Tag Archives: unclaimed accounts

“I Call It Stealing” – Pensioner Shock At Bank Savings Grab

22 May

From the Herald Sun (h/t reader Richo):

 Adrian Duffy emerged from a quintuple heart bypass only to find his wife's $20,000 Suncorp account empty because the bank gave it to the government. PIC: David Kelly Source: The Courier-Mail

Adrian Duffy emerged from a quintuple heart bypass only to find his wife’s $20,000 Suncorp account empty because the bank gave it to the government. PIC: David Kelly Source: The Courier-Mail

A QUEENSLAND pensioner emerged from a quintuple heart bypass only to find his bank had emptied his account, handing more than $22,000 to the Federal Government.

Legislative changes rushed through Parliament late last year mean money can now be identified as “unclaimed” after an account has been inactive for more than three years, instead of seven years.

Banks have already begun searching for inactive accounts that fit the new definition and transferring the cash to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, as required. ASIC then passes the money to the Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Revenue Fund.

This scheme is not dissimilar to the government’s new Small Business Superannuation Clearing House system. A (for now) optional system, news of which was broken right here on BiR*, where employers are now being “encouraged” to send all their employees’ SGC Superannuation payments, along with their company BAS payments, direct to the A.T.O., and not direct to the employees’ super fund. In effect, the government is trying to use employers, and now ASIC, to do its dirty work; enabling the government to earn extra usury by diverting millions / billions in citizens’ superannuation via the ATO, on the way (hopefully) to their super fund; or, in the case of “unclaimed” bank accounts, using the banks to steal citizens’ money outright.

The Australian Bankers’ Association has accused the Government of putting its “own financial circumstances” ahead of customers’ needs, leaving them facing “months of delays trying to reclaim their own money”.

Er … the ABA would say these things, wouldn’t they; the banks can hardly be thrilled at having the government confiscate those “unclaimed” bank savings, four years earlier than was their previous practice. I wonder how much in the way of additional earnings (usury) the banks expect to lose out on as a result of the government’s greed overriding their own?

ASIC says the money can be claimed “at any time by the rightful owner”, but banks have pointed out the process can take as long as six weeks.

Toowong resident Adrian Duffy is now looking at a lengthy battle to have his savings restored.

The 75-year-old spent 21 days in hospital following quintuple heart bypass surgery and a second operation in April.

When he and his wife, 57-year-old Mary-Jane, went to check their Suncorp account, they discovered their balance had plummeted from $22,616 to zero. A note on the May 1 entry read: “Closing WDL Govt unclaimed monies.”

The couple had saved for 14 years in preparation for major health-related costs.

Suncorp claims a letter was sent at the end of March notifying the account – held in Mrs Duffy’s name – had been inactive for more than three years and would be closed if no action was taken.

It says attempts were made to call the couple on April 16, followed by an “account closed” letter on April 30.

Mr and Mrs Duffy are adamant they received no warnings of the closure of the account.

“I called it stealing,” Mr Duffy said.

“My understanding of the definition of stealing is to take something without somebody’s knowledge and not tell them. As far as I’m concerned, that’s exactly what happened – (the Government) took it without telling us.”

The couple are working to recover the money, but say they were lucky to have other savings.

“If we didn’t have the money elsewhere, we would now have to be paying for cardiologists, visits to surgeons, ECGs, x-rays, whatever is involved in the follow up,” he said.

“We would have to find money to pay them, because those people aren’t going to say to you, ‘we’ll wait six weeks’.”

While many people believe they have until May 31 to act on their dormant accounts, banks in fact must finalise their lodgements by that date.

A Treasury spokesman said the reforms were designed to “help reunite Australians with their lost money sooner, and protect them from being eroded by fees, charges and inflation”.

Oh?

To “help” “reunite” Australians with their “lost” money sooner?

So, that is what this “reform” is really all about.

Hello George Orwell.

As I have warned for years, look around the globe at what governments have been doing in other nations since 2008, and expect ever more of these kinds of creeping, sneaky government schemes. All designed to steal your money, under the smokescreen of “reform”, or “helping” someone.

* See also: It Has Begun – Labor Steals Liberal’s Idea To Steal Your Super

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