Dormant accounts of charities
63.Sections 47 and 48 provide a revised regime to that set out in existing legislation (section 12 of the 1990 Act). This provides a means by which OSCR can redistribute sums of money held in charity bank accounts that have not been used for several years, so that these sums may be used for similar charitable purposes. A dormant account is defined (in section 48(2)) as one held in a bank and for which no payments or transactions have occurred for 5 years except a payment into the account or a transaction by the bank itself (e.g. payment of interest or bank charges). OSCR must be satisfied that the body in whose name the account has been held is a charity or was a Scottish Charity under the previous charity legislation before this Act was enacted. OSCR is also to make reasonable enquiries to try to locate a person concerned with the management or control of the body holding the dormant account before redistributing any funds. OSCR must transfer the credit in the dormant account (less any expenses etc. in compliance with regulations to be made by the Scottish Ministers under section 48(1)) to either a charity with similar purposes, or another charity that OSCR chooses, if it cannot tell what the purposes of the original charity were. Section 106 includes a definition of “relevant financial institution” such that the deposit banks holding dormant accounts under consideration are those defined by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. It is intended that a section 104 order under the Scotland Act will be made following enactment of this Act to ensure that this definition is automatically updated as new banks become defined in that Westminster legislation.