One in seven people may have lost track of savings

Millions of financial products have been lost or forgotten, leaving account holders cut adrift from their money, according to new research from National Savings and Investments (NS&I).

The survey of 4,107 British adults found that 14% — as many as 7 million people — think they may have lost track of a financial product. And it’s not just savings accounts that could be lying dormant, with a fifth (20%) admitting there is a possibility that they have lost track of a pension.

It comes after a separate study by the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) revealed there could be around 1.6 million lost pension pots worth nearly £20bn — the equivalent of nearly £13,000 per pot.

In the latest survey, only half (50%) of those who believe they have lost a financial product have ever attempted to track it down, and just over a third (34%) of these are unaware of the ways in which to do so.

However, 78% believe that digital technology has improved the ability to stay in touch with financial products.

NS&I offers a free tracing service for its own products, and also works alongside UK Finance and the Building Societies Association to provide MyLostAccount.org.uk — a free online service that helps people trace lost funds held in banks, building societies and NS&I.

The process can take up to three months to perform a successful trace, but the reward could be worth the wait.

So far, NS&I’s tracing service and My Lost Account have reunited customers with a total of more than £770m.

Posted on October 31st 2018

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