Skip to main content

]]>

Main content ]]> ]]> ]]> Home Compare deals Finance news Managing money Investing Home & property Credit & loans Life stages Tools & guides Small business Home > SubNavigation > Small business > ASIC raids inactive bank accounts: Get your cash while you can! Print


ASIC raids inactive bank accounts: Get your cash while you can! | Updated: 5:33:55 PM, Friday April 05, 2013
By Jen Storey ASIC raids inactive bank accounts: Get your cash while you can!

The Federal government is making a grab for money in accounts deemed inactive. We look at how this will work and how it might affect you.

BigPond Money deals

Increased government powers to seize money from inactive banks accounts will soon come into effect, after legislation was rushed through parliament last year.

From May 31, the federal government will have the power to transfer to its own coffers, all money from accounts that have not been used for the past three years.

Any bank account that holds more than $1 and has not had any deposits or withdrawals during this timeframe will be transferred to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

Based on current data, the government will net around $109 million this year alone. Every year from now on, accounts that are deemed to be inactive will be released to ASIC.

Why did the legislation change?

It may not have been widely know before, but the government has always had the power to seize the money from inactive bank accounts.

The legislative change has redefined the timeframes for what is deemed to be an inactive account. Prior to the new laws set last year, a bank account had to be inactive for seven years before the funds were transferred to ASIC.

Critics rightly argue that the new legislation offers no benefit for customers, while the government reaps all the upside.

More: Government to take lost super

Who will be affected?

Any bank accounts you have lost track of may be affected – for example, old accounts relating to specific jobs you have moved on from that have been sitting dormant with only a few dollars in them.

Many people lose track of their accounts when they move address or, move overseas.

Other inactive accounts from share trading, trusts or long-term savings accounts may also be caught in the sweep. Bank accounts set up for personal savings, children’s education or inheritance may also make the new hit list, if they have not had regular deposits or withdrawals in recent years.

If you do have an account of this nature, the best thing to do is to make a small deposit or withdrawal now, so that the account is no longer deemed to be inactive come May 31.

It should also be noted that interest payments are not considered to be deposits. Similarly, bank fees and charges are not considered withdrawals for the purpose of defining if an account is inactive.

It’s more than a few dollars

While an inactive account must have more than $1 in it to be reclaimed, there are some big amounts awaiting claim.

Data from ASIC has shown that there are accounts with more than $300,000 in them waiting to be claimed by people who are from, or once were from suburbs including Caulfield, Carlisle, Double Bay, Glebe, Joondalup, Matraville, Melbourne, Perth, Randwick, Skye and Waverley.

How do I know if I have an inactive bank account?

Check all of your current bank accounts and ensure they have had recent transactions.

If you think you have a missing bank account from a previous job or share trading that you no longer operate, look back through your financial records. At some stage you will have received paper copies of statements and other information.

The MoneySmart service from ASIC has a tool that can help you find your unclaimed money. You can search via your name or via a transaction number, if you have it.

Failing that, if you remember which bank, credit union, building society or other deposit-taking organisation you held an account with, contact them directly.

What can I do if my money is taken by mistake?

If, for some reason, your money is taken under this new law, you can apply to ASIC to have it returned.

However, it is likely that the process to reclaim funds will be a lengthy one. The best thing to do is to avoid being part of this process in the first place.

What to do now?

  • Check all of your current accounts, with every institution and ensure that a recent deposit or withdrawal has occurred.
  • If you suspect you have a lost account, contact the institution and reclaim it, then ensure it is active by making a deposit or withdrawal.
  • If you cannot remember where a lost account may reside, use the ASIC tool to determine if it can be located.
  • Search any previous financial print statements to ensure that you have located every account that has been held in your name.

Like BigPond Money on Facebook Tell us what you think and like BigPond Money on Facebook.

Related links:

Share this article |

Comments

Leave a comment

Follow this conversation Name: E-mail: Your URL: Comments: Follow any further comments to this article. All comments are moderated. Enter security code:  Security code

Follow this conversation

Leave a comment Your e-mail: You will be emailed when any additional comments are approved by the moderator. You are only subscribing
to comments made to this article. You may unsubscribe via the link provided on notification emails.

Compare deals


Fixed Loan

Home Loan

Loans.com.au Australia’s lowest rate home loan

Personal Loan

Compare cheap personal loans from 7.85%

Refinance

Refinance at new low UBank rate of 4.87%

Credit Card

HSBC no annual fee + 0% balance transfer 6 mths

Saving Accounts

Compare top rates and earn up to 4.75%.

Compare great credit card rates

0% on Balances

HSBC 0% bal transfer 6 months + no annual fee

No Annual Fee

Say NO to credit card fees. Get a fee free card

Platinum

Bonus 10,000 Membership Rewards

Top Rewards

Qantas American Express Discovery Card

0% Intro Rate

Bankwest 0% p.a. intro purchase rate 6 months

Compare great home loan rates

Lowest Rate

loans.com.au Australia’s lowest rate home loan

Fixed Loan

Compare fixed rate loans under 5.00%

Refinance

Refinance at new low UBank rate of 4.87%

Special Offer

Save $695 upfront fee Bankwest Online Loan

Rate Discount

Lifetime rate discount with IMB Budget Loan

Compare great term deposit rates

Top Rates

Lock in up to 4.45% p.a. for 6 months

ING Direct

Lock in 4.30% for 7 months with ING DIRECT

Bankwest

Compare 2, 6, and 12 month rates from Bankwest

bankmecu

Get 4.10% for 6 months with bankmecu

3 Months

Compare top 3 month term deposit rates

Compare great savings accounts rates

Top Rates

Compare top rates from ING DIRECT, Bankwest etc

Earn up to 4.75%

Get 4.75% for 4 months with ING DIRECT

Bankwest Bonus

Earn 4.55% for 6 months with Bankwest

Reward Saver

Get rewarded for saving with bonus interest

Term Deposits

Lock in a fixed rate before rates fall again

Related guides and tools


The $99 million ATM receipt The $99 million ATM receipt

Would you leave an ATM receipt with a balance of $99,864,731.94 in the machine. Well it …

A fifty dollar note could save you A fifty dollar note could save you

What you can do to regain the exciting feeling of saving again and get your finances in …

A military career: What it takes, what it pays A military career: What it takes, what it pays

For some a career in Defence may be a lifelong career, while for others it can act as a …

Gambling for profit Gambling for profit

From two-up to the Melbourne cup, Australians are clearly not shy of a bet. But could …

Marshmallows and the evil scientist Savers should act fast to lock in high rates The one less per month savings strategy Rate cut bonanza Unwanted Christmas gifts Thinking of quitting your job? Consider this first How to kick-start a career Could your savings be getting a better return?

Compare deals


Need a shopping spree? credit cards Compare credit cards Don’t risk your investments! term deposit safe steps Compare term deposits Get a sweeter home loan Upgrade your home loan Upgrade your home loan Go  


Sign up to receive the latest finance news. Email: Subscribe
Connect with us on: Connect with FacebookFacebook Connect with TwitterTwitter Connect with LinkedInLinkedIn Connect with Google PlusGoogle+

BigPond on Facebook

Mozo powered rates widget

Tools & calculators


Currency converter &raquo


Convert: From: To:
Convert Amount: Data supplied by Morningstar, based on a 30min delay.
  BigPond Sport, Movies, Music and Games downloads, video streams and editorial content are unmetered for most BigPond Broadband members. Sitemap | FAQ | Contact Us Terms of Use & Disclaimer – Please read

TelstraBigPond ]]> ]]> ]]>