UK government appoints Kirsty Cooper industry champion for dormant assets

An opportunity to put unclaimed money to work for good causes.

Kirsty Cooper, Aviva’s Group General Counsel and Company Secretary - read Kirsty's biography

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has appointed Aviva’s Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, Kirsty Cooper, as the insurance and pensions champion for the expanded dormant assets scheme*, which is primarily designed to reunite financial services customers with their money*.

The Independent Dormant Assets Commission was set up in December 2015 to look at whether the dormant assets scheme, made up of bank and building society deposits, could be extended to other assets such as insurance products, stocks and shares, and pensions that have been classed as dormant**. Aviva supported the initiative and Kirsty Cooper served as the Commissioner for Life & Pensions.

The champions for the expanded dormant assets scheme will work with the financial services industry to improve reunification processes, develop appropriate definitions of dormancy and consider the practicalities of expanding the scheme in their sector. Customers will continue to be able to reclaim lost assets at any time.

Welcoming her appointment as the insurance and pensions champion for the expanded dormant assets scheme, Kirsty Cooper, Aviva’s Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, said:

This is an opportunity to put unclaimed money to work for good causes. Since 2011, dormant assets schemes have already distributed hundreds of millions of pounds from unused bank and building society accounts, to benefit the most vulnerable people in our society. With appropriate safeguards in place for consumers, we should be able to expand the scheme to other assets such as life and pensions policies.

Over recent years Aviva has run a number of programmes to re-unite customers with their unclaimed assets. Last year, it re-established contact with 133,000 lost customers and is now providing them with information about their policy and benefits. 

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Media Enquiries:

Aviva Press Office | Fiona Murphy | 07384 451332 | fiona.murphy@aviva.com

Aviva Press Office | Katy Hurren | 07800 692548 | katy.hurren@aviva.com |   @Katy_Hurren

*Generally, a life and pension asset is considered dormant only once there has been no contact with the customer for at least seven years after the policy has ended. For products which have no contractual end date, the asset would be considered dormant once there has been no contact for at least seven years after the customer has either reached a very old age or has passed away. Bank accounts must have been untouched for more than 15 years.

** The work of the Commission has now ended. The Commission published its report on 3 March 2017. Please click here for more information and a copy of the report.

Notes to editors:

  • Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers.
  • In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index.  
  • Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £350 billion in assets. Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £490 billion.
  • Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; we paid out £34.6 billion in benefits and claims in 2017.
  • By serving our customers well, we are building a business which is strong and sustainable, which our people are proud to work for, and which makes a positive contribution to society.
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