Six places to find lost money

February 4, 2019

There is thought to be up to £77 billion in unclaimed money sitting in forgotten investments, pensions, insurance and bank accounts in the UK. Sheila Tindle, senior portfolio manager and head of Sanlam North East, shares her top tips on how to find out if any of it is yours

There’s more than £5 billion in forgotten pension schemes in the UK, according to the Pension Tracing Service. It’s easy to lose track

of your pensions – especially if you move home and/or change your name, and neglect to update your personal details. But there are ways you can track this money down. The Pension Tracing Service ( is free and impartial, and you can start the process online. You will then be sent documents which you need to sign for them to search on your behalf. There’s also a free service offered by the Pensions Advisory Service (

If you think you might hold shares in a company, but you have no record of them and cannot find the share certificates, you can ask one or all of the three main company registrars: Capita, Computershare and Equiniti. They’ll search their records for free but will charge you a fee for issuing a replacement certificate. Alternatively, the Investment Association (www. or the Association of Investment Companies ( might be able to help.

Old bank and building society accounts
According to the Money Advice Service, there is £850 million sitting unclaimed in British accounts. You can check if you have forgotten money by using a free online service called My Lost Account ( It covers more than 30 banks and all 44 UK building societies. It is particularly useful if the bank or building society has closed or merged. Banks and building societies say they aim to respond within three months.

Premium Bonds
NS&I reports that there are more than 1.5 million unclaimed prizes worth more than £60 million. The My Lost Account ( uk) service can trace any forgotten Premium Bonds. You can then find out if you hold a prize- winning number by visiting
and filling in the online form. NS&I says it will respond within one month. Any Bonds bought more than 30 years ago are likely to be individually numbered. To get a bond holder’s number, you can write to NS&I at Glasgow, G58 1SB.

Child Trust Funds
Tax-free Child Trust Funds saw children born between 2002 and 2011 given a government bonus of £250 each, but over one million such bonuses have not been claimed. According to The Share Centre, as of June this year, as much as £1 billion could be lost. To find out if you, or more accurately your child, might be one of them, simply submit a request via You’ll need a Government Gateway ID, which you will already have if you submit a tax return.

Lost insurance policies
You can hold a life insurance policy for many years and because of this they are easily forgotten. Unclaimed Assets UK, which helps to trace lost money, estimates there is £2 billion languishing in unclaimed life insurance. To find out if a deceased person had a life insurance policy, it can be helpful to go through old bank statements to see if any premiums were paid.

For more information about reclaiming money, contact Sheila on:01642 931 200
Sanlam Private Wealth is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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