Forgotten Bank Accounts

in Bank of Canada, Banks

Living in Ottawa you get some interesting stories come up occasionally on the local TV or Radio, but one really caught my eye, because it was about Lost Money, and a utility set up by the Bank of Canada to help you find forgotten bank accounts.

The site is called Unclaimed Balances which consists of a simple to use Search tool, to look up whether you have unclaimed money being held by the Bank of Canada for you.

How is it possible that the Bank of Canada might have money for me? To quote the FAQ on the web site:

Unclaimed bank balances held at the Bank of Canada are exclusively Canadian-dollar deposits in, and negotiable instruments issued by, Canadian banks at locations in Canada.

They can be in the form of deposit accounts, bank drafts, certified cheques, deposit receipts, money orders, or traveller’s cheques.

Unclaimed bank balances are maintained by the Bank of Canada, which acts as custodian on behalf of the owner, when there has been no owner activity in relation to the account for a period of 10 years and when the owner cannot be contacted by the Canadian bank holding that asset.

This astounded me when I first read it, because I assumed most banks simply whittled the bank accounts down with service charges and then “closed” them when they had been zero’ed. Evidently I was mistaken.

My Findings

The tool itself is easy to use. If your name is fairly common like Smith, Jones or Stewart, be prepared to spend a while looking through your search results. Better to try to make the search very specific.

I have found I have no such lost booty however you might find some long lost money, it take a few minutes but it might be worth something to you?

As a funny side note, when this was first broadcast on CJOH, this web site was inundated with searchers and it crashed many times, but it seems to be much more stable now.

{ 3 comments }

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter March 11, 2011, 11:10 AM

    I too had the same assumption as you. I have to check this site out. Very cool.

    Reply
  • Sustainable PF March 10, 2011, 11:58 AM

    Mrs. SPF informed me she re-discovered she had over $1000 in an account she held prior to us going joint. Easy way to increase your net worth!

    Reply

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