Finding lost money that you may be entitled to

Published  22 March 2024
   6 min read

There are billions of pounds lying unclaimed in bank and savings accounts, pensions, investments and prizes across the UK.  

Estimates for the total amount of unclaimed financial assets in the UK range from £15bn to an eye-popping £50b, depending on which report you read. If you’ve lost track of your money, the good news is that you don’t have to pay to find it.

How do you know if you have money in lost accounts? 

There are several signs that you may have a lost account or policy. For example, you may come across some old paperwork for a savings account or policy. Or you may remember that you have accounts or policies with financial services companies that don’t have your up-to-date contact details.

A financial account (such as a bank or savings account) can be marked as ‘lost’ if the company doesn’t have your contact details and there has been no money paid in or taken out for several years.

However, no matter how long it’s been since you lost contact with your account or policy, any money in it is yours and you have the right to claim it.


How to find your lost money

How you track down lost money will depend on the type of account you may have. There are several different schemes and services on offer to help reunite people with lost accounts; most of which are online, although there are normally telephone and/or post-based alternatives.

Most importantly, none of these schemes charge you a penny. You do not have to pay to track down lost money that you’re entitled to.


Dormant bank accounts

A dormant bank or building society account is one that hasn’t been active for some time – namely one where you’ve not paid any money in, taken money out or carried out other transactions. If you have money in a lost or dormant bank account or think you may have, here’s how you can track it down.

If you know which bank or building society you may have a lost account with, you can contact them directly. However, if you don’t, rather than contact each bank or building society individually, you can use a website called My Lost Account. This is a free-to-use service that helps you trace any lost current or savings accounts. If you think you have some long-lost savings, it's worth taking some time to fill out the form on the website.

In order to use My Lost Account, you’ll need a valid email address and you’ll need to set up a password. Once you submit the form, you’ll receive a response directly from the relevant bank or building society telling you whether you have any savings with them. They’ll do this within three months of you submitting the form.

It's worth knowing that you also can use My Lost Account to trace dormant accounts for someone who’s died.


Tracing lost pensions

There are millions of unclaimed pensions in the UK, each worth an average of £9,500, so it’s worth taking the time to find any pensions you’ve lost track of.

How you track down your lost pension will depend on the amount of information you have, such as whether you know the name of the company that you have a pension with. Our guide called How to find a lost pension explains the steps you’ll need to take.

As with lost bank or savings accounts, you don’t have to pay to track down old pensions.


Lost stocks and shares

You may have lost track of shares or investment funds that you bought or received in the past, and not know how to track them down. You may have found some old share certificates, and be due dividend payments if the company whose shares you own doesn’t have up-to-date contact or bank details. If you know the name of the company you have shares in, you can contact them directly.

If you’re not sure or you can’t find their contact details or the company has changed hands repeatedly, then a share registration company may be able to help. There are three main organisations that maintain share registers for UK-listed companies; they’re called Link Group, EQ Shareview and Computershare.

Companies may also have their own programmes to identify shareholders they’ve lost contact with, and to reunite them with their shareholding. There’s also a free service called Gretel, which may be able to help you track down lost shares.

If you’ve lost touch with investment funds, contact the Investment Association, which can help you track down unit trusts and the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) which can help with investment trusts. For investment trusts, you’ll need to email the AIC at, with the name of the investment trust and copies (not originals) of any paperwork you have.


Lost Premium Bonds

If you think you have lost Premium Bonds or other products from National Savings & Investments (NS&I), there are two ways for you to track them down. You can go onto NS&I’s website – look for a section called ‘Lost touch with NS&I’ or you can use the free My Lost Account service mentioned earlier.

You’ll need to be able to register to use the NS&I website if you don’t already have an account. If you prefer you can download a form and post it back to NS&I or, if you don’t have a printer, you can write to NS&I’s Tracing Service at Tracing Service, NS&I, Sunderland, SR43 2SB.

It’s not just Premium Bonds that people lose track of. Billions of pounds of Premium Bond prizes go unclaimed every year as well (in 2022 NS&I estimated that £68 million in Premium Bond prizes was unclaimed). You can check whether you’ve won any prizes that you haven’t claimed by logging onto the NS&I website. Or you can download NS&I’s prize checker app (details of the apps are on NS&I’s website).