Homeless man urges people to take a five-minute test after discovering hidden savings account

One man said he discovered a hidden savings account while living on the streets and said it gave him the lifeline he needed and urges everyone to take a five-minute test.

Brandon Marbaix explained that he discovered a lost bank account, opened by his mother when he was a child, when he was only 22 years old and homeless.

The children’s savings account was opened through Natwest bank in the UK, but after years of being open, the family had lost all trace of it.

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Brandon decided to try to reach him when he needed it most and it was successful, giving him the boost he needed to pay for his accommodation.

“My mom made it for me when I was 10,” Brandon told The Mirror.

“She had been paying around £10 a month for a number of years, and when I found it, she had £300 on it.”

Brandon, who was homeless at the time, said he was able to use the money to pay the deposit to rent an apartment, but it took him four months to get it back. “It was such a long and complicated process to manually retrieve it through Natwest,” he said.

Now, with the launch of the new simplified money control panel, Gretel encourages everyone to check if they can have money in a forgotten bank account.

Homeless man urges people to take a five-minute test after discovering hidden savings account

“It gave me a lifeline,” he said.

“You could find a forgotten pension or savings from your great-grandparents – the reality is you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from the checking account.”

Around 19.6 million people in the UK are missing out on idle or unclaimed money, according to figures from Gretel.

Around 44% of UK adults think they may have a lost or inactive account.

Gretel launched in April to help reunite consumers with lost and dormant accounts amid the cost-of-living crisis.

The site works by partnering with banks and agencies to access databases of dormant accounts.

Duncan Stevens, CEO of Gretel, said: “Gretel is a major step forward in solving the long-standing problem of idle assets in financial services.

“Learning about the scale of what Gretel can achieve for people in the UK and how we can help people reconnect with their lost savings, pensions and bank accounts right now.

“We are transforming a process that can take up to three months into three minutes and I am delighted to have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.”

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