Can I withdraw the money from a 1970s savings account I’d forgotten about?

The last deposit I made was in 1976. Can I claim this money and would it have been earning interest?

Savings account book and deposit forms

Donald has found an old bank book. He writes: “In 1973 I opened a National Savings Bank account. The last deposit I made was in 1976. Can I claim this money and would it have been earning interest?”

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Paul Lewis says: The National Savings Bank was run by what is now National Savings and Investments (NS&I). So Donald’s money is safe. He should call NS&I on 08085 007 007 (he’ll need to verify his identity).

Without knowing the exact account details, NS&I can’t say whether interest will be applied or not. But again, the staff on that helpline number — which is free to call — will know the answer.

NS&I has a lot of information about finding lost accounts, including Premium Bonds, on its website nsandi.com. Just search “tracing service”.

Banks and building societies will also track down lost accounts for free through their own dedicated website, mylostaccount.org.uk. After an account has been dormant for 15 years, the money is generally passed to the Reclaim Fund.

It eventually goes to the Big Lottery Fund for distribution to good causes and charities. Nearly £600 million has been passed to it so far. However, anyone with a valid claim will still be repaid in full.

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