Top of main content

Dormant, inactive and lost bank accounts

Table of contents

An inactive or dormant account is one that hasn't been used in at least 6 months. Inevitably, since they’re not being checked regularly, they pose a significant risk of being involved in a fraudulent transaction.

For your security we pay particular attention to accounts like these. If you should find yourself with a dormant or inactive account, or you lose track of one altogether, here’s some information that will help you put it right.

 

If you have an account you’re no longer using

We may notify you that one of your accounts is inactive via SMS text message, or by a banner that appears on your internet banking homepage. You’ll then have a number of options:

  • To keep your account open
    Just make a transaction and continue to use it regularly.
  • To change it to an alternative HSBC account
    If that’s the case, you can decide which one would suit you best by looking at our range of current accounts or savings accounts.
  • To close the account
    You can do it online, by phone or in branch.

 

If we’ve told you we may freeze or close your account

We're committed to protecting you from financial crime and fraud. So we periodically review all accounts, and prevent unauthorised transactions being made on inactive ones by:

  • freezing any that have a credit balance and marking them as dormant
  • closing inactive accounts that have a zero balance

Please note that we consider each account in isolation when determining whether it's inactive. If you hold other accounts or products with us, none of your accounts will be frozen if one is still in use.

 

Any money will remain in the account and you'll continue to earn any interest due. We’ll continue to send you a statement for your account at least annually.

Please note that we consider each account in isolation when determining whether it's inactive. If you hold other accounts or products with us, none of your accounts will be frozen if one is still in use.

 

If we’ve frozen an account that was inactive

Any money will remain in the account and you'll continue to earn any interest due. We’ll continue to send you a statement for your account at least annually.

Please note that we consider each account in isolation when determining whether it's inactive. If you hold other accounts or products with us, none of your accounts will be frozen if one is still in use.

 

If you’d like to reactivate a frozen account

  • Call us on 03457 404 404 - we may need to ask you some security questions to confirm your identity if you do not regularly use telephone banking

OR

  • Visit us in branch with your account details (as shown in your cheque book, statement or other correspondence from us) and some acceptable ID that will help us identify you

Before reactivating, we'll need to check your account details are up to date, including your ID and address. Once your account is up and running again, just make a transaction and continue using it regularly to keep it active.

If you’ve lost track of an account you had with us

We're committed to reuniting customers with their lost or forgotten money. If you think you had an account with us you can no longer access, contact us with the relevant details and we'll try and locate it.

If we’re not able to locate it for you, please visit www.mylostaccount.org.uk. This is an official site set up by the British Bankers Association (BBA), the Building Societies Association (BSA) and National Savings and Investments (NS&I) to trace lost accounts. 

 

If you have an HSBC Premier or HSBC Advance account

If your account is frozen, you will continue to have access to the associated benefits and privileges that come with that account. However, if your account is closed all these will cease. 

 

The Unclaimed Assets Scheme

We participate in the Unclaimed Assets Scheme, established under the Dormant Bank and Building Societies Act 2008. If your account is in credit and has been dormant for at least 15 years, we may transfer the balance to Reclaim Fund Limited (RFL). RFL is a not-for-profit organisation authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, if you have another account with us which is being used, we won't transfer your dormant account money to the central fund since your relationship with us is still active.

The aim of the scheme is to enable money in dormant accounts to be shared out for the benefit of the community, whilst at the same time protecting the rights of customers to reclaim their money. Under the terms of the Unclaimed Assets Scheme, you have the right to reclaim your money at any time. However, we would much prefer to help you access your money before it's transferred to the scheme.

If we transfer the balance of your account to RFL, you'll have exactly the same right to payment of your balance from RFL as you would from us if the transfer had never happened. However we'll remain responsible for managing all aspects of the relationship with you, and for handling all repayment claims on behalf of RFL. You should therefore continue to contact us in the usual way if you have any queries or complaints about your account or balance.

Both HSBC and RFL participate in the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). That means the transfer of your balance to RFL will have no adverse effect on your entitlement to compensation under the FSCS.

We're here to help you. Find the answers and while you're at it, tell us how we could do better.