The Bank of Canada is holding millions of dollars from dormant Canadian bank accounts, and they will return the money to its rightful owners free of charge. The Bank of Canada provides an online search tool and detailed instructions on how to claim money that is yours.
Dormant Bank Accounts in Canada
Dormant bank accounts are accounts that have no owner activity in relation to the account. Canadian banks are required by law to send written notification to the owner of a dormant bank account after two years of inactivity, and again after five years. After nine years, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) publishes all unclaimed balances over $100 in the Canada Gazette, which is available at public libraries in Canada. After 10 years of inactivity, unclaimed balances of all amounts are transferred to the Bank of Canada.
Unclaimed Balances Held by the Bank of Canada
Unclaimed balances held by the Bank of Canada are Canadian dollar deposits in Canadian banks at locations in Canada and negotiable instruments issued by Canadian banks at locations in Canada. This includes bank drafts, certified cheques, money orders and travellers cheques.
Length of Time Bank Balances are Held
The Bank of Canada holds unclaimed bank balances of $500 or more indefinitely. Unclaimed balances under $500 are kept for 20 years from the date of the last transaction - 10 years at the original bank, and another 10 at the Bank of Canada.
Search for Unclaimed Bank Balances
The Bank of Canada provides a free online Unclaimed Balances Search database for unclaimed bank balances.