Search icon


20th Nov 2018

The Government Is Currently Collecting More Than €1m a Week From “Forgotten” Irish Bank Accounts

Megan Cassidy

Anyone else having distant memories of setting up a random bank account in college for a free coffee?

It may be a good time to look into that – because as much as we complain about not having enough of it, it turns out the Irish are actually very forgetful when it comes to money.

Over €50m is collected by the State each year from “forgotten” bank accounts in Ireland, and going into a Dormant Accounts Fund (DAF) that was established in 2001.

Before you start shaking your fist at the government – it was actually set up for very good reason.

Before 2001, the banks themselves had a right to seize money from accounts that hadn’t been used in over 15 years or life assurance after five years – something that the DAF put an end to after the DIRT scandal.

Junior Minister Sean Canney revealed that, by the end October this year, “€66.98million had been transferred into the fund from dormant accounts within relevant financial institutions”.

A total of €17.65million was reclaimed from the fund after account holders were alerted, which the minister said meant “the net value of transfers into the fund for 2018 to the end of October was €49.33million”.

Now, nearly twenty years after the account was set up, there is a whopping €320m sitting in it.

According to The Irish Sun, Fianna Fail’s Eamon O’Cuiv noted there was “more money coming into the fund than going out and it is growing every year.

“There are millions lying there mouldering which is no good for anybody”.

O’ Cuiv feels the money should be put towards charitable endeavours.

He advised the minister “throw caution to the wind and make the dormant accounts fund work for the good of the people it is supposed to help?”

Earlier this year the Government distributed €40 million in unclaimed personal bank accounts and insurance policies to several community projects around the country.

The money was spread between 45 projects benefitting various disadvantaged areas of society.

READ MORE: Parents in Ireland Will Be Able To Stay At Home For a Full Year After Having A Baby