A zombie bank account? What’s one of those we hear you cry. It’s nothing too scary, despite what the name suggests. These are current accounts that many of you out there have but may not use any more, or even worse, have forgotten about. Our latest research suggests that as much as £1.2 billion could be lying untouched in these zombie accounts.**

A nationwide problem

We found that over one in three Brits (37%) have multiple accounts, yet almost half of these (49%) admit they only use one of these day to day. With 49 million people using current accounts in the UK, we’ve calculated that around eight million are sitting unused. The average balance in these zombie accounts is £141, meaning that there is a potential £1.2 billion across the UK that has been forgotten about.  

Making your cash work harder

Many of you will be wondering how so much could be left untouched. And it seems that a significant proportion of those with zombie accounts aren’t aware their money could be working harder elsewhere. Over half of respondents (56%) didn’t know if their bank had cut interest rates in the past year, and 58% didn’t know the current interest rate on they were benefiting from. So many of you could potentially be getting a better deal in another current account, or even in another type such as ISAs or other savings accounts, and don’t even know it.


When asked why they had more than one current account, one in five people admitted they’d opened an account a long time ago and just hadn’t got round to closing it. So what’s the big deal?

Security threat?

Even though the majority of people (81%) now use online banking, almost one in ten (12%) of those who have more than one current account admit they only check their unused accounts around twice a year, which could lead to serious security implications. We recently discovered that one in ten people have been a victim of a cyber-attack on their credit or debit card, which could slip under your radar if you’re not aware of the activity carried out on your account.

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Jody Coughlan

Head of Money

comparethemarket.com

“It’s concerning to see how many people have over £100 sitting in these unused zombie accounts. Whilst it’s a good idea to have a ‘rainy day fund’ set aside in case of emergencies, the fact that so many people don’t regularly check their additional accounts is a risky move to take. It’s really important to regularly check your personal finances for unusual activity and prevent financial losses. Unused accounts are easy targets for hackers who might be able to steal hundreds of pounds without it being detected. Similarly, recurring direct debits from forgotten accounts can cause customers to unknowingly go into their overdraft and incur hefty fines.” 

 

So even though interest rates are low at the moment, there are still some competitive current account offers available on the market. It’s worth regularly reviewing your accounts to see if you could get a better deal or interest rate elsewhere – why not have a look today? 

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