Unclaimed Accounts Transferred to ASIC
Under legislations passed by the previous government, the threshold for bank accounts to be deemed inactive has been reduced from 7 years to 3 years.
Effective from 31 May 2013, accounts that have had no activity in the past 3 years have been transferred to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). An inactive account is essentially an account that has not had a deposit or withdrawal during the 3 year period. Therefore if the account has only had interest credited to it, then it could be deemed inactive.
The new definition for an inactive account has seen the federal government amass $400 million of cash in the last year to increase the overall unclaimed money pool to over $700 million.
Many of the accounts can be traced to foreign residents, however there are also many that belong to Australian residents who simply do not access their accounts or may have overlooked its existence.
A total of $36 million of unclaimed money has been returned in the last month with only $6 million of that belonging to overseas residents. However, claiming money back from ASIC is a lengthy process which can take months.
A simple way of determining whether any of your accounts have been transferred to ASIC is to perform the “unclaimed money” search via the ASIC website or click on the following link https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/find-unclaimed-money.
Should you have any queries regarding this matter please call your applicable ESV engagement partner on 02 9283 1666.
Article by David Prichard