1. Why does the personal information of individuals appear on UnclaimedBalances.ca?

The Privacy Act permits the disclosure of personal information when an Act of Parliament so authorizes.
Up until the end of 2007 the Bank Act authorized the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions to publish (in the Canada Gazette, available at most libraries) information about all unclaimed balances, once they have been inactive for nine years. This information includes the creditor's name, last known address, and balance amount. The purpose is to help people locate balances that may be owed them.

If still unclaimed by the end of the tenth year, these balances are then given to the custody of the Bank of Canada, which in turn assumes responsibility for publishing the above information.

2.  What unclaimed balances does UnclaimedBalances.ca have access to?

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.

3.  How does the claim process work?
When you identify an unclaimed balance which you believe you are probably entitled to, you will have to complete the claim form which you will obtain from this site. Follow the instructions carefully, obtain the necessary signatures, and return it to the address shown. Be sure to attach all requested documentation to support your claim to ownership.

When we receive your completed claim form, we review it carefully and compare it with information on file. We will contact you if we need additional information. Once we receive all required documentation and have established ownership, we will pay the claim.

4.  How long will it take to process my claim?
We generally process and pay claims within 30 to 60 days from receipt of a claim. Some claims involving estates may take longer.

5.  Is there a fee for checking to see if I have any unclaimed funds?
No. The Bank of Canada does not charge a fee for searching its records.

6.  How much money is held at the Bank of Canada as unclaimed balances?
At the end of December 2015, approximately 1.7 million unclaimed balances, worth some $626 million, were on the Bank's books. Over 93 per cent of unclaimed balances were under $1,000, representing 27 per cent of the total value outstanding. In 2015, the Bank paid out $10 million to balance holders. The oldest balance dates back to 1900.

7. How are the checkout fees calculated?
Administration Fees are $19.99 on balances which is guaranteed funds, when the total amount is "undisclosed" although there is a guaranteed balance, there will be a low flat rate administration fee of $1.99.