Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Do You Have a Share in $1.2B?

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Do You Have a Share in $1.2B?

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Clitheroe

AUSTRALIANS spend close to $6million each week on scratch lotto tickets in the hope of picking up some extra cash.

Yet billions of dollars of forgotten money is sitting in government coffers just waiting to be claimed.

Our money watchdog, ASIC, says there is a pool of $1.2billion in unclaimed bank accounts, life insurance, shares and other investments.

Money held in bank accounts becomes "unclaimed" if the account hasn't been used for seven years and contains a balance of $500 or more.

ASIC's database of unclaimed bank accounts extends to 1989 for savings accounts and 1959 for trading accounts.

Records of unclaimed life insurance policies go as far back as 1952.

While many of the unclaimed amounts are for a few hundred dollars, plenty of people are owed sums in the tens of thousands.

The lost money held by ASIC is always claimable by the rightful owner. There is no time limit on claims.

Just head to the government's MoneySmart website and click on "tools and resources". …

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