Legislation aimed to unlock almost £900m in funds for good causes has been introduced to parliament.
Baroness Barran, the minister for civil society, introduced the Dormant Assets Bill in the House of Lords on Wednesday evening.
The measure was among the raft of new pieces of legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday, which also included a new Charities Bill.
The Dormant Assets Bill is designed to expand the dormant assets scheme to include the insurance, pension, investment, wealth management and securities sectors.
The scheme is intended to recover assets that have been untouched for 15 years or more and cannot be reunited with their rightful owners, and put them to good use.
The government said the planned expansion had the potential to make £880m available across the UK for social and environmental priorities.
It said that over the past 10 years, the scheme had released more than £745m to such initiatives in the UK.
New legislation is not debated when it receives its first reading and the bill will need to pass through all the various stages in the House of Lords before being passed to the House of Commons for further scrutiny.