The Dormant Assets Scheme has made a real difference to people's lives across the country, with half a billion pounds already unlocked for good causes since 2011.
Wealth managers and investment managers will have the opportunity to contribute to this scheme and change the lives of many more people.
Since inception, the scheme has supported disadvantaged young people, enabled local charities to provide housing for families and vulnerable groups such as homeless people and those suffering with mental health issues, as well providing support for social enterprise.
A dormant asset is one that a firm is unable to reunite with its beneficial, or rightful, owner. In 2008, the UK government passed the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act. This enabled banks and building societies to define any balances that had not been touched for 15 years, if their owners could not be traced, as dormant.
Banks were invited to join on a voluntary basis, and initially 14 signed up. Since then, participation has grown. Some 27 firms are now actively contributing to the scheme, including all major high street banks. The scheme is underpinned by industry efforts to reunite forgotten or lost assets with their beneficial owners.
However, owners cannot always be found. When this happens, it is appropriate that genuinely dormant assets are used for public good.
Since the scheme's inception, more than £1.2bn has been transferred to the independent body called Reclaim Fund Limited (RFL) by participating firms, and more than £600m made available to good causes.
Despite the best effort of banks to trace customers, there will always be a small percentage that make themselves known after their assets have been transferred to RFL.
To this end, RFL ensures sufficient funds are held to meet any repayment claims that may arise in full and in perpetuity.
In 2016, the Independent Commission on Dormant Assets was convened to explore the feasibility of expanding the scheme beyond banking to include other areas of the financial services industry.
In March 2017, the Commission recommended a broad range of UK-domiciled financial products, irrespective of the nationality of their beneficial owners, would be suitable for inclusion.
This would encompass additional bank accounts, unclaimed proceeds from life insurance and pensions products, and dormant holdings in investment funds, shares and bonds.
The Government responded to the Commission by emphasising the expansion should be industry-led, and called for industry champions to spearhead further work across four key sectors: banking, insurance and pensions, investment and wealth management, and securities.