Over seven million Britons have lost track of their savings

New research from NS&I identifies that, despite rising living costs, Britons are still losing track of their savings.
  • NS&I reunite £450 million to customers through its tracing service and MyLostAccount
  • Minimise the chances of losing track of your NS&I savings by managing them online or by phone
  • Register to have Premium Bond prizes paid direct to your bank account

New research from NS&I identifies that, despite rising living costs, Britons are still losing track of their savings:

  • 7.66 million (16%) people think they have investments and savings accounts which they have lost track of
  • Two fifths (40%) of these people have not tried to reunite themselves with their savings
  • If reunited with their money, over a fifth (23%) would use the funds to pay off bills or debts and nearly one in ten (9%) would use them for day to day living costs

NS&I’s findings reveal a lack of organisation and forgetfulness are to blame for losing track of our finances in the first place. Of those who have lost touch with their savings and investments:

  • Over a quarter (28%) have misplaced their original account details
  • Over a quarter (27%) find it difficult to remember all of the accounts they’ve opened in the past
  • Over a fifth (21%) have forgotten to update their address when they moved house and have lost track of their account as a result
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) were given savings or investments as a child, but have never found out the full details of the account.

NS&I savers can manage their Premium Bonds, Direct ISA and Direct Saver online or by phone – making it simple to update your address details if you move house. Premium Bond holders can now also register to have their prizes paid directly into their bank account.

John Prout, Retail Customer Director, NS&I, said:

"Even small amounts of money can help with the costs of day to day living, so it’s important people keep a track of their savings no matter how much they’ve previously put away. At NS&I we’re making it easier to mange our products online or by phone, which means customers can easily stay close to their money and keep us updated if they move house.

“NS&I to date, has reunited customers with more than £450 million through its tracing service and the website, MyLostAccount.” 

60% of Britons who have lost track of their savings have made efforts to recover them. Of those people more than seven in ten (72%) have successfully found their money. These lost savings and investments could help people to reach their savings goals, with nearly one in ten (9%) saying they would put any newly-found funds towards a new home and 12% would put them towards a holiday. A further 8% said they’d use the money to treat themselves and just under a third (30%) would save them for a rainy day.

Notes to editors

Mylostaccount.org.uk is a free service provided by the British Bankers’ Association, the Building Societies Association and NS&I. Searches undertaken on the website are passed securely to the institutions that may be holding the lost account, for instance to NS&I’s tracing service. The institutions contacted will then carry out a search of their accounts and the applicant will be informed whether any account they hold matches the details submitted online. Senior NS&I spokespeople are available to discuss the results and regional data is available.

About this research

Research was conducted by TNS ONLINEBUS, among 2,481 British adults (aged 16 +) between 10 and 16 February 2012.

About NS&I

NS&I is one of the UK's largest financial providers with over 26 million customers and over £100 billion invested. All products offer 100% security, because NS&I is backed by HM Treasury. NS&I products are available over the telephone, internet, post and by standing order. Savings ideas are available in the You and your Money section on nsandi.com.