If you think you have a lost or forgotten account with us, pop into branch with your ID and we’ll help you with the next steps.

If you have been inactive across all your accounts for 15 years or more, they will become dormant. But don’t worry – we’ll try to contact you before this happens. Just remember that if you have money in a lost or forgotten account, it will always be your property, no matter how many years have passed.

How can you claim your money back if your account is closed?

If your account becomes dormant and is closed, you’ll be able to claim your money back (including any interest you would have earned whilst the account has been closed) at any time.

To do this, visit your local branch, who will take you through our reclaim process. Just make sure you bring proof of ID with you.

If you think you have lost accounts with other banks and building societies, visit www.mylostaccount.org.uk. This is the official site set up by UK Finance, the Building Societies Association and National Savings and Investments, to help you find lost accounts.

The Dormant Account Scheme

We’re committed to building society, nationwide. It’s the reason we were founded all those years ago, and remains part of our core values to this day. That’s why we’re giving back to the community, by taking part in the Dormant Account Scheme.

What is the Dormant Account Scheme?

Put simply, it’s an industry-wide scheme that allows us to close unused (or ‘dormant’) accounts, and donate the money in those accounts to good causes that benefit the community. This includes housing for vulnerable people and helping disadvantaged young people into work.

When does an account become dormant?

An open account will become dormant when we haven’t had any contact with the account holder for 15 consecutive years. This means there have been no financial transactions (such as withdrawals, deposits or transfers) on any of the accounts held with us, and we haven’t heard from the member in this time. This applies to all our current and savings accounts, apart from:

  • Child Trust Funds
  • Smart Junior ISAs
  • Inheritance ISAs
  • Fixed-rate products
  • Limited access products

We’ll try to contact you before your account goes dormant, and send a letter to your registered address if you have been inactive for at least 14 years and 10 months.

Can you stop your account becoming dormant?

You can easily keep your account open by:

  • using your account – make a financial transaction such as a withdrawal, payment or transfer
  • visiting us in branch – just make sure you bring some ID with you
  • giving us a call - we’ll ask you a few security questions, to make sure it’s really you.

What if I want to close my account:

If you no longer want to keep your account with Nationwide, you can close it by visiting us in branch - just make sure you bring some ID with you.

Please note:

  • Once your last eligible product is closed with Nationwide, this will affect your membership with us (e.g. your ability to apply for membership products), and you'll no longer be able to vote in our annual AGM.
  • If your membership had 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 two years, after your membership comes to an end. For more information see our Charitable Assignment.
  • If your account is an ISA, please see our ISA page for how to make the most of your tax-free savings.

What happens if an account becomes dormant?

If your accounts aren’t used and we haven’t had any contact with the account holder for 15 consecutive years, they will be closed. Any money that was held will be transferred to the Reclaim Fund Limited (RFL), a not-for-profit organisation that’s authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Where does the money from dormant accounts go?

RFL transfer the money from the dormant accounts to the ‘Big Lottery Fund’, for distribution to good causes across the UK.

Some of the good causes supported include:

  • ‘Oomph’, an award-winning social enterprise dedicated to transforming the quality of life of older and vulnerable adults through exercise and activities.
  • ‘Big Society Capital’ which funds stable and long-term accommodation for vulnerable groups such as the homeless and those suffering with mental health issues.