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BFCSA: "Finance Minister Mathias Cormann needs to put a rocket under ASIC" ASIC caught out stealing your money

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ASIC is stealing your money:

  • by:John Rolfe Public Defender
  • From: The Daily Telegraph
  • August 21, 2014

THE federal government agency meant to locate owners of $1.2 billion of “unclaimed” money no longer has time to do so because it has been overwhelmed by Bill Shorten’s decision to snatch more dormant dosh.

Not so long ago Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) staff would congratulate each other for returning — at no charge — more lost cash than money recovery agents, who take as much as 25 per cent of the amount found.  In 2009-10, ASIC proactively returned nearly $10 million. Money recovery agents returned just $7.8 million. ­Individuals doing their own digging found $9 million.  But figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph under freedom of information laws show that in 2013-14 ASIC did not return a cent. 

Meanwhile, those greedy money recovery agents located nearly $5 million, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees.

The reason ASIC has stopped seeking out the rightful owners of lost cash is it has been overwhelmed by the former Labor federal government’s December 2012 decision to snatch inactive bank accounts and life ­insurance policies after three years, not seven.  The change, made while Mr Shorten was financial services minister, was designed to reap a net $93 million in 2012-13 as part of Labor’s ­ultimately unsuccessful bid to get the Budget back in the black. The value of bank accounts and life policies sent to ASIC in 2012-13 soared 687 per cent to $551 million.  ­Almost all of this increase was due to the three-year rule. Last financial year ASIC grabbed another $146 million from bank accounts and life policies, more than double the amount prior in 2011-12.  It is now holding $1.2 billion of unclaimed cash, once share dividends are included.

After the three-year rule was announced, ASIC had to redirect staff who had been locating owners.  First, it was to apply the time frame change then to deal with the consequences — the number of claims in 2013-14 was 1380 per cent higher than 2011-12 levels (38,500 v 2600).

The explosion likely occurred because most of those people hadn’t lost their account at all. They just hadn’t touched it.  “We cannot find the ­resources to be free from the amount of claims we are ­receiving,” ASIC’s unclaimed money spokesman Warren Day said.  Mr Shorten’s office referred inquiries to Labor’s financial services spokesman Bernie Ripoll, who said: “ASIC has dropped the ball here and the (Finance) Minister (Mathias Cormann) needs to put a rocket up them.” 

Unclaimed money held by ASIC for the federal government can still be retrieved through the ASIC website.


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  • Aries
    Aries Thursday, 21 August 2014

    It seems as though ASIC need a rocket up their a*#se for not doing their job yet again.
    Can someone from Canberra tell us what it is exactly that they are getting paid for?
    It's certainly not for helping anyone that has had their money stolen from them.

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