New HM Treasury guidelines mean tracing tools will be key to reuniting customers with dormant accounts

The ability to trace dormant accounts is set to become an increasing priority for banks and building societies following new HM Treasury guidelines requesting lenders to identify all dormant accounts that have shown no customer initiated activity over the past 15 years. If the bank or building society is unable to reunite the funds in an account with the owner by 2009, it will result in the money being passed to an independent body to distribute the funds to worthwhile causes.

It is estimated that around £400m is lying unclaimed in bank accounts that have not been touched for 15 years. Callcredit has developed a suite of ID and verification products which will provide financial institutions with accurate information to help them reestablish contact with dormant account holders. This suite is built around the CallTrace product and uses Callcredit's powerful Trace database containing millions of linked addresses that are updated on a continuous basis and formed from a variety of dynamic sources.

Melanie Mitchley, Callcredit comments

'This is a very real issue for banks and building societies as they have a duty of care to their customers to ensure that they safeguard any investments, plus of course successful reunification will ensure the funds stay within the company.

With 3.2 million people moving home each year and constant shifts in personal circumstances it is unsurprising that the estimated funds total of dormant accounts is so high. However, consumers will expect their bank or building society to do everything they possibly can to reunite customers with their accounts. We are urging financial institutions to utilise the fast and cost effective tracing tools available to them as a first step to achieving this."