• £1.2 billion sits untouched in unused current accounts**
  • Over one in three people (37%) have two or more current accounts but nearly half of these (49%) only use one account day to day
  • Average amount in unused current accounts is £141
  • One in five admit they “can’t be bothered” to close additional current accounts

13 February 2017 – UK consumers are leaving over a billion pounds to sit idle in current accounts. Research by comparethemarket.com suggests that as much as £1.2 billion could be lying untouched nationwide in “zombie accounts”, as consumers forget about the old accounts they no longer use.


Over one in three Brits (37%) have multiple accounts, yet almost half of these (49%) say that they only use one of these day to day. With 49 million people using current accounts in the UK, this means that around eight million accounts are sitting unused. With each of these accounts holding an average of £141, this equates to £1.2 billion across the UK.


Nonetheless, it seems that most people are unaware their money could be working harder elsewhere. Over half of respondents (56%) did not know if their bank had cut interest rates in the past year, and 58% didn’t know the interest rates on their current account. When asked why they had more than one current account, nearly a third (31%) opened another current account to take advantage of different rewards offered by different accounts, however one in five people admitted they had opened an account a long time ago and simply had not been bothered to close it.


Even though the majority of people (81%) use online banking, almost one in ten (12%) of those who have more than one current account admit they check their unused accounts as little as twice a year, which could lead to serious security implications – recent research from comparethemarket.com*** revealed one in ten people have been a victim of a cyber-attack on their credit or debit card.

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Jody Coughlan

Head of Money

comparethemarket.com

“It is concerning to see how many people have over £100 sitting in these unused zombie accounts. Whilst it is 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 is 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."


“Whilst we are in a low interest rate environment, there are still some competitive current account offers available on the market. It is worth regularly reviewing your accounts to see if you could get a better deal or interest rate elsewhere.”

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