Banks in Canada are required by law to hold dormant deposit accounts (accounts with no activity) for 10 years. After 10 years these banks must turn over the balances held in these accounts to the Bank of Canada, who acts as the custodian for the account holder of these funds.
The Bank of Canada then holds these funds in trust for the account holder for up to 30 more years (for balances of less than $1,000). For accounts more than $1,000 these funds are held in trust for 100 years.
Once the 30 year period has expired (for accounts less than $1,000) these balances revert back to the Government of Canada.
So what is the amount of unclaimed money in Canada held by the Bank of Canada? It is sizeable… over $433 million at end of December 2010. There is over 1.3 million unclaimed accounts with balances on the Bank of Canada books. Over 94% of these are for amounts of less than $1,000.
How do you find out if you are entitled to unclaimed bank balances held by the Bank of Canada? The Bank of Canada has a database that you can search by name to see if they are holding funds on your behalf. You can also narrow your search by province too. It’s easy to check to see if you have or your relatives have unclaimed bank balances.
The unclaimed balance search result will give you the following information:
Name, Payee, Address of account holder, Savings account number of the holder, Amount transferred to the Bank of Canada, Transfer date from the financial institution to the Bank of Canada, Status (Claimed or Unclaimed), Outstanding Balance, Name of Bank and Address of Bank.
Click on link to go to the Bank of Canada Search form to check for unclaimed balances in Canada.
How do you claim unclaimed bank account money back from the Bank of Canada?
There are steps that you must follow (or your heirs) to claim unclaimed balances. The Bank of Canada basically needs some proof of documentation showing that you are the rightful account holder or heir to these funds.
Visit this link to get instructions on how to make a claim for unclaimed balances from the Bank of Canada.
It generally takes about 30 to 60 days for the Bank of Canada to process claims for unclaimed balances