Canada launches a 50 Year Bond. Really ?

canada-savings-bonds

Allow me to comment on the idea and now the reality of the Bank of Canada issuing 50 year bonds

On April 28th, Finance Minister Joe Oliver announced that the Government of Canada had indeed successfully issued $1.5 Billion in 50 year bonds maturing December 1 2064 at 2.96%.  He summarized as follows:

“In the current environment, it is both advantageous and prudent for our Government to lock in additional long-term funding. This 50-year bond will help us meet our goal of raising stable and low-cost funding to meet Canada’s financial needs and best serve taxpayers.”

I get that. It’s cheap debt for 50 years.

However, as the obsessed Unclaimed Intangible Property Legislation Advocate that I am for Canada…I’m obviously worried about how many Canadians will lose track of this 50 year bond. While I have not yet been able to pry the list of Unclaimed/Matured Canada Savings Bonds from the Government to calculate the average time it has taken to lose a Canada Savings Bond it’s a lot less than 50 years…

The value of Unclaimed/matured Canada Savings Bonds already exceeds $420 Million 

So, how many of these 50 year bonds will be forgotten by December 2064 (more) ?

Sad but true. Sorry I’m sarcastic but advocating for Unclaimed Intangible Property Legislation across the Land is exhausting work, It should not be so difficult to bring some awareness and concern to this issue given:

  1.  The estimated value of Unclaimed Financial Assets in Canada is somewhere between $4-6 Billion already
  2. The rate of increase for financial assets is already alarming. Unclaimed bank accounts increased by $181 Million (52% ) on a net basis over the past 5 years. Unclaimed Canada Savings Bonds increased by $161 Million (37% annualized ) over the past 20 months.
  3. For a multitude of reasons the rate of increase in financial assets becoming unclaimed will only increase without legislation and a solution in place (we’re working on both)
  4. Canada is so far behind in putting into place, Consumer Protection legislation to safeguard lost financial assets for Canadians and their families. It’s tragic and sad. The US has had comprehensive legislation in place for 50+ years. Legislation exists in most Countries including the UK,  Australia, New Zealand, Kenya etc.

For information about how to change the ownership of a bond, or the address of a bond holder or what to do about a lost, stolen or destroyed Bond please refer to the Bank of Canada website here   The rules, regulations and process is a bit overwhelming. Unfortunately, unlike the US and unlike the case of the $532 Million in unclaimed bank accounts relating to CDN $ accounts once held at a Federally Chartered Bank, there is no database of Unclaimed/Matured Canada Savings Bonds available to search.

You need to call to make an inquiry so please do, because I know for a fact, unfortunately that they are not looking for you.