Abandoned Property - Safe Deposit Boxes

What You Should Know About Abandoned Property - Safe Deposit Boxes

  1. What is a Financial Institution?

For purposes of abandoned property, financial institution means any institution that is licensed under the Banking Act.

 

  1. When are the contents of a safe deposit box are considered abandoned property?

The contents of a safe deposit box at a financial institution are considered abandoned when:

  1. The lease or rental has expired; and
  2. Five (5) years have elapsed since the expiration of the lease or rental.

 

  1. What happens to the contents of a safe deposit box which are considered abandoned?

Within thirty (30) days of the end of financial institution’s financial year, the financial institution will publish the owner’s name and particulars of the contents of a safe deposit box considered abandoned 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 notice is published and mailed, and within ninety (90) days of the end of the financial institution’s financial year, the financial institution will submit a report on and deliver the contents of the safe deposit box to the Minister of Finance of the country where the safe deposit box was held. For example, if you have a safe deposit box in Anguilla, the contents will be delivered to the Minister of Finance of Anguilla.

 

  1. How do I determine if I have abandoned items in a safe deposit box?

The list of abandoned items in a safe deposit box held by a financial institution will be published in the Gazette, a newspaper and on the financial institution’s website before the contents are delivered to the Minister of Finance.  The publication will include the name of the owner and particulars of the safe deposit box. Additionally, a notice will be mailed to the owner at his/her last known address.

 

  1. Who should I contact if I determine that I have abandoned items in a safe deposit box?

You will have to contact the financial institution where the safe deposit box was held.

 

  1. Can I make a claim through the ECCB for abandoned items in a safe deposit box?

Unfortunately no.  You can make a claim to the Minister of Finance in the country where the safe deposit box was held.

 

  1. How do I claim the contents of abandoned items in a safe deposit box?

The Minister of Finance will provide you with the requirements to make a claim.

 

  1. How long will I have to make a claim for abandoned items in a safe deposit box?

You have sixty (60) days from the date of publication of the abandoned items or the mailing of the notice to you, whichever is later, to make a claim.  After sixty (60) days, the Minister of Finance has the authority to sell the contents of the safe deposit box by public auction.

 

  1. What happens to the proceeds from the sale of the abandoned items in a safe deposit box?

The Minister for Finance will deposit the proceeds less all reasonable costs incurred by the sale, mailing of notices and services procured for payment of any claims into an Abandoned Property Fund.

 

  1. Can I make a claim for the proceeds of the sale of abandoned items in a safe deposit box?

Yes. You can make a claim to the Minister of Finance. The proceeds will be paid less any reasonable costs incurred by the sale, mailing of notices and services procured for claim payments.

 

  1. How long do I have to make a claim for the proceeds of the sale of abandoned items in a safe deposit box?

You have ten (10) years after the sale to make a claim.

 

  1. What happens after the ten (10) year period for making a claim for the proceeds expires?

After ten (10) years the proceeds are transferred to the Government of the country where the safe deposit box was held.  For example, if you had a safe deposit box in Montserrat, the funds will be transferred to the Government of Montserrat.

 

  1. Can I make a claim for proceeds transferred to the Government?

No. You cannot make a claim after the expiration of ten (10) years from the sale of the abandoned items.

 

  1. Can I claim the proceeds from the sale of abandoned items of my deceased relative?

 You may be able to claim the proceeds of the sale of abandoned items of your deceased relative. The Minister of Finance will provide you with the requirements to make a claim.

 

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