HC Deb 27 March 2003 vol 402 c337W
Mr. Martyn Jones

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what critieria are used to identify National Savings and Investments which are dormant savings and investment accounts; how much remains in such accounts; and how many such accounts there are. [104982]

Ruth Kelly

In common with other financial institutions, National Savings and Investments (NS&I) identifies a holding as dormant when it knows that it has lost touch with its customer—e.g. mail returned as undelivered. Given current IT capability, it is not yet possible to define and precisely quantify dormant holdings because the nature of some NS&I products means there may not be any contact with the holder for many years but the holding is still live.

"Unclaimed monies" in the NS&I Product Accounts relate to products which have been redeemed by the Treasury, or where monthly interest or prizes are due. These monies are regarded as unclaimed when NS&I have been unable to make the payment and where the sums involved have been transferred to the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt. The total at 31 March 2002 was 30.1m. But it is not possible to say how many such holdings exist.