The Bank of Canada is currently holding over five hundred million dollars that have accumulated from dormant bank accounts from across the country over the years. More than 93 per cent of the unclaimed accounts total less than $1,000. And the oldest balance dates back to 1900.
Here’s how it works. If no one claims a bank balance for 10 years and the owner can’t be found, the money is transferred to the Bank of Canada. The central bank holds on to amounts of less than $1,000 for another 40 years, and keeps amounts above $1,000 for 100 years. If, after that time, no one claims the money it gets transferred to the Receiver General and goes into the consolidated revenue fund, meaning the government gets to do what it wants with it.
If you find you do indeed have a dormant account to claim go here: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/unclaimed-balances/how-to-claim/
Unclaimed accounts aren’t just personal accounts. There are accounts belonging to businesses and community groups as well, and can be in the form of bank draft, certified cheque, money order, GIC, term deposit, credit card balance, or traveller cheques. And if you think you may have misplaced a bank account, you may have forgotten about or lost information about the following too: pension plans, insurance payments, old stock certificates or an unknown inheritance. All of these are claimable too.
To quote one of the big 5 (maybe); “You’re richer than you think.”