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'Over £5bn' in student loans lost

More than £5bn in public money paid out to students so they can go to university is unaccounted for because the Government does not have enough information about who it loaned the money to, a report suggests.

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'More than £5bn' in student loans 'missing'

Over £5bn in public money paid out in student loans is unaccounted for because the Government lacks up-to-date information about the recipients, a report by the spending watchdog suggests.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills cannot find 368,000 former students, according to the spending watchdog. Credit: PA

The Business Department (BIS) is missing paperwork on employment or earnings for approximately 368,000 students, the National Audit Office found.

This could be because they are unemployed students living in the UK, EU students who have returned home or UK students who have moved overseas.

NAO head Amyas Morse said: "Given the expanding size of the student loan book, BIS now needs to take a more energetic and considered approach to maximizing the value of the loan book to the taxpayer and achieving a high level of collection performance."

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