There's $1.1 billion in unclaimed money in Australia's financial system -- here's how to check if it's yours

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has launched a new campaign to return $1.1 billion in unclaimed money to the public.

As part of the campaign it is asking Australians to do a quick and free search on ASIC’s MoneySmart website to see if a share of $1.1 billion of unclaimed money is theirs.

“There are more than a million records of unclaimed money from dormant bank accounts, life insurance, shares and other investments waiting to be claimed and we’re keen to reunite people with their money”, said Peter Kell, ASIC’s deputy chairman.

“In 2016, over $87m was paid out to more than 16,000 people”, Kell said.

Unclaimed money can become lost when you move house and forget to update your details with a financial institution or company.

This money is transferred to the Commonwealth if it remains unclaimed after seven years, but is available to be claimed at any time by the rightful owner and there is no time limit on claims.

While the campaign only launched this morning, the website is already getting a vast amount of traffic.

When Business Insider tried to use the system at 10.15am AEST, it was overloaded.

ASIC

Here’s a look at the approximate amounts of unclaimed money available broken down by states and territories.

  • NSW: $380m ($319m Sydney, $14m Hunter, $1m Illawarra)
  • VIC: $197m ($170m Melbourne, $5m Barwon, $4m Goulburn Valley)
  • QLD: $112m ($58m Brisbane, $17m Gold Coast, $7m Far North)
  • WA: $75m ($56m Perth, $4m South West, $2m South East)
  • ACT: $15m
  • SA: $35m ($28m Adelaide, $1m South East, $1m Outer Adelaide)
  • TAS: $9m ($6m Hobart, $2m Northern Tasmania)
  • NT: $8m ($4.5m Darwin)

(The total figure of $1.1 billion includes approx. $146m where the address is unknown and approximately $172 million where the account holder is not in Australia. All figures have been rounded and are current as at December 2016.)

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