Dormant Accounts

When can the Government take money from your bank account?

If you hold a bank account in which there have been no transactions completed for a period of 15 years or longer, the account is labeled ‘dormant’ by the financial institution in which the money is held. Once this has happened and if numerous contact attempts by the financial institution have failed to yield any response from you the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA)can retain your money until you come forth to claim your funds.

What is a Dormant Account?

Bank accounts which hold funds but have had no activity for 15 years or longer are classed as ‘dormant accounts’. Financial institutions are expected to make an honest attempt at contacting the account holder, with the objective being to reactivate the account through a credit or debit transaction. Once a transaction has taken place the account will be taken off the dormant list and the ‘dormant account clock’ will be reset to zero years.

The dormancy period commences on the 30th of September of the 15-year cycle. If the account is labeled as a dormant account, the account holder has until 31st March of the following year to reactivate the account. The account can be reactivated by contacting the institution followed by a credit or debit transaction.

Reclaiming your money

If the institution cannot contact you, the money in the account will be transferred and managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA). The original rights of the account holder do not change during the transfer of money to the NTMA. The account holder can reclaim the money from the institution or file an application for the Dormant Account Claim Form, located in the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland Booklet.

Unclaimed Money

Any funds that are considered unlikely to be reclaimed are distributed between educational programmes and projects that support groups such as:

  • The educational development of people who are educationally disadvantaged,
  • People with a disability,
  • The social development of people who are economically or socially disadvantaged.

Institutions are required to write to each customer identified as being holders of dormant accounts. The only exceptions of this is when the account

  • Contains less than €100,
  • The account holder has clearly stated that they don’t want any contact with the branch,
  • The previous last known address of the account holder has been returned, marked ‘gone away’.


If you believe that a bank account you hold is, or will be, marked as dormant, you should contact your local branch so that your account can be reactivated and removed from the dormant list. For any additional information email or contact 01 6499900