SAVERS could be missing out on hundreds of pounds worth of missing cash in lost bank accounts.
There's an estimated £4.5 billion lying in the defunct or forgotten accounts according to asset recovering aid, Gretel.
Millions of savers could even be sitting on around £1,528 of cash in lost bank accounts.
But Gretel estimates that the average a person could have stashed away waiting to be discovered is around £450.
As many as 10 million people could be affected too.
And you could find there's even more sitting around in an old account of your own – particularly if it's in savings and has gained interest over time.
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One woman who opened a bank account when she was six-years-old, tracked it down after decades – only to discover it was worth hundreds of pounds all those year later.
At the time she had put the equivalent 5p away a week and managed to make it to £2.50 before abandoning the account altogether.
But after going to the bank, she found that she could still access the money and more than 60 years after it was worth £250.
If you can remember your bank or building society, your first step should be to contact them.
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The free service from Accountdetective.co.uk will let you know if the company has changed its name, or you can use it to check for its contact details.
If you can't remember the details, or your bank or building society says it can't help, you can use the free My Lost Account tracing service too.
There are over 70 providers signed up the scheme, including all major banks and all 43 UK building societies.
And Gretel launched it's new free online hub this month – aiming to reunite consumers with lost and dormant accounts.
Duncan Stevens, Chief Executive of Gretel said: “At a time when the cost of living in the UK is at its highest level in 30 years, getting dormant, lost and unclaimed money from savings and more back into the hands of the consumer, where it belongs, is more important than ever before."
You should get a response from providers within three months of checking in with them – though some online tools can help you get there quicker.
If a bank or building society can't agree on the validity of your claim, you have the right to appeal their decision.
Then, if you're still unsuccessful, you can refer your complaint to the independent arbiter, the Financial Ombudsman Service.
But it's not only bank accounts that may have been lost or forgotten by their rightful owners.
As much as £37 billion is sitting waiting in pensions, while £5.3 billion is unclaimed in lost investments and shares and £2.2 billion has been forgotten in lost CTFs.
Use tools like the free Gov.uk Pension Tracing Service to search for the forgotten assets.
One Martin Lewis fan put £900 in to pensions and only tracked them down 27 years later to find they were worth £20,000 – so it's well worth the search.
Meanwhile Policydetective.co.uk lets you find the contact details of policy providers you may have unclaimed pots of cash with.
We've previously reported how millions of people could owed up to £500 from Aviva, LV= and Royal London from forgotten "penny" insurance policies.
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And millions of parents have thousands of pounds stashed away under their child's name in a Child Trust Fund.
If you're not sure if your child has one, you can fill in this online form via the Gov.uk website. You’ll need a Government Gateway user ID and password.
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