Addleshaw Goddard LLP is advising Reclaim Fund Ltd (RFL), the HM Treasury-owned, FCA-regulated sole operator of the UK Dormant Assets Scheme (the Scheme) on the expansion of the Scheme, which has now been opened for the first time to insurance and pensions sector institutions. Addleshaw Goddard is advising RFL on all legal aspects of Scheme expansion, including in its engagement with relevant industry bodies, current and potential participants, Government and the FCA.

Since the incorporation of RFL and the establishment of the Scheme for banks and building societies in 2011, more than £1.6bn in dormant account balances has been transferred to RFL and almost £900m has been distributed by RFL to support good causes, benefitting over 2,500 social, community and environmental initiatives across the UK.

The expansion of the Scheme, which has been made possible by the enactment of the Dormant Assets Act 2022 last year and considerable efforts by RFL, industry and Government over many years, represents a significant opportunity for even more good causes and initiatives to benefit from the Scheme.  It is curently anticipated that Scheme expansion could unlock a further £880m for good causes while also strengthening industry-wide efforts to trace, verify and reunite customers with dormant assets.

Aviva plc has become the first participant in the expanded scheme, completing the first transfer to RFL of dormant asset balances from the pensions and insurance sectors.  Aviva joins over 40 UK banks and building societies that currently participate in the Scheme, enabling dormant assets to be used to support vital social and environmental initiatives, while ensuring customers can be reunited with their assets in full at any point. 

RFL and Addleshaw Goddard will continue to work closely in the coming months on the further expansion of the Scheme with a view to opening the Scheme in the future to dormant assets in the investment and wealth management and securities sectors.

Ben Koehne, Corporate Partner at Addleshaw Goddard, who has advised RFL since its creation, said:

"We are delighted to be supporting RFL on the expansion of the Dormant Assets Scheme, which will allow even more good causes to benefit from the important and unique role that RFL performs. We very much look forward to continuing to work closely with RFL on the further expansion of the scheme over the coming months."

Adrian Smith OBE, Chief Executive of Reclaim Fund Ltd commented:

“We are delighted to build on our long and productive partnership with Ben Koehne and the team at Addleshaw Goddard as we expand the Scheme into new sectors. Close collaboration with trusted partners across government and industry has been key to reaching this milestone. We look forward to continuing this partnership as the Dormant Assets Scheme goes from strength to strength, unlocking new dormant assets funding to help transform the UK’s most vulnerable communities.”

The Addleshaw Goddard team is being led out of London by Partner Ben Koehne working closely with Jonathan Davies, Damon Rosamond-Lanzetta and Natasha Weisfeld, and supported by specialists from across Addleshaw Goddard's broad range of sector expertise, including, amongst others, Restructuring (Karl Clowry and Rory White-Andrews), Financial Regulation (Richard Small and Steven Francis), Pensions (Jade Murray) and Corporate (Jaya Gupta and Lucy Robson).