More than $1 billion of unclaimed money sitting dormant in forgotten bank accounts, life insurance policies, shares and other investments is up for grabs.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said there were more than one million records of unclaimed money, with amounts varying from a few dollars to hundreds of thousands.
“These are accounts that typically haven’t been accessed or activated for seven years so they are considered dormant,” Miles Larbey from ASIC’s Moneysmart said.
“So the money is transferred to the Commonwealth where it’s kept safe on behalf of Australian consumers and they can search it at any time.”
ASIC said people might have unclaimed money if they had moved house without letting bank or institutions know, had not made a bank transaction for seven years, had stopped making life insurance payments, had noticed dividend or interest cheques had stopped coming, or were an executor of a deceased estate.
NSW has the most unclaimed money with approximately $380 million, including $319 million in Sydney.
Victoria is next with $170 million, while there is $112 million in Queensland and $75 million sitting dormant in Western Australia.
ASIC said the money could be easily reclaimed by its rightful owners with a simple online check.
In 2016, more than $87 million of unclaimed money was paid to more than 16,000 people.
By Mazoe Ford