The government will release dormant assets from across the insurance and pensions sector to expand its coronavirus recovery efforts.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has today announced the expansion, which will also secure assets from the investment, wealth management and securities sectors, could unlock over £800m.
Funding raised through the expansion of the dormant assets scheme will be used for social investments and environmental initiatives, the government said.
A dormant asset generally refers to a financial product, like a bank account, which has not been used for many years and the provider has been unable to reunite the customer with.
The assets have in the past tended to be exclusively bank and building society accounts but a four year review called for an expansion.
“Funds raised through the existing Dormant Assets Scheme have already made a huge difference to vulnerable people and communities across the UK, especially during the pandemic,” Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said. “Expanding the scheme will mean hundreds of millions more for good causes, helping us to build back stronger in the years to come.”
The scheme has already been used to establish Big Society Capital, an independent institution launched in 2012 with the aim of growing the social investment market.
Last May the scheme unlocked £150m which was used for the charity sector, notably for work on youth unemployment and expanding access to emergency loans for civil society organisations.
Minister for civil society Baroness Barran said the social investment will “make a real difference to peopl experiencing challenging circumstances across the UK as we work hard to recover from this pandemic.”