Beginning January 1, 2023, businesses and other organizations holding unclaimed funds must now report and deliver these funds to New Brunswick’s Unclaimed Property Program.
They have until March 31 to report and remit to the program, administered by the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB), through FundsFinderNB.ca.
“For holders of unclaimed monetary property, the first reporting period marks a positive milestone,” said Erin Toole, director of unclaimed property at FCNB. “Reporting and delivering to the program removes the burden of carrying this money on their books.”
Since the Unclaimed Property Act came into force just over a year ago, FCNB has been informing New Brunswick businesses about their responsibilities under the Act. Holders of unclaimed property – like businesses, associations and government organizations – were required over the past year to review their books for unclaimed property and attempt to locate owners to return the money or re-establish an active relationship with them.
“Businesses can work with their lawyers and accountants to better understand what they are looking for when searching their books,” said Toole. “FCNB also offers resources to help holders understand their responsibilities and what to do if they find unclaimed funds.”
In the meantime, New Brunswickers who receive written notice from a business – either by email or letter – should contact the business to claim the money or re-establish contact. If the apparent owner fails to contact the business by a specific date, as set out in the written notice, the property will be delivered to FCNB’s Unclaimed Property Program.
When the program is fully in place, New Brunswickers will be able to search FundsFinderNB.ca for free to see if they have any forgotten monetary property.
“Before we can get this money back to its rightful owners, we need the holders to report and remit,” said Toole.
FundsFinderNB.ca offers three different electronic reporting methods for holders depending on how many separate pieces of property they need to report. Holders are encouraged to review the reporting methods to determine which one best suits their needs. FCNB can offer support to those who are unsure which option would be best for them.
Holders can visit FundsFinderNB.ca for FAQs and resources including step-by-step guides, manuals and templates built to walk them through the process of reporting. For more information about the Unclaimed Property Program, visit FCNB.ca.
Audio files of Erin Toole, director of unclaimed property at FCNB
FCNB has the mandate to provide regulatory services that protect the public interest, enhance public confidence and promote understanding of the regulated sectors through educational programs. 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, cooperatives, 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. Online educational tools and resources are available at www.fcnb.ca.