Credit union has £250k sitting unclaimed in accounts

Unify Credit Union has 250,000 in dormant accounts
Unify Credit Union has 250,000 in dormant accounts

Wouldn’t it be great if you found out that you had a pot of savings that you’d completely forgotten about?

Well for some Wigan residents this could be true.

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For the Unify Credit Union has a whopping £250,000 sitting in dormant accounts that in some cases haven’t been active for years.

Under credit union rules, accounts that haven’t been active for a period of 12 months or more have to be classed as dormant, and they can attract a fee of up to £5 a year, but before that charge is levied the credit union do all it can to let members know.

Chief executive Angela Fishwick said: “We always try to contact members to let them know about their account status but unfortunately not everyone tells us when they move house or change contact numbers.

“Additionally we partner with a large number of local employers, enabling their staff to save directly from their wages so it could be that some of these members saved through work but have now left that employment and forgotten that they had the savings account.

“We also think that some of these account holders may be older people who have memory loss or are sadly no longer with us, but if that is the case then their next of kin may be entitled to the money in the accounts.

“Many people don’t realise that credit union savings have the added benefit of free insurance. This means that when a member dies their next of kin can receive up to twice the amount of savings that were in the account so in some cases this could add up to a substantial amount of money.”

Unify Credit Union is a savings and loans co-operative which covers Wigan, Leigh, Chorley, Leyland, and Skelmersdale. To become a member you just need to live or work in any of these areas and you can join by saving as little as £1.

Deceased members will have nominated a beneficiary when they joined up. In order to process an insurance claim you would need to provide a death certificate and proof of beneficiary identity.

For members with memory loss power of attorney would need to be provided.

Members wishing to reactivate their own accounts need to take proof of ID and address to their nearest branch. For details go to www.unifycu.org