December 5, 2023

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Hundreds of millions of euros on dormant accounts: in this case you can recover them (if you are there in time) |  My guide

Hundreds of millions of euros on dormant accounts: in this case you can recover them (if you are there in time) | My guide

Spaargids.beYou’ve no doubt wondered if you have an account somewhere that you’ve completely lost track of. When you hear about the many billions deposited in Belgian accounts, the opportunity certainly exists. How do you verify something like this? And if you already have one (or more), what should you do with that money? Should you move to a savings account or leave it alone? Provides tips.

Written by Tom DeJong, in collaboration with


In May 2023, there were €642 million in dormant accounts at the Deposit and Deposit Fund. This amount continues to increase year after year. So it is possible that part of this amount belongs to you.

Read also: Government bonds cause the largest decline in savings account balances ever.

What is a dormant account?

Suppose you have an account with a bank, but you have not had any contact with that financial institution or executed a transaction through that account for five years. Not with any of the other accounts you have with that organization. Well, the bank should consider the money in your account to be dormant.

An insurance policy can also be dormant if the insurance company has to make payments, but they are not claimed by any party owed within four months. The safe becomes dormant again if the rent is not paid for at least five years, so the bank terminates the lease.

In the case of a dormant account, the bank has one year to track down the rightful owner – you in this fictional example. If he does not find you, he must transfer the money to the deposit and deposit box (Belgian Public Finance Corporation, ed.)where it will appear on the account.

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Unless it is less than 60 euros. Then the bank should not try to trace you, but should transfer the amount anonymously to the deposit and deposit box. Even if the financial institution has to incur more costs to find you than it is legally allowed to bear, it must transfer the amount to the deposit and deposit box without any research. You can still put it back there.

1.1 million current accounts were below zero at the end of last year: What are the financial consequences of this?

What costs are you risking?

As mentioned above, your bank may charge search and file preparation costs: a maximum of 10 percent of assets, and a maximum of €200.

Do banks really do this? Belvius, BNP Paribas Fortis and ING certainly do. At Keytrade Bank you pay €50 as file costs, and at Nagelmacckers €60.50 if the institution has to send a registered letter to trace you.

Everyday banking without additional costs: Where else is it possible?

How to recover your idle money?

If the amount is 60 EUR or less, the amount cannot be refunded. If it’s more than that, you have thirty years to claim the credits back. The question of course is whether you have any idle money at all. You can check it online via MyMinFin. If so, you can apply for a refund immediately. Can’t access MyMinFin or do you want to place an order in someone else’s name? You must then complete the application form and email it, along with a copy of your ID.

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Is overwriting a good idea?

Money in an account in the safe deposit box yields something. It is the same as the interest in the e-DEPO account: currently 2.50 percent. You pay a 30 percent withholding tax on that interest, without exemption. So the dormant funds earn a net interest of 2.03 percent after the money has been in the account for at least 12 months.

Is it better to let your money sit or transfer it to a savings account? Well, it depends on how much your savings account returns. Please note: You do not pay any withholding tax up to interest of up to EUR 980. So you shouldn’t deduct this cost from your return.

Are you looking for the best return on your (idle) money? You can do the calculation quickly and easily using the box below.


From when do you pay withholding tax on your savings returns? Are multiple accounts the solution?

Will you leave your savings in your old bank account or move to a new account? We’ve done the math

This is what awaits clients of BNP Paribas Fortis and bpost Bank: to the mail for 2 euros per month or to the bank branch for 5.50 euros

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