Personal Finance

$20K in BMO account disappeared

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 17th, 2021 9:41 am
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 27, 2004
163 posts
18 upvotes
Vancouver

$20K in BMO account disappeared

My wife and I have a joint account with BMO. Both of our names are on the statements however we have separate access cards/passwords. We have our investment accounts at TD Waterhouse. I initiated 2 transfers via bill payment on Jan 26th, 1 for $2500 to our daughter's RESP under my TDW account and another for $19,998.88 to max out my wife's TFSA account.

The transfer to my RESP account went through just fine in 2 business days, however after 5 days the transfer still have not reached my wife's TFSA account. So we called BMO on Feb 1 and they said they will launch an investigation which can take anywhere from 10-15 business days. We called TDW ourselves and they said the transfer was blocked because I sent the $20k from my BMO access card login, to my wife's TFSA.(i was under the impression that because it's a joint account that it would be fine since our names are on the account).

So it is now Feb 16th and after multiple phone calls to BMO's support line, they said their investigation department are waiting on a response from TD via a fax or something??? We've already asked to have this issue rushed and escalated. Needless to say, this has caused a lot of stress because this is a large amount. They said to wait until Feb 19 because that will be the 14th business day and if we still have not gotten an update then to call back on Feb 22 Monday.

This is very baffling to me. I mean there should be a paper trail and the money cannot just vanish into thin air right?? Does anybody have any suggestions or options ? If you work for BMO, and reading this. HELP!!!!
12 replies
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Feb 8, 2014
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It should theoretically not be a problem, you sent money from the bank and there is no scammer or foreign entity/recipient at work here.
That said 20K is a lot of cash so you are understandably worried. If it was $50 you would just be annoyed.

Its easy to say just wait it out but i don't know what other options you have?
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Deal Addict
Oct 13, 2006
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Burnaby
The other obvious thing to check is to confirm which im sure you've already done that you selected the correct accounts to transfer to and not to a different account or heaven forbid a bill payee. But it sounds like TD confirmed the transaction was rejected, if BMO told you it takes 10-15 business days its probably true, unfortunately delays can be lengthy with rejected EFT (fraud, theft etc.) and they dont have much motivation to complete any faster since the transfer was between different institutions.
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Aug 22, 2011
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What type of "transfer" from one institution to the other?
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
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vkizzle wrote: What type of "transfer" from one institution to the other?
OP said bill pay.

TD's reason for rejection baffles me.

My wife and I opened cash accounts with TDDI. I use Tangerine bill pay to move money to the cash account, and from there transfer to RRSP, TFSA, or RESP. That might help prevent this in the future, because you'll no longer be moving money directly from an account in your name to a registered account in hers.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 5, 2006
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Dynatos wrote: OP said bill pay.

TD's reason for rejection baffles me.

My wife and I opened cash accounts with TDDI. I use Tangerine bill pay to move money to the cash account, and from there transfer to RRSP, TFSA, or RESP. That might help prevent this in the future, because you'll no longer be moving money directly from an account in your name to a registered account in hers.
Is it because when OP log in and transfer money, technically it's his account which is why TD declined ?
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Oct 24, 2010
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smartie wrote: Is it because when OP log in and transfer money, technically it's his account which is why TD declined ?
It sounds like that's TDDI's reasoning, yes.

I bill pay from a joint Tangerine checking account, using my login, to my wife's TDDI account all the time. The noteworthy difference is that, in my case, the TDDI account is an unregistered cash account, not a TFSA.

I only ever transfer between institutions to a single unregistered account (well, two accounts - one for me, one for my wife). Once the money is with TDDI, I can make decisions as to which registered account to move the money. I do it this way so prevent human error, both on my part and the part of the banks. It's also the easiest way to properly ensure that the money I move into my wife's Spousal RRSP is properly attributed to the contributor (me) and not the annuitant (her).
Member
Nov 10, 2019
217 posts
156 upvotes
This takes awhile but your money is not disappear. I had the same issue with tangerine to RBC and it took 2 months to finally show up. Tangerine admitted they received the file but no one was working.

Just keep contacting BMO, they want your money as a client so they should be getting on this and consulting with TD.

Maybe next time don't do this yourself. If you have a financial advisor at BMO, have them initiate such a large sum
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Dec 3, 2004
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greenbox wrote: My wife and I have a joint account with BMO. Both of our names are on the statements however we have separate access cards/passwords. We have our investment accounts at TD Waterhouse. I initiated 2 transfers via bill payment on Jan 26th, 1 for $2500 to our daughter's RESP under my TDW account and another for $19,998.88 to max out my wife's TFSA account.

The transfer to my RESP account went through just fine in 2 business days, however after 5 days the transfer still have not reached my wife's TFSA account. So we called BMO on Feb 1 and they said they will launch an investigation which can take anywhere from 10-15 business days. We called TDW ourselves and they said the transfer was blocked because I sent the $20k from my BMO access card login, to my wife's TFSA.(i was under the impression that because it's a joint account that it would be fine since our names are on the account).

So it is now Feb 16th and after multiple phone calls to BMO's support line, they said their investigation department are waiting on a response from TD via a fax or something??? We've already asked to have this issue rushed and escalated. Needless to say, this has caused a lot of stress because this is a large amount. They said to wait until Feb 19 because that will be the 14th business day and if we still have not gotten an update then to call back on Feb 22 Monday.

This is very baffling to me. I mean there should be a paper trail and the money cannot just vanish into thin air right?? Does anybody have any suggestions or options ? If you work for BMO, and reading this. HELP!!!!
This has happened to me twice. TD does not let you add money to any account via bill payment unless you are the main person on the account. I guess joint accounts have issues.

It is my experience it takes exactly 5 BUSINESS DAYS from the time they rejected it for it to appear in your account. 3 weeks is definitely a long time.

Don't worry, it will get figured out. As long as TD has record of if they will fix it. It sounds like the problem might be on BMO's end. TD probably rejected the transfer and BMO hasn't put he funds back in your account yet.

One more reason not to deal with BMO... they really suck.
Deal Expert
May 30, 2005
44987 posts
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Richmond Hill
I believe this is common practice across all FI's for registered accounts - the money must come directly from the person listed on the registered account holder's name.

When I dealt with Questrade, I was told they could reverse the transaction but there would be considerable time to process it (I might've been told but I forgot). I took the alternative of redirecting it to an account matching the originator's name at Questrade and that was processed within a few hours. Given that OP's originating account is joint, OP probably does not have that option unfortunately. I would suggest calling TD and asking them to reverse the transaction.
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Apr 5, 2013
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TD only lets me 5k per pay bill pay
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Jan 21, 2018
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Dynatos wrote: TD's reason for rejection baffles me.
The bank considers a joint account to have a completely different account holder than either of the individuals. That is, person A and person B can have separate accounts at the bank, but if they have a joint account in the name of A+B, that's a different account holder. You will get a separate T5 for that joint account, even if the first-listed account holder is A, and A already gets a T5 from the bank for their own separate account.

I don't think there is any federal regulation saying that a contribution to a TFSA can't come from anywhere, including cash. The issue is that Canadian banks don't provide the mechanism to transfer from one account holder to another when one of the accounts is a TFSA.
Last edited by Scote64 on Feb 17th, 2021 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Oct 24, 2010
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Scote64 wrote: The bank considers a joint account to have a completely different account holder than either of the individuals. That is, person A and person B can have separate accounts at the bank, but if they have a joint account in the name of A+B, that's a different account holder. You will get a separate T5 for that joint account, even if the first-listed account holder is A, and A already gets a T5 from the bank for their own separate account.

There is no federal regulation saying that a contribution to a TFSA can't come from anywhere, including cash. The issue is that Canadian banks don't provide the mechanism to transfer from one account holder to another when one of the accounts is a TFSA.
Solid explanation, thanks.

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