More than BDS$2.5 million in a local commercial bank belonging to individuals across Barbados is considered “abandoned” and is therefore at risk of being passed on to the Central Bank if not claimed within the prescribed timeframe.
In a notice in another section of the press on Thursday, Scotiabank (Barbados) Limited indicated that as of October 31, 2021, the sums identified were “abandoned property”.
Scotiabank advised: “Pursuant to section 87 (1) of the Financial Institutions Act, the sums in the accounts held in the names of the persons listed below shall be remitted to the Central Bank of Barbados unless the accountholders or their legal representatives submit a claim to any branch of the bank within three months of the date hereof.”
The sums listed in the more than 330 retail accounts, which identify the individuals by name, address and account number, range from as little as $0.69 in one account to as much as $294,809.84 in another.
According to section 87 (1) of the Financial Institutions Act, “Property of any kind held by or owing in the course of its business by a licensee in respect of which no activity has been evidenced for a period of 10 years is abandoned property.”
The act makes provision for the financial institutions to “dispose” of the funds, with section 88 (3) indicating that the financial institution shall “Deposit with or convey to the Central Bank, in the prescribed manner, all abandoned property which remains unclaimed after the expiration of 90 days from the date of publication in the newspaper of the notice referred to; and together with the abandoned property, submit a list of the owners and particulars concerning the abandoned property to the Central Bank.”
According to the Act, when the licensee has deposited with or conveyed to the Central Bank any abandoned property, “the licensee is relieved from any liability to the beneficial owner thereof to the extent of the value of the property deposited or conveyed to the Central Bank; and interest shall cease to accrue in respect of that abandoned property.”
The latest Central Bank report, which looks at the period January to September, noted that deposits grew by 4.8 per cent during that period on account of higher domestic and foreign currency deposits.
It noted “The main driver for domestic deposits was the household sector, which accounted for 48.1 per cent of the domestic currency growth. Foreign currency accounts, which represented approximately 6.7 per cent of total deposits, were mainly driven by the business and financial sectors.”
Barbadians are said to have close to $13 billion in domestic currency in deposits. (MM)