The UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company has spent more than £2 million tracking down lost ‘penny policy’ customers, which are often as a result of policyholders forgetting their policy exists.

Royal London has worked closely with external tracing partners to help re-engage with customers where policies were historically sold by door-to-door agents.

The key brands with lost policies are Royal London and United Friendly, Refuge Assurance and Royal Liver – all of which are now owned by Royal London.

Jon Glen, group operations director for Royal London, said: “Reuniting customers with money that is rightfully theirs is a priority for us. Many policyholders paid premiums for years but for various reasons have lost touch. Through our tracing programme we have successfully reunited thousands of customers with a total of £14 million in lost policies and we encourage anyone who thinks they may have had a policy with Royal London, or any of the historical brands we have acquired over the years, to get in touch with us.”

For those customers who have not yet been traced, the funds will always be available for payment when the policyholder either comes forward or is found.

Royal London is urging people to get in touch if they remember setting up a policy many years ago or recall the insurance man knocking on the door.

The efforts were welcomed by Lesley James, director at Marlow-based Simplified Money, who said: “This is welcome news and will likely put a nice smile on the faces of many of those 36,000 customers. Royal London should be congratulated for going that extra mile to find people that their legacy businesses lost contact with. It was not always as simple to keep in touch as it is now.”

Al Rush, principal at Rutland-based Echelon Wealthcare, said “In principle, it’s a great initiative and should be applauded. As long as the money came from genuine profit and wasn’t simply a measure to rob Peter to pay Paul, it’s a splendid gesture and indicative of Royal London’s commitment to their clients. Both old and new, forgotten and unforgotten.”

Aamina Zafar is one of the UK’s leading financial journalists. She has previously worked as a senior reporter at FT’s Financial Adviser. The award-winning journalist writes regularly on the IFA community, mortgages, pensions and financial regulation.

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