Unclaimed Property in Australia


Australia has moderately robust Unclaimed Property statutes in place consisting of 9 unclaimed property laws: One federal, six state, and two territories.

Unclaimed property is federally governed under the Banking Act (1959) and most recently amended as per the “Banking Amendment (Unclaimed Money) Act 2013”. Changes include:

• Dormancy periods shortened for most property types from 7 years to 3 years
• Interest now paid on claims retroactive to July 1, 2013

The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) is the primary federal custodian of dormant bank accounts, credit union and building society accounts, insurance policies, company shares, lottery prizes, and company deregistration proceeds. Some other asset types are governed by Provinces and Territories each with their own Unclaimed Property division:

• NSW – New South Wales
• QLD – Queensland
• SA – South Australia
• TAS – Tasmania
• VIC – Victoria
• ACT – Australian Capital Territory
• NT – Northern Territory

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