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When we close accounts
We’ll close your account if it goes unused for 15 years. We do our best to contact account holders before this happens.
An account is classed as unused when:
- we haven’t had any contact with the account holder for 15 consecutive years.
- there have been no financial transactions on any of the accounts held with us – for example, withdrawals, deposits, or transfers.
This applies to all our current and savings accounts, apart from:
- Child Trust Funds
- Smart Junior ISAs
- Inheritance ISAs
- fixed-rate products.
However, any money in the account will always belong to you, and you can claim it back no matter how many years have passed.
What we do with unclaimed money
The Dormant Account Scheme is an industry-wide scheme that allows us to close unused accounts. If there’s any money in them, it’s donated to good causes that benefit the community. These include housing projects for vulnerable people and initiatives that are helping disadvantaged young people into work.
If your account becomes dormant, we’ll transfer any money through the Dormant Account Scheme to the Reclaim Fund Limited, a not-for-profit organisation authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They then transfer the money to the Big Lottery Fund for distribution to good causes across the UK.
Some of the causes we’ve supported include:
- Oomph (opens in a new window), an award-winning social enterprise dedicated to transforming the quality of life of older and vulnerable adults through exercise and activities.
- Big Society Capital (opens in a new window) who fund stable and long-term accommodation for vulnerable groups, like people who are homeless, or have mental health issues.
We’re committed to building society, nationwide. It’s the reason we were founded all those years ago, and it remains part of our core values to this day. That’s why we are signed up to the Dormant Account Scheme – to give back to the community.
How to stop your account from being closed
We will try to contact you before your account becomes dormant. We’ll send a letter to your registered address if your account has been inactive for at least 14 years and 10 months.
To keep your account open, you need to:
- Use your account by making a financial transaction like a withdrawal, payment or transfer.
- Visit us in a branch with some ID.
- Contact us if you can’t do either of these things. We’ll ask you a few security questions to confirm your identity.
How to close your account
If you no longer want your account, you can close it by visiting us in branch (opens in a new window). Please bring valid proof of ID with you.
If you’re closing a current account or joint current account, you can also do this using the Internet Bank.
If you want to close an ISA, see our information on managing your ISA.
You’ll stop being a member of Nationwide if you no longer have a Nationwide mortgage, savings or current account. This means you won’t be able to apply for membership products, and vote in our annual AGM.
If your membership started on, or before, 2 November 1997, and your account is closed, you will lose any rights to conversion benefits were the Society to convert to a company, before or within 2 years, after your membership comes to an end.
For more information, check our Charitable Assignment
How to claim money from a closed account
You can do this at any time, even if the account has been closed. The total will include any interest you would have earned since we closed the account.
Visit your local branch and the team will take you through our reclaim process. Remember to bring some ID with you.
If you think you might have lost accounts with other banks and building societies, there’s a free service that can help you find them. It brings together tracing schemes run by UK Finance, the Building Societies Association and National Savings and Investments into one website – so you only need to enter your details once.