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Dormant, inactive and lost bank accounts

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To keep you safe, we continue to review accounts. If you don't use an account regularly, we may class it as inactive, dormant or, in the case of ISAs, non-continuous.

A dormant or inactive account is one that hasn't been used for an extended period of time (typically 2 years).

An ISA is non-continuous when it hasn’t been paid into for a full tax year (6 April to 5 April). If all of your accounts are inactive or dormant, we may freeze or close them. This means you’ll no longer be able to make transactions. You can still withdraw from a non-continuous cash ISA if you need the funds.

Here’s some information to help if you:

  • find yourself with a dormant, inactive or non-continuous account
  • lose track of an account altogether

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, email, letter or by a banner that appears when you’re logged on to Online Banking. You’ll then have these options:

  • keep your account open by making a transaction and using it regularly
  • change it to an alternative HSBC account
  • close the account

Freezing or closing your account

To protect you from financial crime and fraud we periodically review all accounts. We prevent unauthorised transactions being made on inactive accounts by:

  • freezing inactive accounts that have a credit balance
  • closing inactive accounts that have a zero balance

We’ll continue to send you a statement for your account at least annually.

If you have other accounts with us, they won’t be frozen or closed if they’re still in use.

If you’d like to reactivate a frozen account

Before we reactivate your account, we'll need to check your details are up to date, including your ID and address. Once it’s up and running again, just make a transaction and continue using it regularly to keep it active.
You can:
  • 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 phone banking 
  • visit us in branch with your account details (as shown in your cheque book, statement or other correspondence from us), some acceptable ID that will help us identify you and a proof of your address 

If you’d like to reactivate a non-continuous cash ISA

If you haven’t subscribed into your ISA for a full tax year (6 April-5 April) it becomes ‘non-continuous’. This means you won’t be able to subscribe to it until you reactivate it.

If your ISA is non-continuous and you’d like to reactivate it, you can use our online reactivation form.

To stop an ISA from becoming non-continuous, you need to make at least one subscription into the account each tax year.

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

We want to help you find your lost or forgotten money. If you think you had an account with us you can no longer access, contact us so we can try to locate it.

If we can’t find it for you, try visiting This is a free service site set up by UK Finance, 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’ll continue to have access to the benefits and privileges that come with an HSBC Premier of HSBC Advance account (save that the account will be blocked). However, if your account is closed all these will cease.


The Dormant Accounts Scheme

We take part in the Dormant Accounts Scheme, established under the Dormant Bank and Building Societies Act 2008. If your account is in credit and has been dormant for 15 years or more, 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.

The aim of the scheme is to enable money in dormant accounts to be shared out for the benefit of the community, 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. 

If we transfer the balance of your account to RFL, you'll have exactly the same right to payment of your moneys. However, we'll remain responsible for handling all repayment claims on behalf of RFL. You should continue to contact us in the usual way if you have any queries or complaints about your account or balance.

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

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