Standard Life launches £5m charitable trust

Unclaimed shares used to establish grant-making fund

Financial company Standard Life is establishing a charitable trust with an initial investment of £5m.

The majority of funding is derived from unclaimed shares issued when the insurer demutualised in 2006.

The shares are sitting in the company's Unclaimed Assets Trust, which is due to expire in 2016. The value of unclaimed shares in the unclaimed assets trust is currently about £70m.

"We were advised that it's highly unlikely we will track down everyone who hasn't claimed shares, so we started talking to the Inland Revenue about how to free up those funds," said Barry Cameron, head of media relations at Standard Life.

Further funds are expected to be released from the unclaimed assets trust over the next few years.

The decision to create a charitable trust was ratified at the company's annual general meeting in Edinburgh on Friday.

A board will be appointed before a decision is made on which causes to support and how much to give. It is unclear, however, when the new trust will start handing out grants.

Gerry Grimstone, chair of Standard Life, said the trust "will ensure that Standard Life is at the forefront of corporate responsibility and community investment".

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