Hey PM, we found your $600

 

Perhaps, he can be forgiven for losing track of his bank accounts during a global pandemic?

But it turns out the Prime Minister and his wife Jenny have left more than $600 sitting in an untouched St George Bank account for nearly 20 years, a fact revealed on the government search website for unclaimed cash.

It is a feat that is even more surprising when you learn that Mr Morrison has been reminded of his missing cash on the pages of the nation's newspapers twice in the last decade.

He is of course a busy man. And so, like millions of fellow Australians, Mr Morrison has forgotten the cash in the bank account for years.

That's despite the fact it is now easily searchable on the government website www.moneysmart.gov.au.

Mr Morrison has been reminded about the stray cash twice in the last decade. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Simon Bullard.
Mr Morrison has been reminded about the stray cash twice in the last decade. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Simon Bullard.


Five years ago, Sydney's The Daily Telegraph alerted the then Treasurer to his missing money after it was seized by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission because it had sat dormant for years.

At the time, the Prime Minister even provided quotes to the newspaper thanking the journalists for alerting him to the surprise windfall.

"I suspect my situation is no different to many Australians and I would encourage them to take advantage of the arrangements we have in place, which Labor wanted to abolish,'' Mr Morrison said.

"I can understand why many Australians are unaware of these issues or may be too busy to look into them, but if people are owed money they should be given the opportunity to claim it - the opportunity that Labor wanted to whittle away."

Then last year, as he slipped away to Hawaii for a controversial summer break as the bushfires burned, the Australian Financial Review again reminded the PM of his missing money suggesting that while it wasn't a huge sum, it was enough to enjoy a cocktail or three in Hawaii.

"A spare $600 could buy several rounds of Mai Tais, or Blue Hawaiis, or Singapore Slings, or other cocktail as appropriate (the Morrisons' present location is unknown),'' the article noted.

Perhaps, the Morrison family missed the memo again.

According to the government website, the late billionaire Kerry Packer left a lazy $15,000 in interest lying around in three different bank accounts.

Swans star Buddy Franklin was owed $520 and tennis ace Sam Stosur $1219.

According to ASIC, Australians have around $1 billion lying unclaimed in old bank accounts.

"This can happen when people change address or go overseas and forget to update their details with a financial institution or company. Or people may be unaware there is money to which they have a rightful claim,'' the ASIC website states.

"Bank accounts become unclaimed after seven years if the account is inactive. Life insurance policies become unclaimed seven years after the policy matures and is not claimed.

"Unclaimed money received by ASIC is transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Revenue Fund. ASIC maintains and publishes a database of unclaimed money records which helps people find and claim their lost money. The rightful owner can claim their money at any time - there is no time limit."

In some cases interest is even payable, although sadly for the Prime Minister the rate can't be very good because his $600 has barely increased in five years.

Originally published as Hey PM, we found your $600


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