Steven MunchenbergAustralian Bankers’ Association Chief Executive Steven Munchenberg has lashed out at the Federal Government for what he describes as a ‘rushed’ budge-boosting exercised.

Recent figures released from the Australian security and investments commission has shown the government has netted almost $360 million over the last three years from more than 80,000 inactive accounts.

New rules introduced by the Labor Government have lowered the minimum time threshold before governments can seize the funds from inactive accounts. While these rule changes have swollen government coffers it has caused outrage among consumer groups.

Mr. Munchenberg points to savings funds set up by grandparents at the birth of their grandchildren: Often these accounts lie dormant for many years. That doesn’t give the government the right to appropriate them.

The ASIC figures showed that 90% of the accounts absorbed by the government had balances of less than $5000. But some boasted balances in the millions.

The other side of the argument is that the accounts would be eroded by bank fees. So either the government gets the funds in dormant accounts now or the banks will eventually.

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