Government takes next steps in releasing billions of pounds in dormant assets 

03 Jun 2018 News

Tracey Crouch, minister for sport and civil society

The government has appointed four industry champions to work on releasing billions of pounds worth of dormant assets for the voluntary sector.  

Champions for the insurance and pensions, banking, investment and wealth management, and securities industries have been announced as part of a plan to expand the current dormant assets scheme, which could see a further £2bn made available to the charity sector. 

Funds from bank accounts that have been dormant for over 15 years are already released to the Reclaim Fund, which is responsible for distributing the money to good causes. So far over £1bn has been passed to the Reclaim Fund under the 2008 Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act.

In December 2015 the Office for Civil Society appointed Nick O’Donohoe, former chief executive of social lender Big Society Capital, to head up a commission to look at unlocking other assets such as pensions, insurance and shares.

When O’Donohoe reported back in March 2017 he said that there was potentially £2bn available, and the then minister for civil society, Rob Wilson, said it would be used to “transform the charity sector”. 

The four champions will now work with stakeholders and the Reclaim Fund and report back to Tracey Crouch, minister for civil society, and John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury. 

As part of their work the champions will also look at ways to reunite customers with their assets. 

Crouch said the dormant asset scheme had so far “made real difference”. 

“I look forward to working alongside these four experts to see how more unclaimed assets can be used to help communities in the future,” she added. 

Glenn said that the scheme depends on the support of businesses. 

He said: “I’m delighted that these highly-experienced business leaders have agreed to be our new industry champions. Their expertise will be vital as we look at ways to expand the scheme, and I look forward to working with them to reach even more people.”

Who are the industry champions?

Insurance and pensions industry champion - Kirstine (Kirsty) Cooper

Aviva (group general counsel and company secretary)

Kirsty joined Aviva in 1991 and is the group general counsel and company secretary for Aviva plc and heads the office of the chairman. She was appointed to the Group Executive in May 2012. She currently sits as a director on the board of Aviva Insurance Limited.

Banking industry champion - Simon Kenyon

Lloyds Banking Group (managing director for consumer banking)

Simon Kenyon is the managing director for consumer banking within the retail division of Lloyds Banking Group. He is responsible for mortgages, savings, personal current accounts and business banking in the UK. In Europe, he has responsibility for the Dutch mortgage and German deposits businesses. 

Investment and wealth management champion - William (Will) Nott

M&G (strategic adviser)

Will Nott was CEO of M&G Securities, the retail funds business of M&G, from 2006-2017. In June 2017 he was elected president of the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), the leading European investment management association, after serving a two year term as its vice-president.
William has worked at M&G since graduating from Warwick University in 1984. Having managed retail and institutional funds for the first twelve years of his career, he gained commercial experience as head of institutional business development and then head of group sales. In June 2000, he became CEO of M&G International to oversee development of M&Gs fund distribution overseas and joined the executive board in 1998 where he remained until Dec 2017.

Securities champion: Robert Welch

Tesco Plc (group company secretary)

Robert Welch was appointed as group company secretary of Tesco Plc in August 2016.

Robert has worked as a company secretary for over 25 years during which time he has held the positions of group company secretary at FirstGroup plc and Company Secretary at Kazakhmys PLC. 

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