Each year, the Government publishes information on unclaimed balances in financial institutions for people to come forward to retrieve these sums.
Sums that remain unclaimed after such publication are turned over to the Government.
According to the Banking Services Act, 2015, unclaimed balances refer to monies that remain dormant in the possession or control of a banking institution for a period of 15 years or more.
While the law stipulates that for the purposes of publication, the money should be unclaimed for a period of 15 or more years, banking institutions determine when to classify an account as dormant.
The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, according to the Act, is responsible for making arrangements with at least one newspaper and the Jamaica Printing Services to ensure that the unclaimed balances are published at least twice yearly, fiscal or calendar.
Persons can claim these balances if a one-year period has not elapsed, by providing satisfactory proof to the banking institution of ownership of the accounts, or, failing that, to the courts.
However, if the monies remain unclaimed after one year of publication in the newspaper and on the Ministry’s website, www.mof.gov.jm , it will become part of the revenue of Jamaica and remitted to the Accountant General.
At that point, persons must establish proof, satisfactory to the Accountant General, before 15 years of the funds becoming a part of the revenue of Jamaica.