Money Shouldn’t Sleep
In an age where; footballers are bought and sold for £89 million, and the USA has $17.9 trillion worth of debt. It’s easy to forget the real value of the smaller figures. However, if you put the idea of $17.9 trillion and divide that by the number of citizens in the USA, you find that the debt equates to a $55,489 per person. This brings us closer to understanding the implications of those vast numbers.
Imagine just what that sort of money could do in your community.
There’s been a lot of commotion, in both government and financial circles, around the term ‘unclaimed assets.’ In fact, No. 10 formed a team called the ‘Independent Dormant Assets Commission’ to undertake an in-depth investigation. A dormant asset can be something like an unclaimed bank account, insurance policy, or even a pension scheme. They can become dormant for a number of reasons, mainly people move and forget about them.
Or, if I may paint you a picture …
A couple, let’s call them Tom and Barbra Goode, live and work in Kent for 70 years. Everywhere Barbra works, she opens a pension scheme. She also has savings in accounts which Tom is unaware of. In their formative years, they move to Norfolk to be close to their children and grandchildren. They live happily for a year at their new address, until, Barbra falls ill and develops Alzheimer’s. Barbra then moves to a care home.
Unfortunately, shortly afterwards, Barbra is transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich hospital where she passes away. In the time Barbra has been ill, Tom has not been able to discover the details of Barbra’s full estate, and update the records. The bank records will be registered to Barbra at her last residence, and the death certificate will say Norfolk and Norwich hospital. Quite clearly, neither Tom or Barbra are at either of these addresses. Furthermore, in Barbra’s Will, it states; ‘everything in my estate to be left to my spouse’. Unfortunately, no-one knows what ‘everything’ is.
Now, when a financial intuition looks to find Barbra, they can easily find that she is deceased using a register. They will then write to her last know address – the care home. Tom has since downsized and opted out on the edited electoral roll to prevent his name being sold on. He has not updated the care home on his move. From there, you can begin to understand how easy it is for accounts to become ‘dormant.’ At any point in this illustration, contact could be lost.
But who cares if someone’s got three quid in an account they’ve forgotten about? Well, (we’re buying footballers again) the government has estimated that there is £25 billion sitting in those dormant assets. I’ll break it down to its constituents, £25 billion worth of unclaimed assets in the UK shared between the number of households (UK) equates to around a £1400 per household. That’s useful on both a person and economical basis.
Anyone who knows me will understand that, for me, money doesn’t make the world go around. But, it helps me sit in a warm house, or go away with loved ones, or fix the clutch in my car. This is our money, it’s not owned by financial institutions, they are looking for you. It’s not owned by the government, it belongs to the people. The difficulty has arisen in the problem of having an industry-wide, and financially viable solution, so as to find beneficiaries, and re-establish contact with them.
There’s a body called the FCA, anyone who knows the financial sector will know them. In stands for ‘Financial Conduct Authority’ and they do what it says on the tin. (i.e. makes sure the people who you give your money to invest it wisely, look after it legally, and allow you to have it when you want it back.) They’re big news, the FCA can dish out fines of £200 million without unsteadying their boat. They have said (Ref FG16/8 Sub outcome 2.58) “We would welcome an industry wide solution, to improve the process of re-establishing contact with ‘gone-away’ customers.”
This solution must be three things … once … for everyone … and forever. It’s no good to solve this issue for six months because people are moving and dying 24/7. It can’t only reunite the big accounts, (there are less of them and they make up the same amount as many smaller ones) it’s not financially viable. And, it must operate regardless of geography, circumstance, or personal financial situation. It needs to be free, and, updateable, easily, from anywhere, on any device. This is how we reached www.monimine.com
What we are trying to achieve is a matter of importance to a lot of people. The Independent Dormant Assets Commission has stated that any assets, if not re-united will be going to charity. Sounds great! Unfortunately the FCA have also said that, when the rightful client claims the account, (Ref: CASS 6 . 2. 8 ) “the firm must unconditionally undertake to pay the client concerned a sum equal to the value of the safe custody asset [i.e. account/policy, etc.] at the time it became liquidated.” Essentially, financial institutions are being pulled in opposite directions, and face the prospect of having to pay out twice. Not ideal, when there are so many lost customers.
Everyone asks the same question at this point, ‘so, is charity losing out?’ No, ironically, in the Monimine solution, because institutions will be able to achieve a high level of certainty that, because neither they, nor Monimine, nor direct client can find their asset, they won’t be found. Whatever is then left over can be paid out with less risk. This amount is very likely to be higher than the amount paid out in the original scenario.
Plus, direct benevolence is a great revenue for the third sector, the UK public are incredibly generous (the estimated total amount donated to charity by UK adults in 2014 was £10.6 billion [Ref CAF online]) . With Monimine we free up extra disposable income to the public to spend how they wish.
If this is something you feel you can back; be it signing up, supporting the cause or talking to friends and family about us, please visit www.monimine.com where you can find all the information you need. It is 100% free and we don’t take any financial data, just dates, names and addresses. What’s more, this information will never leave Monimine, or the financial institution you deal with.
If you are from a financial institution reading this, and like what you hear but want to find out more, please send me an email via firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be great to tell you how we can ft into your business strategy towards re-establishing contact with your, gone away, safe custody asset holders. And, just how we are doing exactly that for Monimine’s current clients.
Andy Davies – Monimine.