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Tracing lost bank accounts, savings or Premium bonds

There’s an estimated £568 million lying unclaimed in lost bank accounts. If you think some of it’s yours, don’t let it go to waste! It’s simple and free to check whether you’ve got long-lost bank or building society accounts or savings with National Savings and Investments (NS&I). You can also check online for unclaimed Premium Bond prizes.

How to trace lost accounts

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If you’re trying to locate an old bank account, your first step is talk to the bank or building society.

If your bank can’t help you, or you just can’t remember which bank or building society the account was with, see the ’Using my lost account’ section below.

It’s important not to pay anyone to search for your old bank, building society or NS&I account. Instead, use the free online service on the My Lost Account website

What is a ‘lost’ account?

A lost account is one that your bank or building society has marked as inactive, because:

  • there’s been no account activity –usually for at least three years
  • they haven’t managed to contact you – usually because of a change of address.

If you prefer, you can apply on paper. Find out more on the My Lost Account website

It was set up by the British Bankers’ Association, the Building Societies Association and National Savings and Investments (NS&I).

The aim is to  help you find lost accounts with any UK bank, building society or NS&I, as well as with some overseas banks with branches in the UK.

If your account is held overseas, you’ll need to get in touch with the bank or savings institution holding the account.

It can only be used to track down inactive accounts that haven’t been used for at least three years.

Who can trace my lost account and should I claim it?

Money in a lost account is always yours by law, even if you wait many years to claim it.

You’ll usually use mylostaccount.org.uk to trace your own account. Executors of wills can also use the service.

You could also use mylostaccount.org.uk if:

  • you’re not sure which bank or building society your account is with
  • you’re not sure if an account exists at all.

What to expect

When you give mylostaccount.org.uk your details, they’ll help you track down any accounts you own.

There are around half a million lost accounts in the UK. So the search can take up to three months to complete.

If a lost account is found, you’ll need to prove that you are who you say you are, and that you have a legal right to the money.

Your account can then be reopened, and you can reclaim the money.

You’ll also get any interest you’re due – if it was in an interest-bearing account.

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Tracing lost Ulster Savings Certificates

Have you lost track of an Ulster Savings Certificate? Then you’ll need to fill in a form and send it to the Department of Finance and Personnel for Northern Ireland.

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Checking for unclaimed Premium Bond prizes

There’s no time limit on claiming a Premium Bond prize. So if you think you might have forgotten about one, see the Premium Bonds Prize Checker on the NS&I website

You’ll just need your Premium Bond holder’s number.

If you’ve lost this number, there are still ways you can search for your prize.

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Checking for lost pensions or investments

It’s not just Premium Bonds and bank accounts – other types of ‘assets’ might be lost too:

Workplace or private pensions

To find contact details for a lost pension, use the Pension Tracing Service. Find out more on the GOV.UK website

It won’t tell you the value of your pension – so you’ll still have to contact the pension provider.

Investment trusts

To help find missing investment trusts, visit the My Lost Account website

Unclaimed estates

The government keeps a list of people who die without a will. If you’re an entitled relative you might be able to make a claim. Find out more on the GOV.UK website

What to do if you have a complaint about the bank or disagree with their response

Do you disagree with how a bank or building society has dealt with your lost account? Then you can ask for a copy of their complaints process and make a formal complaint.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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