Balance Foundation to lobby banks through FH

The Balance Foundation, an independent charity set up to distribute unallocated financial assets to charity, has appointed Fishburn Hedges for its launch.

The brief is to use national broadcast and print media and face-to-face presentations by foundation representatives to encourage UK banks and insurance companies to get involved in the scheme.

The organisation will distribute cash mainly to education and financial literacy charities, using dormant funds left by depositors who have died or disappeared. The amount of such unallocated assets is estimated to be between £5bn and £20bn, according to FH.

Chancellor Gordon Brown called on the financial services industry to support the initiative during his Budget speech on 17 March and said he would assess its progress in November.

FH’s remit also involves public affairs and briefing the Treasury on the initiative’s progress. FH chairman Neil Hedges leads the account, reporting to Balance chief executive Richard Compton-Burnett.

‘The feeling is there’s a strong consumer angle to this story, and the coverage of it is likely to continue in the coming years,’ said Compton-Burnett. ‘We need an agency with the right expertise, understanding and connections. We are delighted with the coverage so far.’

City institutions Lehman Brothers and UBS raised the £300,000 set-up costs for the Balance Foundation with four charity organisations, including Esmée Fairbairn and Gatsby Charitable.

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