Dormant Accounts  

The purpose of the Dormant Accounts Act 2001 is to reunite account holders with their dormant funds held in banks, building societies and An Post. A dormant account is an account that has shown no activity for 15 years. 

Unclaimed money will be transferred to a fund managed by the NTMA (National Treasury Management Agency) and paid out by the Dormant Accounts Fund Disbursement Board.

The rights of original account holders (or their heirs) are not affected by the transfer to the fund and they can always reclaim the funds (including interest). Funds can be claimed by contacting the institution where the account was held - the bank, building society or An Post - and completing the relevant claim form.

Dormant Accounts FAQ’s

What type of account can be called a dormant account?

A dormant account can be an account on which there has been no transaction by the account holder for 15 years or more (the year begins September 30) in: a deposit, share or current account in a bank or building society, a deposit receipt or fixed deposit; or, an account, saving certificate, savings bond or instalment saving scheme with An Post.

What responsibilities are placed on institutions about dormant accounts?

If the amount held is more than €100 then the institution must first contact the account holder explaining their rights and the institution's obligations under the Dormant Account Act. This does not apply if there is a standing instruction on the account not to issue any correspondence, or if the institution had previously been unable to contact the account holder. Institutions are obliged to publish a notice in two national newspapers in October each year about the transfer of funds under the Act. These notices should also be displayed in public branches of the credit institutions. Details of accounts designated as dormant are kept at the institution so they can pay out any funds claimed back at a later time.

What should you do if you think you have a dormant account?

Contact the institution (the branch, if possible) where you have the dormant account. If the institution with which you had the account no longer exists, contact the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland. Where an account has been designated as being a dormant account (where on the 30 September a transaction has not been passed by the account holder in the previous 15 years) - the account holder has until the 31 March of the following year to reactivate the account by contacting their institution and carrying out a transaction on the account. After the 31 March, the funds are transferred to the Dormant Accounts Fund.

What happens to the funds held in dormant accounts?

The money held in designated dormant accounts is transferred to a Fund administered by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA). The Dormant Accounts Fund Disbursements Board will distribute the funds to:

  • programmes designed to assist the personal, educational and social development of people who are economically, educationally or socially disadvantaged;
  • to people with a disability; and
  • to projects that are designed to assist primary school students with learning disabilities. 

The transfer to the fund does not affect the rights of the original account holder and they can reclaim their funds at any time by contacting the institution where the account is held.