A new commission will be tasked with unlocking billions of pounds worth of dormant assets, such as stocks and shares that have been untouched for more than 15 years.
Over the next year, the independent Dormant Assets Commission will identify new pools of unclaimed assets which might include stocks, shares, pensions and bonds.
It was announced that the funds collected will go to a number of good causes in a scheme that is set to be similar to that used by the Big Lottery Fund for dormant bank accounts.
The new policy drive builds on the success of the Dormant Accounts Scheme where banks and building societies contribute accounts that have been untouched for 15 years to good causes.
Government estimates show more than £1bn of untapped sources of dormant assets. The commission will work to identify assets such as stocks and shares, pensions and bonds, and insurance sectors.
The commission will be chaired by Nick O’Donohoe, outgoing Chief Executive of Big Society Capital.
Since the Dormant Accounts Scheme started in 2008, £750m worth of dormant accounts have been volunteered by major banks and building societies. Of this, tens of millions have reached small charities across the UK. The new commission is tasked with putting rocket boosters under the existing scheme and unlocking many hundreds of millions of pounds of dormant assets to revolutionise how the voluntary and charity sectors are funded.
Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson said:
“More than a billion pounds of assets, that might otherwise sit gathering dust, will go into funding for charities that make a real difference to people’s lives across the country. To build an even more caring and compassionate country we need to transform dormant resources and give the funds to those who need it. I have no doubt that Nick is going to present a cast iron plan to help charities in the years ahead.”