Data Source: CTV News - http://goo.gl/dZ0g96
Do you have money or assets that you don’t know about or have forgotten? Millions of Canadian do. Billions of dollars’ worth.
According to CTV News, the Bank of Canada alone is holding nearly $1 billion from bank accounts and Canada Savings Bonds. Some experts estimate unclaimed assets across the country could top $4 to $7 billion!
Canada lags behind many other countries in comprehensive unclaimed property legislation.
Only Quebec and Alberta have comprehensive laws. British Columbia has a voluntary system and Ontario is studying the adoption of its own system that could help people find unclaimed assets, including cash, insurance policies, stocks and pensions.
Unclaimed accounts at The Bank of Canada grew to reach $532 million as of December 2013. 93 per cent of accounts are worth less than $1,000. Last year only $14 million was returned to the owners. Unclaimed Canada Savings Bonds totalled $931 million.
Alberta and B.C. have tens of millions of unclaimed assets each while Quebec has about $300 million.
Federally regulated banks must hand over unclaimed deposit accounts, term deposits & GICs and negotiable items such as drafts, money orders and certified cheques to the central bank after ten years of trying to notify the owner.
The largest single unclaimed account totalling $552,000 was transferred from a Royal Bank branch in Montreal. Its owner, had two dormant accounts worth nearly $677,000.
Experts say this is not uncommon. People forget old bank accounts or paid up life insurance policies or old stocks and bonds. People often move, neglect to forward their mail and people die without their heirs knowing much about their finances.
So, do you have any unclaimed money or other assets? Online searches can be done to help you find out if you have unclaimed assets. Here is a link to the Bank of Canada unclaimed assets search page.