pounds 55m windfall shares go begging

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UP TO 60,000 UK policyholders have failed to claim windfall shares worth an average of pounds 900 each since the flotation of Colonial, the Australian insurer, in July last year.

Colonial yesterday said shares worth a total of pounds 55m were still waiting to be claimed by customers who held certain types of policy with the company before 30 April 1995. Eligible customers were offered shares and options when Colonial floated on the Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges in May 1997. Customers must claim the windfalls, which are held in trust, before May 2002, when unclaimed shares will be split between the trust and other shareholders. "We would like people to come forward if they believe they might be eligible," said a spokeswoman from Colonial. Customers can contact 01634 848134.