Canberra wants your cash

Under previous Australian law, dormant deposit accounts were turned over to the government after seven years. The new rule is three years, and they mean it:

Thousands of bank account holders are being advised to make trans­actions of as little as $1 to avoid ­having their accounts transferred to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to help plug the federal government’s budget deficit.

Under recent changes to the law designed to raise $109 million this financial year, deposits can be deemed unclaimed if a transaction has not been made on an account for three years or more, down from seven years previously.

Collecting interest, apparently, is not considered a transaction.

Says Tim Blair: “Next up: federal couch inspections.”


  1. Roger Green »

    4 March 2013 · 5:27 am

    Our state (NY) has been aggressive in trying to get money BACK to the account holders. Australia’s attitude is SO wrong.

  2. Tatyana »

    4 March 2013 · 5:59 am

    In what way, Roger, you perceive NY State to be so altruistic?

  3. fillyjonk »

    4 March 2013 · 7:30 am

    Wow. I thought it was bad when some banks/credit unions here charged fees on “dormant” (no transactions for >1 year) accounts.

  4. Roger Green »

    4 March 2013 · 7:24 pm

    It’s not altruistic, it’s fair:

  5. Tatyana »

    4 March 2013 · 7:41 pm

    Never heard of it! Thank you, Roger.
    One sentence, though, is strange: “Until the money is claimed, it is used by the State’s General Funds”…

  6. CGHill »

    4 March 2013 · 9:07 pm

    Which means, I suspect, that Albany does not earmark X number of dollars for each and every account, but pays claims as they come in. Given the presumed paperwork load, this seems reasonable to me.

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