PUTRAJAYA: Is there a bank account that you have completely forgotten about? Or a matured fixed deposit with auto-renewal instructions that you have not checked for a very long time?
Chances are the funds in there may have been classified as unclaimed money and kept securely by the Registrar of Unclaimed Money under the Accountant-General’s Department in a consolidated trust account.
As of June, the total amount of unclaimed money stood at RM5.779bil, involving 55 million records since 1977.
Deputy Finance Minister II Datuk Lee Chee Leong explained that when an account has been dormant or inactive for more than seven years, the balance in the account is deemed to be unclaimed money as defined under Section 8 of the Unclaimed Moneys Act 1965 and will be surrendered to the Registrar.
This includes savings accounts, current accounts and matured fixed deposits with auto-renewal instructions.
“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, dividend, other payable accounts, other receivable accounts with credit balance, and matured fixed deposits without auto-renewal instructions,” he told The Star in an interview.
“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 debunked a common misconception that owners continue to earn interest on unclaimed money.