Brown Attacked for Leaving [Pound]1bn of National Savings out of Raid on 'Dormant' Accounts ; BUSINESS

By Moore, James | The Independent (London, England), March 21, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Brown Attacked for Leaving [Pound]1bn of National Savings out of Raid on 'Dormant' Accounts ; BUSINESS


Moore, James, The Independent (London, England)


Gordon Brown's plans to raid banks and building societies for hundreds of millions of pounds in cash held in "dormant" accounts came under attack yesterday for ignoring more than [pound]1bn held in Government-run National Savings.

In a hearing before the Treasury Select Committee last year, Jane Platt, chief executive and director of savings for National Savings, said there was [pound]729m held in savings certificates, [pound]477m in account-based products, [pound]129m in premium and other bonds, and [pound]34m in "closed products" classified as "dormant". That means that - as with the [pound]400m or so from banks and building societies that the Chancellor wants to access - the funds have lain untouched for at least 15 years.

But none of the National Savings Scheme money will be included in Treasury plans to set up a central fund with the dormant cash to spend on "youth" and "financial inclusion" projects.

The Conservative Treasury Select Committee subcommittee chairman Michael Fallon sharply criticised the Government for leaving its own dormant funds out of the scheme. He said: "It's lopsided to ignore Government's own dormant accounts - Post Office, National Savings, etc. And we haven't yet had a bill or a statutory definition of "dormant".

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