Some people in Manitoba may be wealthier than they think because of unclaimed money in forgotten bank accounts.

Banks, credit unions and trust companies currently report they have about $32 million worth of dormant accounts on their books.

That money will eventually be sent to the Bank of Canada for safekeeping.

Last year, 7,000 Canadians reclaimed $10 million from the Bank of Canada's $300-million stash of unpaid balances.

According to the Bank of Canada's website, many Manitoba residents have moneythat hasn't beenclaimed.

Some examples found by CBC News: John Friesen has $2,092, Carrie Newton has $1,392 and Bill Calder has $3,663.

There are also 76 Michaels, 153 Johns and 79 Marys from Manitoba in the Bank of Canada database of unclaimed balances.

For at least 10 years, no one has touched the money, which includes deposit accounts, bank drafts, certified cheques, deposit receipts, money orders, GICs, term deposits, credit card balances and traveller's cheques.

"I guess people forget that they have accounts," said Bank of Canada spokeswoman Michelle Witkowski.

"Maybe there's been some changes in their life. Maybe there's been a divorce or a death."

Finding out about an account in a person's name is simple, thanks to a search engine on the Bank of Canada website, Witkowski said.

If people can show that money belongs to them, or that they are heirs to account holders, the bank will hand the funds over.

The Bank of Canada keeps balances of $1,000 or more indefinitely, until they are claimed.

Unclaimed balances under $1,000 are retained for10 years after the last transaction at the financial institution, thenan additional 30 years at the Bank of Canada.

The oldest unclaimed balance dates back to 1900.