Founders: Duncan Stevens, Tom Simmonds, Ashley Hollands
A free consumer dashboard helping millions of people track down over £50bn in lost and forgotten savings and investments.
Over £50 billion is currently languishing, lost or forgotten, in UK bank accounts, pensions, investments and savings; it belongs to an almost 22m people, everyone from teenagers to pensioners. Gretel was founded in 2019 to help make it free and easy for everyone to identify and reconnect with savings which are rightfully theirs.
With over 50 years of combined experience in tackling this problem and having already helped reunite 1.5m people with £2.5 billion, the founding team have seen first-hand how rapidly the problem has escalated in the absence of an industrywide solution. This is supported by a recent Pensions Policy Institute report which highlighted a 75% increase in the number of lost pensions over just four years.
Combining the benefits of AI and Open Finance, Gretel centralises the problem, making lost, dormant and inactive accounts from across the entire financial services industry visible in a single dashboard where the public can securely and easily search for free. This has the potential to not only save the public millions each year in unnecessary charges, it also radically simplifies the process for both companies and their customers transforming a process which previously took months to complete into a simple and accessible 3-minute digital experience.
Lack of public awareness that such a significant amount of money is sitting dormant and unclaimed has long been a factor if driving consumer engagement in this area. Gretel has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and provide support to the public, featuring in over 50 news stories in the last year, including coverage on national daytime television and radio. The business has also won the support of industry champions such as MoneySavingExpert, Which? and the Government’s Money and Pensions Service.
Equally challenging has been to get a financial services industry which is often slow to react, to engage and adopt new and unproven technology. However, in little more than 12 months since launch, Gretel has grown from its infancy to almost 100k users in the UK, in the process matching tens of millions of pounds to people. Having proved the demand for, and success of the platform at a consumer level, industry in now rapidly engaging with Gretel to provide additional support to their customers, many of whom may be classified as vulnerable.
In response to the deepening cost of living crisis, Gretel recently announced a landmark partnership with ClearScore, the UK’s market leading credit score app and credit marketplace, making Gretel’s free service directly available to their 13m UK users for the first time. The months ahead therefore represent an opportunity to help potentially millions of people with a much-needed financial lifeline, currently averaging £2,200 per person.
Building upon recent awards for “Innovation in Consumer Finance” at the MoneyAge Awards 2022 and “Technology Innovation of the Year Award” at the UK Pensions Awards 2023, the immediate challenge is to build upon the client momentum this has generated.