€43.7m collected from dormant accounts
Jump in funds collected so far in 2013 but account holders can reclaim cash
Almost €43.7 million was collected from dormant Irish bank accounts during the first five months of this year, according to documents from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.
Under Irish law, if a customer has not carried out a transaction on an account for 15 years it is considered dormant. Life assurance policies with a specified term are also considered dormant five years after the end of that term. The money collected from these accounts and financial products are paid into the Dormant Accounts Fund, which is managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).
The €43.7 million collected so far this year represents more than 96 per cent of all money collected from dormant accounts during 2012.
Between January and May €21.73 million was collected from accounts held with banks and building societies while €14.27 million was collected from An Post products. Almost €6.5 million was collected from insurance products.
The current legislation permits any person to reclaim at any time funds taken from their account. So far this year almost €8.1 million has been reclaimed, compared to some €22 million reclaimed last year.
The NTMA is required to maintain a reserve account to meet these reclamations and operational expenses of the agency. A spokesperson confirmed that the balance on the reserve account at the end of 2012 was €59.4 million.
Funds which are not likely to be reclaimed are also disbursed to projects and charities which support education, disability and social development.
This money is held in the investment and disbursement account, which contained almost €102 million at the end of 2012.
More than €37,500 has been disbursed so far this year and a total of €4.16 million was given out in 2012.
The amount of money paid out from the fund has also declined significantly since 2010 when more than €20 million was disbursed.
Collection of funds from dormant accounts are regulated under the Dormant Accounts Acts (2001-2012) and the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003.