What You Should Know About Abandoned Property - Balances
- What is a Financial Institution?
For purposes of abandoned property, financial institution means any institution that is licensed under the Banking Act.
- What are abandoned property balances?
The items outlined below which are held or owing by a financial institution shall be presumed to be abandoned if the owner within fifteen (15) years of the date of the deposit, payment of funds or issuance of the instrument, has not increased or decreased the amount or corresponded in writing with the financial institution:
- General deposit (demand, savings or matured time deposit), and
- Funds prepaid on credit cards and other electronic funds made in [Territory] with a financial institution,
- Interest on the balances in items 1 and 2 above, but excluding any lawful charges;
- Funds paid in [Territory] toward the purchase of shares or other interests in a financial institution together with any interest or dividend, but excluding any lawful charges;
- Any sum payable on cheques certified in [Territory] or on written instruments issued in [Territory] on which a financial institution is directly liable.
- What happens to abandoned property balances?
Within thirty (30) days of the end of a financial institution’s financial year, the financial institution will publish the owner’s name and particulars of the balances in the Gazette, a newspaper, and on its website. Additionally, a notice will be mailed to the owner at his/her last known address. After the notices are published and mailed, and within ninety (90) days of the end of the financial institution’s financial year, the financial institution will transfer the balances to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).
- How do I determine if I have abandoned property balances?
A list of owners of the balances transferred to the ECCB is available on the ECCB’s website at:
- Who do I contact to claim my balances?
You will need to contact the financial institution where the balances were held even if they were transferred to the ECCB.
- Can I make a claim through the ECCB?
Unfortunately no. You will need to make a claim to the financial institution where the balances were held. If the claim is legitimate, the financial institution will make a claim to the ECCB, and you will be paid through the financial institution.
- What is necessary to make a claim?
The financial institution where the balances were held will provide you with the requirements to make a claim.
- Is there an expiration period for making a claim?
Yes. You have fifteen (15) years after the balances are transferred to the ECCB to make a claim.
- What happens after the fifteen (15) year period for claims expire?
The balances will be transferred to the Government of the country where they were held. For example, if you have an account in Grenada, the balances will be transferred to the Government of Grenada.
- Is there a process to claim balances transferred to the Government?
No. You cannot make a claim for the balances which have been transferred to the Government after thirty (30) years. (This thirty (30) year period is cumulative of the fifteen (15) years the balances were held by the financial institution and the fifteen (15) years held by the ECCB).
- Can I claim my deceased relative’s balances?
You may be able to claim your deceased relative’s balances. The financial institution where the deceased relative’s balances were held will provide you with the requirements to make a claim.