The Banking Act 1959 and Life Insurance Act 1995 has been amended  to extend to seven years (from 3 years) the period before funds held by authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADI) and life insurance providers are treated as unclaimed moneys.

Summary of new law

1.1 The new law amends the Banking Act to extend the unclaimed moneys period from three years to seven years from 31 December 2015.

1.2 The new law provides that ADI accounts created for children and those that are held in a foreign currency are exempt from the unclaimed moneys provisions.

1.3 The new law stops ADI accounts being transferred to the Commonwealth where the account holder provides notification that the account should be treated as active after the account is assessed as unclaimed moneys at the end of the calendar year but before it is transferred to the Commonwealth.

1.4 The new law amends the Banking Act to remove the requirement for ASIC to publish details of unclaimed moneys in the annual Unclaimed Moneys Gazette and introduces a secrecy provision to prevent access to information on unclaimed moneys via the FOI Act. The Treasurer will retain the ability to publish information on unclaimed moneys, such as on ASIC’s MoneySmart website.

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