Before you roll your eyes again at the thought of another Economic Action Plan Commercial please bear with me as this is just a (repeated) Request for another Economic Action Plan that all Canadians really should care about.
Economic Action Plans in Canada were implemented first during the global recession in 2009. The intent was to spur Economic growth & to support families and communities. So in that way, certainly the Economic Action Plan I have in mind would do just that in a BIG & meaningful way. However, unlike the typical Economic Action Plan that we are familiar with, this one should cost millions less but generate more than a billion of economic action as it’s all about ensuring that each Province and Territory across Canada put into place comprehensive & consistent Unclaimed Intangible Property Legislation.
Let’s connect (reunite) Canadians with the hard-earned/unclaimed (often tax paid) financial assets that they are legally entitled to. Most of Canada is so far behind in putting into place such legislation that it makes it difficult to pinpoint the actual value of Unclaimed Financial assets currently. But those of us who talk about this matter (and there’s only a few of us) estimate that there’s $5-6 Billion or so that all Governments across Canada (outside of Alberta & Quebec) are failing to gather up, safeguard and share information on for the benefit of the majority of our population.
Yes. It’s a lot of money. The Bank of Canada alone has on deposit approximately $1 Billion in the form of Unclaimed Canadian $ Bank accounts (from federally chartered bank accounts only) and Unclaimed/Matured Canada Savings Bonds. Check out our Fast Fact sheet on Unclaimed Financial Assets for some of the info that we have gathered on this journey.
Let’s face it.
Nobody sets out to lose their financial assets on purpose & people generally work hard for their money. but, as we know far too well, people can become incapacitated or die quite suddenly or forget or move or not have the financial literacy skills required to ensure that their money is properly safeguarded for their own use or for their heirs down the road. That’s why most of the Western World like the US considers Unclaimed Property Legislation to be an important part of Consumer Protection Legislation. The US has had such legislation in place for more than 50 years & currently holds approximately $58 Billion in unclaimed assets. Yes. $58 Billion. The difference is that a lot of this $58 Billion in the United States can be found on individual State websites. State Treasuries proactively look for the legal owners of those funds. Given that the problem of Financial assets is growing at an alarming rate it’s time (overdue) Canada and the provinces all got on board.
There’s lot of info on this blog about the need for Unclaimed Property Legislation. We’re pretty
obsessive passionate about this problem, so you can find out more information about Unclaimed Funds by reading some of our prior posts. This one provides information on the status of Unclaimed Property legislation across Canada; What’s Up with Unclaimed Property (UP) in Canada?
Unclaimed financial assets come in various forms:
- Bank accounts/Credit Union accounts
- Over payments made to businesses or deposits such as Utilities
- Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends
- Funds reserved (undeposited) certified cheques, drafts or money orders
- GICs or Certificates of deposit
- Insurance policy proceeds, Insurance refunds and amounts payable resulting from Demutalizations of mutual insurance companies
- Education Savings plans
- Prepaid Funeral deposits
- Tax refunds
- Mineral interests and royalty payments, trust funds, and escrow accounts
- Contents of Safety Deposit Boxes-which may include valuables and sentimental items
- Uncashed payroll cheques
- Unused Gift Card balances
As the fast growing US balance of Unclaimed Financial provides evidence of, legislation alone will not solve the problem of hard-working citizens losing track of their financial assets. We’ve also built a simple, secure solution that helps individuals and families better organize their important information in order to 1) Engage more proactively in financial/estate planning, 2) Enhance their level of emergency preparedness and 3) to help safeguard hard-earned financial assets from being lost or forgotten. We’d love to talk to you about that especially if you are financial services provider who can see the benefit of providing it to your clients and prospects for mutual benefit. A Win/Win.
But we also think that all Canadians deserve to have their financial assets safeguarded by Unclaimed Property Legislation. We think reuniting Canadians (or their heirs) with their own money is the right thing to do. It’s good for everyone including the economy to get this money back to rightful owners and back into circulation. We’d love to know what you think on a very simple poll that follows. And…we wish you and your family a safe and Happy Canada Day. We have much to be thankful for in this great Country.