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Corporations Bill 2001

Part 9.7 Unclaimed property

   

1339   ASIC to deal with unclaimed property

             (1)  ASIC holds unclaimed property on trust in accordance with, and for the purposes of, this Part.

Note:          Division 2 of Part 8 of the ASIC Act contains provisions about property that ASIC receives or holds on trust.

             (2)  If property becomes unclaimed property, ASIC must:

                     (a)  in the case of money—pay it into an unclaimed money account; or

                     (b)  otherwise—sell or dispose of the property as it thinks fit and pay the proceeds into an unclaimed money account.

This subsection does not apply to unclaimed property so far as the property consists of an investment made as permitted by subsection 142(2) of the ASIC Act.

             (3)  The Minister may apply as mentioned in subsection 135(1) of the ASIC Act income derived from investing, as permitted by subsection 142(2) of that Act, money that is unclaimed property.

Note:          Subsection 135(1) of the ASIC Act provides for how ASIC may apply its own money.

             (4)  If income is applied under subsection (3), a person is not liable to another person in respect of the income merely because the other person is entitled to money in an unclaimed money account.

1340   ASIC not liable to pay calls on shares etc.

                   Where unclaimed property is or includes shares in a body corporate, ASIC is not subject to any obligation:

                     (a)  to pay any calls; or

                     (b)  to make any contribution to the debts and liabilities of the body corporate; or

                     (c)  to discharge any other liability; or

                     (d)  to do any other act or thing;

in respect of the shares, whether the obligation arises before or after the shares become unclaimed property, but this section does not affect the right of a body corporate to forfeit a share.

1341   Disposition of money in unclaimed money account

             (1)  If money is not paid out of an unclaimed money account in accordance with this section or subsection 1339(3) within 6 years after it was originally paid into such an account under subsection 1339(2), it must be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

             (2)  If:

                     (a)  a person claims to be entitled to money paid into an unclaimed money account under subsection 1339(2); and

                     (b)  ASIC is satisfied that the person is entitled to the money;

ASIC must:

                     (c)  unless paragraph (d) applies—pay the money to the person out of the relevant unclaimed money account; or

                     (d)  if the money has been paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund under subsection (1)—pay an equivalent amount to the person out of money appropriated by the Parliament for the purpose.

             (3)  A person who is dissatisfied with the decision of ASIC in respect of a claim made by the person in accordance with subsection (2) may appeal to the Court and the Court may confirm, disallow or vary the decision of ASIC.

             (4)  Where a person claims to be entitled to money that has been paid to another person in accordance with this section, ASIC is not under any liability to that first-mentioned person in respect of that money, but, if the first-mentioned person is entitled to that money, that person may recover that money from the other person.

             (5)  Where a person claims to be entitled to money, being money an amount equivalent to which has been paid to another person in accordance with subsection (2) out of money appropriated by the Parliament for the purpose, ASIC is not under any liability to that first-mentioned person in respect of that money, but, if the first-mentioned person is entitled to that money, that person may recover that equivalent amount from the other person.

1342   Commonwealth or ASIC not liable for loss or damage

                   Neither the Commonwealth nor ASIC is liable for any loss or damage suffered by a person arising out of the exercise of, or the failure to exercise, any of the powers which are conferred on ASIC under this Part or which ASIC has in relation to unclaimed property.

1343   Disposal of securities if whereabouts of holder unknown

                   Where a person has been shown in an appropriate register of a company as the holder of securities of the company for a period of at least 6 years and the company has, for a period of at least 6 years:

                     (a)  had reasonable grounds for believing that the person was not residing at the address shown in the register as the person’s address; and

                     (b)  on each occasion during that last-mentioned period when, whether or not in accordance with a provision of this Act, it sought to communicate with the person, being unable after the exercise of reasonable diligence to do so;

the company may, by executing a transfer for and on behalf of the person, transfer to ASIC:

                     (c)  the securities; and

                     (d)  any rights in respect of the securities;

to be dealt with under this Part.

1343A   Disposal of interests in registered scheme if whereabouts of member unknown

                   If, during a period of at least 6 years while a person has been shown in the register of members of a registered scheme as the holder of interests in the scheme:

                     (a)  the responsible entity has had reasonable grounds for believing that the person was not residing at the address shown in the register as their address; and

                     (b)  the responsible entity’s attempts to communicate with the person have been made using reasonable diligence but have all been unsuccessful;

the responsible entity may, by executing a transfer for and on behalf of the person, transfer the interests and any rights in respect of them to ASIC to be dealt with under this Part.