Unclaimed moneys - ARITA submission
Our submission was made to Treasury and Attorney-General’s on 11 July 2014. We made comment on recent changes to the Banking Act 1959 that serve to avoid the new unclaimed moneys regime, by which they may be removed from an account that is inactive for 3 years, applying to moneys held in insolvency administration accounts. But the law requires the practitioner to advise the bank that the account is active and is needed.
Section 69(1D) of the Banking Act now provides that the usual unclaimed moneys regime does not apply in circumstances where the holder of the account has notified the bank “that the holder wishes to treat the account as active”.
However ARITA did raise the on-going issue, that applications for unclaimed moneys in corporate insolvency may be made to and determined by ASIC. However in bankruptcy, such applications must be made to the court. Significant court filing fees, and lawyers’ fees, impose a sizable threshold on claimants, to the unfair advantage of the Commonwealth. Such a claimants may be someone who, through some mishap, did not receive their $800 dividend cheque.
As ARITA has suggested before, the corporate insolvency regime should apply in bankruptcy, with AFSA making the necessary determinations, and with a right of review to the AAT.