About Unclaimed Assets and Financial Institutions
There are several reasons why money in financial institutions can become unclaimed. The most common reasons are because the account holder has died, forgotten about the account or moved address and forgotten to notify the company holding their account. These reasons can apply to any type of asset, from a bank account or unit trust to a pension fund.
The financial institutions will be allowing us to use our software to match the data in our database to the data in theirs. This will allow us to trace the owners of lost assets. If we identify a match, we will share your details with the company we think you (or your relatives) have assets in. This company will conduct further verification before releasing money and contacting you or your relatives directly.
Although the financial institutions are keen to reunite you with your lost money, they can’t reach you. Financial institutions lose touch with owners of unclaimed assets due to the owners having died and/or the institution not having details of an updated address. This is where Vestigium Services comes in. We will help put you back in touch with the financial institution holding your money so you can be paid accordingly.
Vestigium Services is paid 100% by fee from the Banks, Building Societies, Life and Pension Companies, Asset Managers and Others (Collectively the Financial Services Industry ‘FSI’). The FSI pay fees to Vestigium Services based on data volume. Vestigium Services only earns income from this source and does not sell on data. Vestigium Services does not earn commission and does not even receive financial data. Vestigium Services only holds certain personal data (no sensitive data under GDPR). Vestigium Services treats equally consumers who might be owed small sums of money or large. Vestigium Services is absolutely free to the consumer.
Banks, Building Societies, Life and Pension Companies, Asset Managers and Others (Collectively the Financial Services Industry ‘FSI’) are all concerned to stay in touch with their customers. This is both from a regulatory requirement, ‘know your customer’ and ‘treating customers fairly’ perspective and from a reputational point of view. We are confident that the FSI will see that subscribing and passing their data to Vestigium Services provides a positive cost effective solution to the problem of gone aways for the FSI. It is recognised by the FSI that for the tracing of large volumes of small amounts, a solution is required which is cost effective. It is also recognised that not attempting to locate gone away customers owed money below a certain financial threshold due to those prohibitive costs is not fair to the ordinary consumer and discriminates against the poor. It is not true that the FSI is keen to hold consumer’s money and other assets for their own benefit. The constraint has really been a lack of a cost effective solution. The FSI is very conscious of is reputation and is very brand aware. The FSI knows without being told by the regulator that it has a serious issue with the numbers and amounts of gone away customers on its books. The FSI is open minded to innovative solutions. There is much goodwill to be gained with the customer base for marketing an association with Vestigium Services.
Vestigium Services are confident that consumers will use the website as it is absolutely free and easy to use. It is to the consumers benefit to use the site as the ‘prize’ for the consumer is to receive a letter from a financial organisation saying for example; ‘we understand that you are the beneficiary of the estate of John Smith. We are pleased to inform you that we are holding £xxx which subject to you meeting our verification process we will be pleased to remit to you’. Vestigium Services will be in future reaching the consumer with a powerful marketing campaign which will include social and traditional media. Associations with consumer groups including those associated with health matters such as dementia for which Vestigium Services is an obvious solution.
It is certainly true that the sums are substantial (IEO £40bn) for those assets owned by customers that are gone way and who have not been traced by the FSI. Until now the FSI has been inhibited by the lack of a digital solution to this problem and old data is held on old computer systems where a non modern digital solution made the tracing of gone away customers difficult, time consuming and expensive. The consumer has not been able to ‘help themselves’ as no website such as Vestigium Services has previously existed. The FSI has maintained data records and segregated these assets in accordance with regulatory requirements and now it is up to all of us to ensure that the right customers receive their entitlement.
Completing the forms
It should be straightforward and we have worked with a user experience design company to ensure you have the easiest possible experience.
Of course! We don’t expect you to fill in all your information at once, as we know you won’t always have it to hand. You can log back into the tool whenever you like to update details on your account. It’s really important that you keep us informed of a change of address, email, or telephone number or we won’t be able to contact you if we find your money.
Protecting my data
Your data will be held in our secure database forever (unless you ask us to remove it.) We promise we will never share, sell or market this data. It will only be used by us to help reunite you with your money. See PROTECTING YOUR DATA for more information.
About the matching process
Unfortunately, this may not be an overnight process. Once you have put in your details we will include your information in our continuous tracing of our Financial Services Clients' gone away customers. Not all the financial institutions have sent their data to us but more are joining all the time. Although you may not get a match today, your information is being continuously monitored against new data.
Vestigium Services is a tracing tool which is completely free. Unlike a lot of the other tracing tools, you can use it to search for any type of asset. We are continually gaining data from UK financial institutions, so once you’ve entered your details they are constantly screened against this data to find a match.
We have developed our service so that it is entirely free for you, the customer, to complete your details and participate. Instead of charging our customers, the financial institutions providing their data to Vestigium Services are charged a fee. If you are a financial institution and would like your data included in Vestigium Services so that you can benefit from having your data screened by customers who want to locate their unclaimed assets. Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org.