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How to Claim Funds in a Dormant Bank Account

The other day I read a strange story in a local newspaper here in Barbados. One of the local commercial banks, CIBC First Caribbean published a list of dormant bank accounts with accumulated savings of over BDS $830,000 (USD $415,000). I’ve seen these type of lists before and they can easily take up a couple pages of a newspaper. The article reported that this  massive list took up a whopping 29 pages!

But have you ever forgotten money in a bank account? It sounds strange, doesn’t it? I mean, to actually forget that you had money on an old bank account somewhere just seems unfathomable. You just put it there and forgot it. It somehow slipped your mind. Maybe if it was a small amount like $20 or $5 I could probably understand. But what about a whopping $5,000? Could you forget that?

It seems as though the list has a mixture of individuals, businesses, churches, organisations and other groups. I can definitely understand some accounts going dormant in some cases – deceased account holders, businesses that folded or groups that disbanded.

If you are one of those persons whose name is listed as having a dormant bank account, call the bank and find out  what their procedures are for claiming the funds. From a bit of research, it seems as though many financial institutions usually require the following information:

  1. Valid identification –  This could be an identification card or passport
  2. Account documents – When you opened the account, you would have been given specific documents relating to the account
  3. Proof of address – This should match the address listed on the account. Even if you are no longer at that address, you should have a document which proves that you once resided at the address listed
  4. An original bank book or bank statement

If the funds listed by CIBC First Caribbean are not claimed by March 2012, they will be handed over to the Central Bank of Barbados.

Have you ever forgotten money in a bank account?