The Bank of Canada is holding approximately 1.4 million “unclaimed balances” worth about $532 million! Wow!
According to the Bank of Canada website, an “unclaimed balance” is a Canadian-dollar deposit or negotiable instrument, issued or held by a federally regulated bank or trust company. It can be in the form of a deposit account, bank draft, certified cheque, deposit receipt, money order, GIC, term deposit, credit card balance, or traveller’s cheque.
When there has been no owner activity in relation to the balance for a period of 10 years, and the owner cannot be contacted by the institution holding it, the balance is turned over to the Bank of Canada, which acts as custodian on behalf of the owner. The Bank of Canada holds unclaimed balances of less than $1,000 for thirty years, once they have been inactive for ten years at the financial institutions.
Balances of $1,000 or more will be held for 100 years once transferred to the Bank of Canada. If the balance remains unclaimed until the end of the prescribed custody period, the Bank of Canada transfers the funds to the Receiver General for Canada.
For whatever reasons, people sometimes forget about these bank balances, and they end up in the hands of the Bank of Canada, instead of in the pockets of their rightful owners. This could be due to relocation, illness, death or for many other reasons. The good news is that this money can be claimed and returned to the rightful owner (or their heirs) without too much trouble.
I have personally helped both family members and friends become reunited with their long-lost money, consisting of balances that were both small and large. You too can search for your own name or that of your family members, your friends, and just about anyone you wish via the Bank of Canada Unclaimed Balances website:
Please do not think that you can “make a quick buck” for yourself at the expense of others by using this website, as the claimant does need to “jump through hoops” to prove that they have the lawful ownership of the funds in question.
Why not try a few queries with your own name along with those of family and friends. You might just get treated to a nice lunch if you do reunite someone with their money!
Let’s not give the government any more money than we need to 🙂
– David Spearns (ETAG Volunteer Technology Tutor)