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You could be entitled to a share in $1.1 billion of unclaimed money

Greg Medcraft
2nd May, 2017

There are more than a million individual records of unclaimed money from dormant bank accounts, life insurance, shares and other investments waiting to be claimed by the rightful owners.  After seven years, any unclaimed money is transferred to the Commonwealth and managed by ASIC.

ASIC is keen to reunite people with their unclaimed money.  There are no time limits on claims.  In 2016, more than 16,000 people made successful claims with $87 million paid out.

There is $1.1 billion of unclaimed money nationally as listed below by state and territory.

ASIC unclaimed money
Figure 1: Unclaimed money held by ASIC by State and Territory, approximate amounts (rounded), April 2017.

How to find unclaimed money

You can do a quick and free search of unclaimed money records on ASIC’s MoneySmart website to see if you are entitled to a share of the unclaimed money.

You may find you have unclaimed money if you:

  • have moved house without letting your bank or institution know;
  • have not made a transaction on your cheque or savings account for seven years;
  • stopped making payments on a life insurance policy;
  • have noticed that regular dividend or interest cheques have stopped coming; or
  • were an executor of a deceased estate.

Use ASIC’s MoneySmart website to search for unclaimed money

If you find unclaimed money using ASIC’s MoneySmart online search you will need to contact the relevant bank or other financial institution where the money is held. The institution will assess and lodge a claim with ASIC. We aim to process claims within 28 days of receiving all necessary claim documentation and release the funds back to the institution, which will then be paid to you.

The approximate amounts of money available in unclaimed bank accounts, life insurance policies and shares broken down by State and Territory are set out in this table:

State / Territory Bank accounts Life insurance policies Shares & other investments
New South Wales $200m $25m $154m
Victoria $120m $16m $61m
Queensland $62m $10m $40m
Western Australia $43m $5m $27m
South Australia $17m $4m $14m
ACT $7m $1m $7m
Northern Territory $4.5m $0.5m $3m
Tasmania $5m $1m $3m

If you find you have unclaimed money, you can utilise ASIC’s MoneySmart financial calculators and apps to make the most of your money and achieve your financial goals.

More information is available on ASIC’s MoneySmart unclaimed money infographic.

Greg Medcraft is Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission

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