Reclaim Fund Ltd
What is the pupose of Reclaim Fund Ltd?
RFL is the operator of the UK’s Dormant Assets Scheme. The voluntary scheme, enabled by government legislation, allows participating banks and building societies to transfer dormant asset monies to RFL, whilst continuing to protect the rights of account holders in perpetuity and releasing surplus funds to good causes.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct authority, RFL as a not-for-profit organisation has dual objectives set by UK Government. Firstly, to ensure that all legitimate claims by dormant asset holders will be repaid, in perpetuity i.e., forever. Secondly, to calculate the surplus between that and the amount of dormant asset monies we receive from participants, which is then handed over to the legislated distributor (The National Lottery Community Fund) for onward distribution to good causes.
What is the classification status of RFL?
In September 2019, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) informed the government of its decision to classify RFL as a public body, effective from the date of RFL’s establishment.
As a result of the ONS decision, RFL has now been established as an Arm’s Length Body (ALB) owned by HM Treasury with oversight through UK Government Investments (UKGI). This means that it remains legally incorporated with its own legal identity and Board of Directors, acting at arm’s length from the government.
What is an ALB?
An Arm’s Length Body (ALB) i.e. a body which has a role in the process of national government but is not part of a government department. It operates at arms-length from Ministers, though a Minister will be responsible to Parliament for it.
How do you choose which good causes to support?
The Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008 sets out which areas receive dormant asset funding, namely those as having a social or environmental purpose. The National Lottery Community Fund (previously known as Big Lottery Fund) is the legislated distributor of dormant asset funds which are then apportioned to the four nations of the UK.
In England, as directed by the Secretary of State (DCMS), funding can also be distributed to a social investment wholesaler, to improve financial inclusion and to meet the needs of young people. Organisations such as Big Society Capital, Fair4All Finance and Youth Futures have all received dormant asset funding to address these challenges. Just in the last two years, dormant account monies which RFL has released, has helped over 26,000 disadvantaged young people into job training opportunities and over 250,000 people to live in homes connected to community energy.
Each year, RFL works in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund and the other named organisations to share the impact of dormant assets funding. RFL also holds an event for all of our stakeholders at which we showcase the work of various charities supported by dormant account monies.
What should customers do if they want to claim their money?
If a customer wishes to reclaim lost/dormant funds, they should contact their bank or building society via the usual channels or visit www.mylostaccount.org.uk.
How do you repay customers who come forward to claim thier money?
Customers are repaid via their original bank or building society, who verify and then reimburse the customer, subsequently requesting that the funds be returned from RFL.
RFL always ensures it retains enough money to meet any claims from customers who come forward but holds no personal data for any of the monies received from any participating bank or building society.
How do you decide how much money to hand over and how much to retain?
In the early stages, RFL followed guidelines which were carefully drawn up by the Financial Services Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority) to ensure a prudent approach to determining how much is appropriate to transfer to The National Lottery Community Fund (previously known as Big Lottery Fund). The guidelines took into account information provided by banks and building societies about the dormant accounts.
Over time, our assessment of how much we can release for distribution to good causes has become informed by our experience of reclaims by holders of dormant accounts, but we will always remain cognisant of our key responsibility to meet reclaim requests in perpetuity.
What happens to the money you reatin, if it remains unclaimed?
One of RFL’s core duties is to ensure that all legitimate claims by dormant asset holders will be repaid, in perpetuity i.e., forever, and therefore RFL exercises prudence in making low-risk investments with the money it retains in order to fulfil this duty.
How can RFL operate independently when it is owned by HM Treasury?
UK Government Investments Limited (UKGI) manages His Majesty’s Treasury’s (HM Treasury) shareholding in RFL.
RFL is legally incorporate with its own legal identity, acting at arm’s length from the government and governed by a separate Board of Directors. RFL manages the Dormant Assets Scheme in an open and transparent way and operates as an FCA regulated entity.