David Ainsworth, Third Sector, 3 December 2008
The sum available for social causes could be up to 10 times the £400m currently estimated, say experts.
The Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act, which received royal assent last week, allows money from accounts that have seen no activity for 15 years to be transferred to causes such as youth centres, financial inclusion services and a social investment bank.
But financial experts who have studied the proposed system say the current estimate could be too low because it does not include accounts that are deemed to be ‘live’ because of technical changes to IT and banking regulations, but have actually not been used for more than 15 years.
The experts, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that calculations based on a similar scheme run in the Republic of Ireland since 2001, modified by factors such as population, inflation and GDP, suggest the UK figure could be closer to £4bn.
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