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MORE than $200 million from forgotten bank accounts, insurance policies and company share sales is waiting to be claimed by its owners.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has launched a new search engine at www.fido.asic.gov.au for consumers to search for money that has been transferred to the Federal Government after having been left untouched for seven years.

The person can still make a claim for the money once the money has been transferred. The data on the site goes back to 1989 for savings bank accounts, 1959 for some unclaimed trading bank accounts and 2000 for credit unions and building societies for accounts last accessed in 1993-94.

The site also provides information on money from shares in cases where shares were compulsory acquired in a takeover.

Meanwhile, the superannuation industry is banding together behind Lost Members’ Week.

The initiative hopes to create awareness of the total number of lost member accounts in superannuation funds. The industry is hoping to give back the 500,000 accounts that get ‘lost’ each year.

The total value of lost accounts currently stands at $6.1 billion, representing 4.2 million lost accounts held by 3.2 million individuals.

The ATO has come up with an answer of its own through its SuperMatch system.

Introduced in March last year, SuperMatch offers funds free access via the Internet to the ATO’s lost members’ register.

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