Mar 1, 2013

Moneysmart tracks down lost bank accounts

Federal Labor Member for Grayndler Anthony Albanese today encouraged local residents to log on to the website to find any lost bank accounts they may have forgotten about.

“There are thousands of people in the Inner West alone with money in old bank accounts, which they have lost track of,” said Mr Albanese.

“New measures introduced by the Federal Labor Government will help reunite Australians with their lost money sooner, and protect them from being eroded by fees, charges and inflation.”

Under the changes, the Government will pay interest on lost money transferred to ASIC, to preserve its value until it can be reunited with its owners. Under the old rules, this didn’t occur.

Before the lost money would sit with the banks for seven years, which in many cases were hit with account keeping fees and received no interest, eroding its value. 

Mr Albanese said it is far easier for people to track down lost bank accounts once they are transferred to ASIC and added to the online database at the MoneySmart website. Under the changes, this will now happen after three years of inactivity instead of seven.

“It’s difficult to search for lost money if it is held privately by banks – if you’ve forgotten about your money and maybe moved house, you’re hardly likely to remember which bank it’s in,” Mr Albanese said.

“I urge everyone in my electorate to visit the website today, to check if they or a family member own any of the $677 million in existing unclaimed monies held by ASIC.”