Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Timmins people forget about money in the bank

Every now and then it’s a treat to find loonies or twoonies you didn’t expect. Pull out a jacket that has been in the closet since last fall, and you might find a ten or twenty dollar bill you forgot about.
It’s even more of a treat if you’re one of the thousands of Canadians who have forgotten about money sitting in an old bank account.
Internet users can find out easily thanks to a Bank of Canada (BoC) website that lists hundreds of thousands of balances left sitting in old bank accounts.
The BoC website describes it as “a Canadian-dollar deposit or negotiable instrument, issued or held by a federally regulated bank or trust company. It can be in the form of a deposit account, bank draft, certified cheque, deposit receipt, money order, GIC, term deposit, credit card balance, or traveller's cheque.”
“When there has been no owner activity in relation to the balance for a period of 10 years, and the owner cannot be contacted by the institution holding it, the balance is turned over to the Bank of Canada, which acts as custodian on behalf of the owner.”
A search of the word “Timmins” turned up more than 20 entries. Travel Hos Timmins, which despite the unusual spelling, may refer to the old Travel Host Hotel, has an unclaimed balance of $853.09. The account has not been touched since 1978.
Timmins Furniture Market, address unknown, has a balance of $1,179.38 listed at the ScotiaBank on Pine South. The Timmins Sexual Assault Centre of a balance of $4.68. Timmins Motorama has an unclaimed balance of $36.95 at the downtown CIBC.
The Timmins Lodge No. 459 of the IOOF has a balance of $737.50, that hasn’t been touched in 12 years.
South Porcupine Kinsmen have $472.11 in an account that hasn’t been touched in 10 years.
At the end of December 2007, approximately 938,000 unclaimed balances, worth some $320 million, were on the Bank's books. Over 86% of these were under $500, representing 19% of the total value outstanding. The oldest balance dates back to 1900. Money is often left when people change banks, move to a new address or change jobs.
To find out if your name is listed, log on to the Bank of Canada website at http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca.
Click on “services” and then click on “unclaimed balances”.
Enter your last name and see what you might have. There are also instructions on how to recover any money in your name.

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