Sunday, November 28

Old savings books: How to track down “ghost accounts”

Forgotten and spilled: Several billion euros have accumulated on old savings books, current or overnight accounts of German savers in the past decades. The German banking industry is also unable to precisely quantify how much money is currently floating around without a master. Estimates go from two to nine billion euros. One thing is clear: many account holders have long since died. Often, their heirs only suspect that there is still wealth in a bank somewhere. At least the forgotten money doesn’t expire. But: Finding it is often quite difficult, says Klaus Hünlein, specialist lawyer for banking and capital markets law in Frankfurt am Main. If you want to track down an orphaned account or close an old savings account, you need persistence – and if necessary also have to fight legally for your rights.

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