ACCOUNT holders with forgotten funds at a bank have been urged to claim their cash.

Bosses at the Halifax said that £29.6m is lying around in dormant accounts held at its branches and those of its sister banks, with £1.9m of that in Yorkshire alone.

Under Government proposals these funds will be taken into a central fund and used for worthwhile causes unless customers come forward to reclaim the money. If Parliament approves the plans the Government could begin collecting dormant funds in the second half of next year.

Dormant accounts are ones that have been inactive for at least 15 years. Many no longer have the correct address held, so contact with the customer has been lost.

The Government expects all banks and building societies to make efforts to reunite customers with their cash before the proposals take effect.

The Halifax launched its Desperately Seeking scheme in February, 2006, and has reunited £17m to date.

The Halifax says more than £113,000 of the £29.6m relates to account holders in the Huddersfield area, with more than £16,000 in Brighouse, £80,000 in Halifax and £111,000 in Bradford. Leeds is top with almost £300,000.

The average balance of dormant funds stands at £149 in Yorkshire, with the largest single sum exceeding £123,000. The dormant cash can be found in Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Birmingham Midshires accounts.

It is unknown how much may be lying dormant with other providers in Yorkshire.