Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Friday, 5 December 2008

Icesave customers urged to claim

Icesave website
Most Icesave customers have now received their money

About 24,000 people are yet to reclaim their savings which were trapped in the collapsed Icesave internet bank.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) started the repayment process in November.

This invited 198,000 savers to transfer their Icesave funds electronically to another bank account.

So far 174,000 people have used the online system and the FSCS is urging the remaining savers to claim their money by 30 December this year.

If they fail to do so, they will have to send in paper application forms to get their money, which could take a further six weeks to process.

"The accelerated online process we have created has enabled the vast majority of Icesave customers to claim their compensation," said Jonathan Clark, the FSCS director of claims.

"Those who have not yet claimed can do so by logging on to their Icesave accounts and following the instructions in the second email, which is posted on our website.

"The process only takes a few minutes and will avoid any further waiting or paperwork," he added.

Paper process

The FSCS has now handed 3.2bn back to Icesave customers.

Some of those who had fixed rate savings accounts have opted to leave 650m in their accounts.

Instead of moving their money elsewhere, they are leaving their cash to accumulate more interest until their accounts mature.

Some of the Icesave customers, about 17,000, could not access the Icesave online system and so were sent forms anyway.

Most of these have been returned and are being processed, with about 1,000 people still to receive their paperwork.

Eligible customers who have so far failed to activate the online system will have been sent a reminder letter by this weekend.

The FSCS said there had been a glitch in printing ISA certificates for those who had ISA accounts.

But most will receive the certificates in the post this week or next.

They will then be able to reinvest their money in another ISA account, without the loss of its tax-free status, so long as it is done by 5 April 2009.

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