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Charities Bill and Dormant Assets Bill

The Queen announced two significant new pieces of legislation for the charity sector in her speech last week – the Dormant Assets Bill and Charities Bill.

Charities Bill

The purpose of the Charities Bill is to address a range of issues in charity law “which hamper charities’ day to day activities”, the main benefits being “removing inappropriate burdens while safeguarding the public interest in ensuring that charities are properly run.”

This will be achieved by implementing the majority of the recommendations in the Law Commission’s 2017 report Technical Issues in Charity Law, according to a document published to accompany the Queen’s speech.

Dormant Assets Bill

The Dormant Assets Bill will unlock approximately £880m in extra funding for social and environmental initiatives across the UK. This bill will apply to the whole of the UK, but the detail on how money is distributed will only apply to England.

The bill will expand the Dormant Assets Scheme into the insurance and pensions, investment and wealth management, and securities sectors.

Over the last decade, the scheme has unlocked more than £745m for social and environmental initiatives from dormant bank and building society accounts. This includes releasing £150m to help charities, social enterprises, and individuals during the Covid-19 outbreak.

For further information on the Queen’s speech and the impact on charities, please contact Michaela Johns on 023 8046 1256.

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