Over RM5.7 billion in unclaimed money waiting for rightful owners

Lee-Chee-Leong-unclaim-moneyPUTRAJAYA: Over RM5.7 billion is lying idle and waiting for its rightful owners to stake a claim at the Registrar of Unclaimed Money up to June.

The amount involves 55 million records, with some dating back to 1977, The Star Online reported today.

The funds could be from, among others, dormant savings accounts, current accounts and matured fixed deposits with auto-renewal instructions.

The report cited Deputy Finance Minister II Lee Chee Leong as saying that the balance in an account was deemed to be unclaimed money when an account was dormant or inactive for more than seven years.

The unclaimed money, as defined under Section 8 of the Unclaimed Moneys Act 1965, is then surrendered to the registrar.

“There are two other categories: firstly, money that is legally payable to the owner but has remained unpaid for more than a year such as salary, bonus, commission to staff, dividends, other payable accounts, other receivable accounts with credit balance, and matured fixed deposits without auto-renewal instructions,” he told The Star.

“Money to the credit of a trade account that has remained dormant for a period of more than two years such as trade payable accounts and other receivable accounts with credit balance are also considered unclaimed money.

“In simpler terms, unclaimed money is money that has failed to be given to its rightful owner.”

Lee also said no interest would be given on unclaimed money.

The Registrar of Unclaimed Money, which is under the Accountant-General’s Department, holds the unclaimed money in a consolidated trust account.