Bank accounts

Inactive bank or savings account: what you need to know

Publié le null - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Life insurance or retirement savings account you don't know about? Booklet Forgot? Did you know that it is possible to search for free money from bank accounts, payroll savings accounts and inactive life insurance contracts transferred to Caisse des Dépôts? explains everything!

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Image 1Crédits: Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations

When accounts remain inactive or unclaimed for too long, they are closed by banks, insurance companies and wage-saving schemes. The sums of money in these accounts are then transferred to the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC), whose mission is to ensure their preservation, to search for the holders or heirs and to manage their restitution.

At the end of 2022, €6.7 billion was awaiting claim from beneficiaries at Caisse des Dépôts.

What is an inactive account?

At the end of a period of 12 consecutive months, an account is considered inactive in two cases:

  • it has not recorded any transactions other than those initiated by the bank (collection of fees and commissions, payment of interest);
  • if the holder has not made a statement to the bank and has not carried out a transaction in another account of the same institution.

The financial institution then declares the account inactive and retains it for 10 years at the holder's disposal. If the latter does not react to the bank's reports, the funds are transferred to the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) for a period of 30 years. Where funds are not claimed by the holder or his successors in title during this 30-year period, they shall be definitively returned to the State or overseas authorities for New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna.

Financial institutions are required to identify inactive accounts annually and to inform the holders or rightholders. They are notified by registered mail or by any other means within six months before the transfer to the CDC.


This period increases from 12 months to 5 years for securities accounts and savings accounts (book-to-book account, futures account, livret A, LEP, PEP, livret jeunesse, CEL, PEL, PEA...).

What is Ciclade?

Ciclade is the only service that allows you to search for unclaimed or forgotten sums, called unclaimed, and then transferred by financial institutions to the Caisse des Dépôts. The use of this service is free of charge and not commercial.

Following the Eckert Law of 13 June 2014, the CDC created the Ciclade service of general interest, accessible on the website, which allows a three-step approach:

  1. Search the site to find out if a sum of money is due to you by entering your personal data (name, first name, date of birth and/or date of death of the account holder or life insurance subscriber sought). If you have the elements, you can enter up to 10 bank references (bank account, Livret A, LDD...) or coupons.
  2. If a match is found, create your personal space within 15 minutes of your search result and finalize your return request by downloading supporting documents and submitting it.
  3. Application processing by the Caisse des Dépôts. If it is validated, you receive the money by bank transfer.

Many financial products are covered by the Ciclade service:

  • bank accounts;
  • savings products: livret A, livret de développement durable et solidarité (LDDS), livret jeunesse, Codevi (Account for Industrial Development), plan de libération habitation (PEL);
  • wage savings accounts (EPE, PER, PERCO);
  • life insurance contracts;
  • capitalization bond (or bearer bond);
  • Supplementary Retirement Contract.

All information on “How to do your research?” and “How to request the return of unclaimed funds of accounts?” is available on the Caisse des Dépôts' Ciclade site.

Who can search the Ciclade website?

  • Any person, whether French or not, may be concerned.
  • This person may be a holder, subscriber, member, beneficiary or beneficiary.
  • The research focuses only on accounts and life insurance open in metropolitan France and overseas departments and authorities.

Please note

In six years, at the end of 2022, the Ciclade site search resulted in the return of just over 684 million euros in total.


The Eckert Act does not apply to assets arising from government bonds, PTT bonds, treasury bills, cash bills, savings bonds, bearer bonds, land loans and perpetual annuities (through bearer securities). They are not transferred to the Caisse des Dépôts.