A total of $869.50 from six bank accounts in the Burns Lake region was transferred to the Bank of Canada after the accounts became inactive, according to a search of the bank’s Unclaimed Balances Portal. (Lakes District News file photo)

Inactive local bank accounts worth almost $900

Almost $900 from several inactive bank accounts in the Burns Lake region is sitting unclaimed with the central Bank of Canada.

A total of $869.50 was moved to the Bank of Canada after it was untouched across six accounts for several years, according to a search of the bank’s Unclaimed Balances Portal.

That happens when an account has been inactive for 10 years and the owner can’t be contacted. Then, once a year on December 31 the unclaimed balances are transferred to the Bank of Canada, which holds the money with the possibility it might be claimed someday.

The highest amount of the six – $268 – came from an account of the Granisle Playschool, which last used its Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) account in Burns Lake on July 7, 1992.

That branch transferred the money of the seemingly shuttered daycare to the Bank of Canada on Dec. 31, 2002.

Two accounts are from First Nations.

The Lake Babine Land Claims account was last used on April 14, 1989 and its Burns Lake Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) branch transferred $135.94 to the Bank of Canada on Dec. 31, 1999.

That land claims office has since closed down.

An RBC account of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation was last used on Dec. 5, 1995 and on Dec. 31, 2005 its $207.70 was moved to the Bank of Canada.

The former Endako Hotel, which used to be in the building of the now-shuttered Endako Bar and Grill on Highway 16, last used its Bank of Montreal account on July 2, 1992. More than 20 years later, $210.23 was transferred to the Bank of Canada.

Two other accounts, one of “Burns Lake Parks Boa Rd” and one of the Topley Baseball Club were last used in the early 1990s and had $47 between them.

The unclaimed dollar values from this region are relatively small, but on a national level they’re huge.

At the end of 2018, the central bank had $816 million across 2 million unclaimed balances sitting in its coffers, the Bank of Canada said on its website. Before years end it paid out $11 million to balance holders.

More than 93 per cent of the balances were worth less than $1,000.

Balances under $1,000 are held for 30 years. Balances of more than $1,000 are held for 100 years. After those periods pass the balances are transferred to the Receiver General for Canada and from there to the Consolidated Revenue Fund through the Department of Finance as a bulk amount.

“These funds are used in the disbursement of all Government of Canada expenditures, investments and transfers,” said a Receiver General spokesperson.

The oldest balance is from 1900.

The 100-year limit for balances higher than $1,000 hasn’t been reached yet because the first unclaimed amounts began to be sent to the Bank of Canada on Dec. 31, 1944, bank spokesperson Rebecca Spence told Lakes District News.

Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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