Have you ever thought about the possibility of having unclaimed assets in Australia? Maybe you moved houses and forgot about that bank account, or perhaps you inherited something from a distant relative that you never knew about. Whatever the case may be, unclaimed assets are a lot more common than you might think. In fact, according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), there is over $1.1 billion worth of unclaimed money in Australia waiting to be claimed.

If you’re curious about whether you have any unclaimed assets in Australia, keep reading. In this ultimate guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about finding and claiming your lost funds.

What Are Unclaimed Assets?

Unclaimed assets, also known as unclaimed money or lost funds, are financial assets that have been dormant or forgotten by their owners. These can include:

  • Bank accounts that have had no activity for a certain period
  • Shares, dividends, and other investments that have not been claimed or paid out
  • Insurance policies that have not been claimed by beneficiaries
  • Superannuation accounts that have been abandoned or forgotten
  • Money owed to you by a company, such as refunds or unpaid wages

How Do Assets Become Unclaimed?

Assets become unclaimed when their owners fail to take action on them for a certain period. This can vary depending on the type of asset and the state or territory it is located in, but generally, unclaimed assets become dormant after 3-7 years of inactivity. Once an asset is considered unclaimed, the holder (such as a bank or company) must report it to the relevant authority, such as the ASIC, who will then hold onto it until the owner claims it.

How to Find Unclaimed Assets in Australia

Now that you know what unclaimed assets are and how they become lost, let’s dive into the steps you can take to find and claim your unclaimed assets in Australia.

Step 1: Check with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission

The ASIC is the primary authority for unclaimed assets in Australia. They have a free online search tool called MoneySmart that allows you to search for unclaimed money that may belong to you. To use this tool, simply visit their website and enter your name and other relevant information. If there are any unclaimed assets linked to your name, they will appear in the search results.

Step 2: Check with Other Authorities

In addition to the ASIC, there are other authorities in Australia that hold onto unclaimed assets. These include:

  • State and territory revenue offices
  • The Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  • Unclaimed superannuation money register

You can search for unclaimed assets through these authorities by visiting their websites or contacting them directly.

Step 3: Search for Lost Bank Accounts

If you suspect that you may have a lost bank account, you can contact the Australian Bankers’ Association. They have a free service called Find my Lost Super that allows you to search for lost bank accounts, including savings accounts, term deposits, and bank cheques.

Step 4: Search for Lost Life Insurance Policies

If you believe that you may be a beneficiary of a lost life insurance policy, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service. They can help you track down the insurance company and find out if you are entitled to any benefits.

Step 5: Search for Lost Shares and Investments

If you think that you may have unclaimed shares or investments, you can contact the share registry of the company that issued them. You can find the contact information for these registries by visiting the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) website.

Step 6: Be Wary of Scams

Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who prey on people who are searching for unclaimed assets. They may contact you and claim that they can help you find and claim your lost funds, but in reality, they are just trying to steal your personal information or charge you a fee for a service that you can do yourself for free. To avoid scams, make sure to only use trusted sources when searching for unclaimed assets, and never give out your personal information or pay any fees unless you are certain that it is legitimate.

What to Do If You Find Unclaimed Assets

If you find unclaimed assets that belong to you, congratulations! The next step is to claim them. The process for claiming unclaimed assets can vary depending on the type of asset and the authority that is holding onto them, but generally, you will need to provide proof of your identity and ownership of the asset. This can include:

  • A birth certificate or passport
  • A driver’s licence or other photo ID
  • Proof of address, such as a utility bill
  • Documentation that shows your ownership of the asset, such as a bank statement or share certificate

Once you have gathered all of the necessary documents, you can submit a claim to the relevant authority. This can typically be done online or by mail, and the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of the claim.


Unclaimed assets are more common than you might think, and they can be a valuable source of funds if you take the time to search for them. By following the steps outlined in this ultimate guide, you can increase your chances of finding and claiming your lost assets in Australia. Remember, the key is to be persistent and thorough in your search, and to use trusted sources to avoid scams. Good luck, and happy hunting!