Find your unclaimed money at the end of the rainbow...

An old but interesting article from the GlobeNews caught my attention. It talks about how overtime people have forgotten about their money. I know what you are thinking, how can you just forget you have money in the bank? It happens for many reasons, and apparently a lot!

According to the GlobeNews; The Bank of Canada is holding approximately 1.8 million unclaimed balances worth a whopping $678 million - and this was in 2017!

When a Canadian-dollar accountdeposit or negotiable instrument held or issued by a federally-regulated bank or trust company has been inactive for 10 years and the owner cannot be contacted, it is considered an “unclaimed balance.”

Once a year on December 31, unclaimed balances are transferred to the Bank of Canada, which acts as custodian on behalf of the owners.

And the numbers keep growing:

  • At the end of 2018, approximately 2 million unclaimed balances, worth $816 million, were on the Bank's books. Over 93 per cent of unclaimed balances were valued at under $1,000, representing 26 per cent of the total value outstanding.

  • In 2018, the Bank paid out $11 million to balance holders.

  • The oldest balance dates back to 1900.

Retention period

  • The Bank of Canada holds unclaimed balances of less than $1,000 for 30 years.

  • Balances of $1,000 or more are held for 100 years.

  • Balances that are unclaimed at the end of the prescribed custody period are transferred to the Receiver General for Canada.

Finding an Unclaimed Balance

To find an unclaimed balance to which you may be entitled, you can do either of the following:

  • Search Bank of Canada’s Unclaimed Balances Registry, free of charge. The registry displays information on balances greater than $2.00, as submitted to the Bank of Canada by the financial institution or trust company.

If you are unable to find an unclaimed balance, it may be because your account has not been inactive for more than 10 years or your unclaimed balance has not yet been transferred to the Bank of Canada, as this happens only once a year on December 31. In these cases, you need to contact your financial institution to retrieve your funds.

According to the Bank Act, federally-regulated banks and trust companies have a legal obligation to send written notification after two, five and nine years of inactivity. If balance holders do not respond to this communication, the balance is transferred to the Bank of Canada as an “unclaimed balance.”

  • The Bank of Canada does not initiate contact with balance holders to notify them of unclaimed balances.

  • The Bank only contacts a claimant once it has received a claim request.

Maybe it will be your lucky day! Making a claim request doesn’t take long and perhaps you will find that little pot of unclaimed money at the end of the rainbow! Good luck!!