Australia's unclaimed millions

DO YOU feel that after all these years of working you should have more money stashed away?

Well, you could be right.

According to the keeper of unclaimed monies, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the amount of money that lost its owners in the Richmond Tweed area last year was just shy of $2 million.

Across the nation, the pool has risen to a staggering $636 million, an increase of more than $28 million from last year.

ASIC's senior executive leader of financial literacy, Delia Rickard, said while the average parcel of money was $652, there were some substantial amounts waiting to be collected, like the $642,000 lying in a dormant Sydney bank account.

She said Richmond Tweed residents may have unclaimed money if they moved without leaving a forwarding address, were an executor of a deceased estate or stopped making payments on a life insurance policy.

Bank accounts also become dormant if there were no transactions for seven years.

"There is more money in the unclaimed money pool than ever before so even if you've already searched, you should look again," Ms Rickard said.

"It's quick and easy to search for unclaimed money via ASIC's Money Smart website www.moneysmart"

Ms Rickard said when searching for money left under a will, include the name of the deceased.

Last financial year more than $3.3 million was returned to its rightful owners.

Ms Richard said while private companies often offered to reunite owners with their hard earned, they charged a fee for something that could be done for free simply be contacting ASIC on 1300 300 630.

If you find some money that you think may be yours, you'll need to prove it belongs to you or that you are the beneficiary.

Information of what is required to prove ownership is also on the ASIC website.


State  Amount   Change  Average

NSW  $243,084,492  +6%   $552

Vic  $143,256,427 +3%  $707

Qld   $71,154,678   +3%   $608

WA   $49,260,726  +9%   $768

SA   $24,307,360  +7%   $498

ACT  $11,988,425   +32%   $708

NT   $6,466,705   +8%     $671

Tas   $5,735,973   +5%     $417

O/S  $90,103,735   n/a   $1211

Total   $636,358,521  +5%   $652

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