Seven million have lost track of financial products, research suggests

PA

An estimated seven million people across Britain think they have lost track of a financial product, with a third admitting they do not know how to find it again, a Treasury-backed body has found.

One in seven (14%) think they may have lost track of a product such as a current account, an Isa or another type of savings account, premium bonds, a pension, shares and investments or children’s savings.

This equates to seven million people across Britain losing track of their money – savings provider NS&I said.

Only half of those who believe they have lost a financial product have attempted to track it down and just over a third (34%) are unaware of how to do so.

Having to remember passwords is often to blame for people leaving their cash lying dormant with providers, the research suggests.

Just over half (52%) of those surveyed think misplacing passwords or codes for accounts is a cause for losing track of financial products.

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

Money held with NS&I is 100% secure as it is backed by the Treasury.

NS&I works alongside UK Finance and the Building Societies Association to provide MyLostAccount.org.uk – a free service dedicated to reuniting customers with lost funds held in banks, building societies and NS&I.

It said it may take up to three months to perform a successful trace, but the reward could be worth the wait.

NS&I’s own free tracing service for its products and My Lost Account combined have so far reunited more than £770 million with customers.

Ian Ackerley, chief executive at NS&I, said: “Our research shows that 14% of us think they have lost a financial product at least once and yet only 3% have ever undertaken a trace using My Lost Account to try to find them.

“It can be daunting to know where to start, but if you suspect you have funds with a financial institution, you should start by contacting them directly or by using services like My Lost Account.

“Both NS&I’s tracing service and My Lost Account do the hard work for you, leaving you with time to spend on things that matter to you.”

More than 4,100 people were surveyed.