Forgotten Billions service recovers 320mn in ‘coupon privatisation’ money

The online service Forgotten Billions (Zapomenuté miliardy) has helped some 17,000 people collect a total of 320 million crowns in ‘coupon privatization’-era funds so far, the Brno start-up Stock Convertor says.

The service helps people find out if they still own shares or dividends in former Czechoslovak-state owned assets privatised in the 1990s. On average, most people’s ‘forgotten money’ amounted to 20,000 crowns. Some have recovered hundreds of thousands of crowns.

Under the so-called ‘coupon privatisation’ that started on 1 October 1991, every adult citizen of Czechoslovakia could buy a coupon book worth 1,000 crowns and use them to buy corporate shares. Nearly 6 million people did so.