Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer the Hon Kelly O'Dwyer MP today urged Australians nationwide to find out if they have a share in $1.2 billion of unclaimed money from bank accounts, life insurance, shares, and other investments.
Minister O'Dwyer said there are about 1.3 million individual records of unclaimed money waiting to be found by its rightful owners.
"People are often pleasantly surprised when they search for their names using ASIC's MoneySmart Unclaimed Money online search," Minister O’Dwyer said.
"The money is transferred to the Commonwealth and managed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) after bank accounts and life insurance payouts have been left unclaimed for seven years.
"In the last financial year, more than 25,000 people made successful claims with $158.4 million paid out.
"There is a wide range of amounts of unclaimed money waiting to be claimed - ranging from a few cents to over $1 million. There is $650 million in unclaimed bank accounts Australia-wide.
"The Government made changes to the Commonwealth unclaimed money laws which took effect on 31 December 2015.
"The Labor government cashed in on Australians by taking their money after just three years, including cleaning out children's savings accounts.
"The Federal Government extended the inactive time limit back to seven years, and has tightened up the type of accounts affected and privacy details.
"We have heard great stories from people claiming back their money. For example, Emma Jane from South Australia is using her money to launch a new graphic art venture online and Christopher Hayne from Canberra is taking his wife on their first major international holiday."
Unclaimed money deposited with ASIC is transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Revenue Fund. The unclaimed money received by ASIC is always claimable by the rightful owner and there is no time limit on claims. For company and other investments, the time frame varies from one month to 10 years.
To find unclaimed money visit ASIC's MoneySmart website.