Ontario woman finds $25,000 GIC investment from almost 30 years ago

Mary Doria was recently cleaning her family’s Scarborough, Ont. home office when she discovered a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC), in the amount of $25,000.

Doria had purchased the GIC from Scotiabank in 1993, 29 years ago.

“I thought this is truly amazing, if this money is really there then it would be truly great,” said Doria.

Doria said she had forgotten about purchasing the GIC because she lives with her parents, and never needed the money.

A GIC is considered one of the safest investments, as it’s similar to a savings account that allows you to earn interest annually until it’s cashed in.

Doria admits she is not sure if she ever cashed in the $25,000 investment, so she contacted Scotiabank to find out.

Scotiabank told her, however, that because almost three decades have passed, they cannot provide paperwork to show what happened to the money.

Doria said she feels the bank should have to provide some kind of proof as to exactly what happened to the funds, including whether it was cashed in or not.

“There is no way of telling. I’m sure they would have put cashed or redeemed on it (the GIC) or something like that if it had been cashed in,” said Doria.

Doria also said it states on her certificate that if the GIC is not cashed in, the principal and interest should be reinvested.

While Doria admits there is a chance that $25,000 GIC was cashed in, she is concerned the bank can’t give her a definitive answer or provide documents showing what happened to the money.

“They are saying the microfiche with all the records from 1993 [is] all gone. They have nothing to show saying it’s too old,” said Doria.

CTV News did a similar story in 2018 when Kim Ping Cheah found a 20-year-old GIC from Scotiabank for more than $12,000 USD. At the time, Cheah felt she had not cashed in her investment.

“They have no evidence that I redeemed it. Where has the money gone,” said Ping Cheah.

In 2018, CTV News published another story with Murad Dharani who said he had found $39,500 in GICs, some of them also with Scotiabank, which he also felt had not been cashed in.

“I was told it’s been so long you must have used the money, and I said ‘No, I would know,’” said Dharani.

A spokesperson for Scotiabank told CTV News Toronto could not provide comment regarding Doria’s situation.

“Scotiabank cannot comment on any individual customer matters for privacy reasons, but we can confirm that non-negotiable term GICs, such as the one in question, are paid directly to the customer at the time of maturity,” the spokesperson said.

At the time a GIC matured, Scotiabank says it could have also been automatically deposited into a customer’s account.

If a bank has money from an unclaimed account after 10 years, the money is supposed to be sent to Bank of Canada’s unclaimed balances section

Doria’s funds were not there, yet she still feels a bank should have to have some type of record of such a large investment.

“I just want some answers from the bank. What happened? Where did the money go?” said Doria.

It’s important to stay on top of your finances because banks in Canada only have to keep financial records for seven years.

If someone did invest $25,000 at 5.5 per cent annually over 29 years, it would be worth $118,103.  

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