Australians owed $636m in unclaimed money

Australians owed $636m in unclaimed money

Australians are sitting on a record $636 million in unclaimed money, in sources including forgotten bank accounts, according to ASIC.

The pool of unclaimed money has risen by over $28 million this year, with over 157,000 additional parcels added to a database managed by the Commission.

ASIC is encouraging Australians to use the free MoneySmart search tool to check their names against this database.

Common sources for the unclaimed funds include forgotten bank accounts, old life insurance policies and deceased estates.

Among the close to 1 million transactions on the list, the average amount of unclaimed money is $652.

New South Wales has the most unclaimed money - around $243 million spread across 440,000 records.

The amount owed to ACT residents has increased by 32% compared to last year, compared to the next biggest mover, Western Australia, where the pool grew 9%.

The largest individual parcel of unclaimed money is nearly $1 million, in a bank account owned by an individual in the Western Australian suburb of Carlisle.

ASIC does try to notify the rightful owners of the unclaimed money, sending out letters which last year resulted in a combined $3.3 million being returned, but this is small fries compared to the total pool.

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Tags ASIC MoneySmart Wealth

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