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Comments invited on new Unclaimed Property Program

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Stakeholders are encouraged to provide input on a new program intended to help connect New Brunswickers with their lost or forgotten financial property.

Under legislation passed earlier this year, New Brunswick businesses and government entities holding lost or forgotten financial property will be required to attempt to locate the owners and, if unsuccessful, to report and remit the financial property to the Unclaimed Property Program.

The Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB), which will administer the program, is seeking comments on the proposed rules for the program. The rules and the process for providing comments were posted online today for a 60-day comment period.

“The property in the program will include things such as security deposits, uncashed cheques, investments, or deposits in a credit union, to name a few examples,” said Andrew Nicholson, FCNB's Director of Unclaimed Property.

“This program will impact many provincial and national businesses and other entities which are holding financial property of New Brunswickers,” said Nicholson. “We want to hear from as many interested stakeholders as possible during this consultation period to ensure we have all perspectives on the program’s operation. This consultation step in the rulemaking process is vital to developing the right program for New Brunswick.”

FCNB estimates that thousands of dollars go unclaimed every year in the province. Under the program, businesses and other entities holding this money will be relieved of the expense and liability of carrying the property on their books and records. Once the program is in place, owners will be able to use a free online tool to search for and claim their property. 

The comment period will close on Nov. 23.

The Financial and Consumer Services Commission has the mandate to protect consumers and enhance public confidence in the financial and consumer marketplace through the provision of regulatory and educational services. It is responsible for the administration and enforcement of provincial legislation regulating mortgage brokers, payday lenders, real estate, securities, insurance, pensions, credit unions, trust and loan companies, co-operatives, and a wide range of other consumer legislation. It is an independent Crown corporation funded by the regulatory fees and assessments paid by the regulated sectors. Educational tools and resources are available online.