Oct 21

Unclaimed cash – why Brits are owed over £15 billion

Reading Time: 3 mins

Yes, that’s right, us Brits are owed over £15 billion by financial institutions.


Because that is the amount in unclaimed cash which people are entitled to.


What is all the unclaimed cash?

Unclaimed cash - why Brits are owed over £15 billionThings like forgotten pensions, lost life insurance policies, dormant bank accounts and misplaced lottery tickets are some of the most common reasons for unclaimed cash.

This analysis was put together by online life insurance provider Beagle Street, who have worked with British artists to turn their policies into pieces of art, to help stop people forgetting about them – the most common reason for money going unclaimed.

It’s believed there’s a further £3 billion sitting in both National Savings and Investment accounts and unfulfilled shares and dividends.  There are over 1.1 million unclaimed Premium Bonds worth around £50 million, with the largest unclaimed prize estimated at £25,000.

Unfortunately, if the money lying dormant in bank accounts is not claimed within 15 years it will be collected by the Government. It’s estimated that the Government will get between £60 million and £100 million with its first claim on dormant funds.

Matthew Gledhill, Managing Director of, says “There is simply too much money sitting unclaimed and far too many people missing out on money that is rightfully theirs.

“For people who have experienced bereavement in the family, a life insurance policy could be a lifeline but there are clearly people who do not know they have been financially protected or have forgotten their policy even exists.

“We hope our customers never need to use their cover but by turning our policies into art that can be hung on the wall we’re making it really easy for policyholders and their loved ones to find their details if the worst happens.”


Art to help people remember

Unclaimed cash - why Brits are owed over £15 billionThe artists responsible for creating the life insurance policy art include Jessica Albarn, sister of Blur frontman Damon, and the country’s leading typography print-maker Anthony Burrill. Each piece of art is embroidered with ‘ENJOY LIFE’ on the front with customer policy details printed on the back.

Graphic artist, print-maker and designer Anthony Burrill says “I’ve never framed a letter from my insurance company and put it on my wall, I don’t think many people have.

By their very nature, official documents aren’t things known for their great aesthetic beauty, so it’s a great idea from Beagle Street to turn the idea on its head and transform the policy document into a piece of art to keep and enjoy.

“Our aim with this project was to turn something that is traditionally a bit mundane into something inspiring, upbeat and valuable.”

The first 600 people to take out a life insurance policy with Beagle Street will receive their policy on a piece of art.

Watch the video below to see the making of these ‘policy prints’:

Do you think you have policies you’ve forgotten about? Any tips on how to keep on top of it all? Let us know in the comments section below.


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