Gretel, the free online hub which reunites consumers with lost and dormant accounts across the entire financial service industry has gone live. New data from Gretel highlights that almost half of all UK adults think they may have a lost or dormant account, yet only 13 per cent have ever tried to track it down.
The dashboard is being launched at a crucial time for many people in the UK who face increasing costs and a squeeze on household spending. There are nearly 20 million customer accounts with a combined value of over £50billion that have been lost or forgotten by their rightful owners, in the UK alone. This includes £37 billion in pensions, £5.3 billion in lost investments and shares and £2.2 billion in lost CTFs.
Duncan Stevens, Chief Executive of Gretel. “At a time when the cost of living in the UK is at its highest level in 30 years, getting the £50 billion of dormant, lost and unclaimed money from savings, investments and pensions back into the hands of the consumer, where it belongs, is more important than ever before. Our research shows that consumers have historically faced an array of barriers relating to cost, complexity and mis-communication when it comes to tracking down lost accounts; Gretel will help them overcome these hurdles and finally get back what is rightfully theirs.”
OneFamily, the UK’s largest child trust fund (CTF) provider, is one of the first companies to sign-up to the new centralised hub. Gretel has also been chosen by the Investment Association (IA) to power its new Unclaimed Assets Portal. Currently the IA fields regular enquiries from people hoping to find a way to track down a lost investment and this move by the trade body hopes to provide a fast, free and effective solution to reunite consumers with millions in lost investments.
OneFamily’s Head of Investments, Paul Bridgewater said: “If a OneFamily CTF isn’t claimed when the young person reaches 18, the money continues to be held safely with us and receives the benefits of the fund until the young person gets in touch.
“We’re making substantial efforts in reuniting people with their money, so we’re pleased to be working in partnership with Gretel, which is an invaluable tool for young people looking for their CTF. What’s great is that it’s entirely free and is easy for them to use.”
Chris Cummings, Chief Executive, the Investment Association, said: “We are excited to be partnering with Gretel to help our members re-unite customers with their savings. We’re urging anyone who is worried they have lost track of their investments throughout the years to register to the platform.”
Gretel’s new technology helps solve the challenge of reuniting forgotten funds with their rightful owners and simplifies what used to be a long and complicated process.
Despite the average value of a lost investment being over £2,800, a lost pension policy can typically be even greater averaging more than £23,000 in value, one in four consumers are of the view that the likely monetary value of any lost accounts will be too low to make a search worthwhile, rising to one in three of those aged over 55 years. Now is the time to start looking