets, including shares, bonds, pensions and stocks, and help to reunite dormant assets with their owners where possible.

The dormant accounts scheme allows bank or building society accounts that have been left completely untouched for more than 15 years to be used for good causes.

Kirsty Cooper, group general counsel and company secretary at Aviva, will lead work on insurance and pensions, while Simon Kenyon, managing director of consumer banking at Lloyds Banking Group, will be the banking industry champion.

William Nott, strategic adviser to M&G, will be the investment and wealth management champion, and Robert Welch, group company secretary at Tesco, will lead on securities.

The announcement comes after an official government response to the Dormant Assets Commission’s report earlier this year, in which the government said it was considering legislating to expand the scheme.

John Glen, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: "We introduced the dormant assets scheme with the aim of changing the lives of millions of people across the country through good causes. But without the support of businesses, the scheme wouldn’t be what it is today.

"I’m delighted that these highly experienced business leaders have agreed to be our new industry champions. Their expertise will be vital as we look at ways to expand the scheme, and I look forward to working with them to reach even more people."

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