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:
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.
What is not included in the Bank of Canada's unclaimed balances:
Other organizations hold unclaimed property and may be able to help find assets:
Follow our instructions.
You must follow the process described in the “How to Claim” section. The financial institution where the account was held will provide the Bank of Canada with the information necessary, if available, to establish the holder’s identity. If the institution does not have the information required, it will inform the Bank of Canada, which will advise you of the next step. (If the branch returns the form to you, simply forward it to the Bank using the address indicated on the form.)
You may need additional documents proving your identity and connecting you with the account. Please see the “How to Claim” section for more information on the required documentation.
Once you identify an unclaimed balance to which you believe you are entitled, complete the form "Submit your Contact Details" available on this site and follow the instructions carefully.
After we receive your completed form, we will contact you if we need additional information. Once we receive all required documentation and have established ownership, we will pay the claim.
We generally process and pay claims within 30 to 60 days from receipt of a claim. Some claims involving estates may take longer.
Yes, the unclaimed balance service, whether it is searching our database or making a claim, is completely free.
However, you may have to incur legal fees, notarial or other fees to provide us with legal evidence that you are entitled to claimed funds.
The Bank of Canada only contacts account owners once it receives a claim request. We do not initiate contact with account owners to notify them of an unclaimed balance. Unclaimed balance searches and claims can be initiated with the Bank of Canada by the rightful owner, without fee.
There are firms that use publicly available information to find account owners and assist them in making a claim. Some of these firms may offer this service for a fee. The Bank of Canada does not endorse any of these firms, nor do we have any business relationship with them.
If you have been received unsolicited correspondence from someone purporting to be from the Bank of Canada:
For further information, see: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/bank-of-canada-warns-of-email-scams/
Accounts and instruments are transferred to the Bank on the 31 December following the 10th anniversary of inactivity. Until the account is transferred to the Bank of Canada, it remains with the institution where the account originated.
For example, an account that was inactive for 10 years on 23 February 2012 would be transferred to the Bank of Canada on 31 December 2012. In this example, the institution where the account originated remains responsible for returning the funds to the rightful owner during the 2012 calendar year. (In practice, however, the transition process can start as early as October of the 10th year and accounts may become unavailable for the few weeks it takes for the transfer to be completed.)
If your bank branch cannot help you in accessing your account, contact the financial institution’s head office.
The Bank of Canada maintains custody of all balances of $1,000 or more for 100 years at the Bank of Canada after the 10-year inactivity period at the original bank. Unclaimed balances under $1,000 are retained for thirty years after the 10-year period. Balances must be claimed before the period in Bank of Canada custody ends.
If the balance remains unclaimed until the end of the prescribed custody period, the Bank of Canada transfers the funds to the Receiver General for Canada.
The Bank of Canada makes information available to the public without charge:
A request for a search must include the full name of the individual, the addresses for past residences, and the year of death if the individual is deceased.
The full list of unclaimed balances may also be purchased on a CD-ROM (raw data only) for $72 plus GST and PST plus $3 for shipping. Send your request and money order or certified cheque to the Bank of Canada at the above address.
The Bank of Canada pays 1.5% on balances that were held in savings accounts for the first 10 years of custody. All other accounts and instruments receive no interest.