The Dormant Assets Consultation – why it matters and how to respond

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Written by

Tess Godley, Senior Policy and Strategy Manager

What is the Dormant Assets Scheme?

A dormant asset is a financial product such as a bank account that has not been touched for a long time and which the provider (e.g., a bank) has not been able to reunite with its owner, despite their best efforts.

The Dormant Assets Scheme has already unlocked £892 million across the UK. In England, this includes £485 million for social investment through Big Society Capital (£425 million) and Access – The Foundation for Social Investment (£60 million).

In England, this also includes £100 million to tackle financial exclusion and problem debt through Fair4AllFinance and £110 million to break down barriers to work for young people through Youth Futures Foundation.

Find out more about the Dormant Assets Scheme.

What is the Dormant Assets Consultation?

Earlier this year, the Government expanded the Dormant Assets Scheme to a wider range of sectors such as insurance and pensions which unlocked around a further £880 million for good causes across the UK. Of this, £738 million will be made available for England over time and the government has launched a consultation to gather views on how the English portion of dormant assets funding should be spent. This includes inviting specific views on whether social investment should remain one of the causes going forwards.

Make your views heard – when and how to respond

This is a once in a decade opportunity to influence how the £738 million is going to be spent in England. This type of funding does not come along very often and it’s important to make your views known – every response counts.

The deadline is fast approaching (23.45 on Sunday 9 October) and there is a straightforward questionnaire that both individuals and organisations can answer. View all the questions in a word document or start answering the online survey (you can save a draft and return to it if you wish).

Showing support for the Community Enterprise Growth Plan

Following the investment of dormant asset funds over the last decade and the work of Big Society Capital, Access, and multiple others, social investment in the UK has grown eightfold to more than £6.4 billion invested into charities and social enterprises, creating a well-established market that is growing more than twice as fast as mainstream capital markets.

Having built the foundations of the social investment market over the last decade, we now need dormant assets to support a broader range of tools within the social investment field. The next ten years of social investment must be about ensuring that communities across the country benefit equally from it. This means building on the investment made to date, introducing innovative approaches and targeting the flow of finance to places and communities that may not have benefitted in the past.

A broad group have come together to propose the Community Enterprise Growth Plan. The Plan would use the social investment infrastructure built over the last ten years in new ways, widening and deepening access to tools and support that community enterprises need to sustain or grow their impact. It would also support organisations that solve local social and economic problems, help foster renewed civic pride and protect against the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

If you’ve yet to respond, please consider expressing your support for the Community Enterprise Growth Plan.

If you’d like to know more, please contact me on tgodley@bigsocietycapital.com.

Who is supporting the Community Enterprise Growth Plan?

The Plan represents a diverse group of voluntary sector and community representative bodies, enterprises and social investors. Alongside Big Society Capital, members include:

  • Access – the Foundation for Social Investment
  • Impact Investing Institute
  • Global Steering Group for Impact Investment
  • National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (Navca)
  • Power to Change
  • The School for Social Entrepreneurs
  • Social Enterprise UK
  • Social Investment Business
  • Responsible Finance
  • UnLtd

Others who wish to express their support for the plan include:

  • The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
  • Charity Finance Group (CFG)
  • Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (Acevo)
  • Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF)
Tessa new

Tess Godley

Senior Policy and Strategy Manager TGodley@bigsocietycapital.com