Big money remains unclaimed by Australians

November 12, 2012, 1:30 pmYahoo!7

The amount of unclaimed money in Australia has hit a new record of $667 million and our investment watchdog is urging us to re-unite with our missing cash.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) reports its unclaimed money database now holds a record $677 million of missing money.

Even after $56 million was re-united with rightful owners over the past 12 months, the database has still managed to grow by $40 million since 2011.

ASIC reports show that $330 million of the unclaimed money sits in unused bank accounts, $295 million from shares and a further $52 million in life insurance policies.

Among the parcels of unclaimed money waiting to be recovered are $992,750 in a dormant bank account in Carlisle, WA, $195,268 from a deregistered company in Gilston, QLD and $286,165 from a matured life insurance policy in Camberwell, VIC.

‘You might not know it yet, but you could have thousands of dollars sitting in an old bank account, shares, or a life insurance policy,’ said ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell.

Checking for unclaimed money is free and simple. Just head to the Australian government’s MoneySmart website and enter your details into the search box.

If unclaimed money is found, there are further identity checks which take place before the money can be released to an individual or a beneficiary.

‘Until you look, you’ll never know if you or your family have unclaimed money,’ said Mr Kell.

New South Wales has the most unclaimed money, followed by Victoria and overseas accounts. The state-by-state breakdown is as follows:

State Amount
NSW $271,235,859
VIC $142,527,547
QLD $75,986,934
WA $53,411,935
SA $24,350,907
ACT $10,935,940
NT $6,578,211
TAS $6,404,681

Overseas $85,900,934

Read More: Australia's forgotten fortunes

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