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September 11, 2008

HSBC pursues dormant account holders

by Gill Montia

Story link: HSBC pursues dormant account holders

HSBC is renewing its efforts to contact customers with dormant current accounts.

The bank is planning a campaign involving correspondence, active tracing, advertising and publicity to locate 12,000 customers whose current accounts have seen no activity for 15 years or more.

In addition, attempts will be made to trace a further 5,000 HSBC customers who have moved house without telling their bank.

The average balance in an HSBC dormant account is £1,400 but 17 of the accounts under scrutiny contain in excess of £100,000.

In all up to £24 million could be reclaimed.

The bank’s general manager of customer propositions, Carlos Wanderley, says the scheme also involves research into the reasons why accounts become dormant and he is hopeful that this will lead to the development of new account models that will help eradicate the problem.

According to estimates, around £1 billion could be contained in UK dormant accounts and the Government has plans to use what it describes as “genuinely unclaimed” assets in community projects.

A new community fund will be initiated during 2009 and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

However, should an account holder come forward at any time they will be able to reclaim their money from the fund.


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