Feedback is being sought on proposals designed to benefit the community by allowing money in dormant bank accounts held in the Island to be distributed to local good causes.
A consultation exercise has been launched by the Treasury and asks for people’s views on the Dormant Assets Bill 2018.
The core objective of the Bill is to allow money held in dormant bank accounts to be transferred to a central fund and to allow a proportion of the amounts transferred to be distributed for charitable purposes in the Island.
In general, a bank account will be regarded as being dormant if a bank has lost contact with the account owner for at least 15 years
The interests of account owners will be protected as anyone whose dormant bank account transfers into the central fund will have the right to reclaim their money indefinitely.
A proportion of the amounts transferred into the central fund will be retained to meet any future repayment claims and the remainder will be released to a third party for distribution.
Treasury Member Bill Shimmins MHK said:
‘The proposed Bill is designed to benefit the Manx community by realising the potential of money lying in dormant accounts and I encourage people to offer their views via the online consultation hub.
‘It’s important to point out that this is the start of a process and will not result in an immediate windfall for charities in the Island as any distributions are likely to take a number of years to identify and process.’
‘The central fund will be distinct from general revenue. Although Treasury will facilitate the operation of the dormant assets regime, Government does not stand to benefit financially.’
Dormant assets regimes are common around the world, including the UK and Ireland. Jersey enacted legislation last year and Guernsey is in the process of considering its policy in this area.
The Treasury has worked closely with the other Crown Dependencies in creating the Bill to ensure consistency with regard to the impact the legislation may have on licensed banks.
The consultation and associated documents, which may be downloaded, can be found by visiting the Isle of Man Government’s online consultation hub.
For those unable to access the consultation hub, a paper version of the consultation can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 685605.
The process will run for 6 weeks and conclude on 19 October 2018.
Anyone who thinks they may have a ‘lost’ or dormant account should contact their bank.