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How to Reopen a Dormant Bank Account as a Gambian Expat in Canada?

How to Reopen a Dormant Bank Account as a Gambian Expat in Canada?

26 May 2023

What number of bank accounts do you have? 2? 3? 4? How about that one account you opened when you were a college student but haven't bothered to check on lately? Have you had money in or taken money out of that account in the last two years?

And all of a sudden, you need to send money to Gambia from Canada but can't. You can no longer make transactions in that account because it has been marked as dormant. Fortunately for you, restoring these accounts to their active status is quite easy. This article describes dormant accounts in-depth and provides instructions for reactivating them.

What’s a Dormant Bank Account?

Typically, your account will be considered inactive if you haven't made any transactions in it for 12 months. It will go dormant if you don't complete a transaction for an additional year. A savings account is effectively deemed dormant after 24 months of inactivity, during which no legitimate transactions take place.

Both debit and credit transactions that customers or third parties initiate are regarded as valid transactions. Examples include cash withdrawals, check payments, online banking, phone banking, and ATM usage, among others. All dividend payments and EMIs will be regarded as legal transactions. Any interest that has been credited to fixed deposits held with the same bank is also regarded as a legal transaction.

Any bank-initiated transactions are not taken into consideration when figuring out whether your savings account is dormant. These include automatically deducting interest from your savings account balance, applying penalties, or occasionally levying service fees.

Essentially, your account will be flagged as dormant if there aren't any self- or third-party transactions for a string of two years. This rule's primary goal is to lessen the possibility of fraudulent activities in accounts that are effectively ignored savings accounts. 

Let’s look at how you can reactivate your dormant bank account and start using it for your monetary needs.

Restrictions on the Dormant Bank Account 

From bank to bank, the limits will be different. Most banks will place limitations on transactions made through ATMs, the Internet, and telephone banking. Some people will also apply these limitations to transactions involving checks. Others refuse to grant requests for chequebooks, debit cards, or address changes.


You can often anticipate the following limitations for inactive accounts:

  • No new chequebook is issued 
  • No new debit card
  • No access to Internet banking

You can anticipate the following new limitations if it goes dormant:

  • No cash withdrawals at ATMs, bank branches, or phone banking
  • Not renewing debit cards
  • No modification of signatures
  • Unable to update address, email address, or contact information
  • No change to the number of joint holders
  • No transactions. For instance, you'll be unable to make a money transfer to Gambia.

Reactivating a Dormant Account

All you have to do is make a minor transaction using an ATM or check if your account is in the "Inactive" status. This purchase can be made between the 12th and the 24th month of inactivity.

You won't be able to complete any such transaction, though, if your account has already gone dormant. But don't panic; after you reactivate your account, your money will still be accessible to you.

However, most banks will have the following procedures:

Send a Reactivation Application in Writing

You must submit a formal application to reactivate a dormant account.

This application, which should be written to the branch manager of the relevant bank, should include your justification for not transacting. All account holders will need to sign this application if your account is a shared one. 

Provide your KYC Documents.

Your KYC documents must be submitted with your reactivation application. The documents required for KYC will be the same as those required when opening a new account.

You'll need to provide the following things: 

  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Address proof
  • Identity proof
  • PAN card
  • Your old passbook, cheque-book and ATM/Debit card

Before accepting your request for reactivation, the bank may verify your signatures at this point.

Deposit a Modest Amount.

Your bank account should be reactivated within 24 hours after you finish the reactivation process, though it occasionally takes up to a week.

Make a little deposit as soon as your account is reactivated to prevent it from becoming inactive again. Along with your request for reactivation, some banks could also require this deposit.

Keep in mind that you will likely need to go in person to your bank location to reactivate your inactive account. Though it's more of an exception than a rule, some banks do offer online reactivation.

When your bank account is reactivated, you can transfer funds to your loved ones in the Gambia.

ACE Money Transfer is one of the most reputable remittance companies that provide services to millions of foreign nationals who live overseas. Over the years, ACE has created worthwhile objectives to assist foreign workers efficiently. ACE offers remittance services in more than 100 countries through its vast network of over 375,000 payout locations.

Bottom Line

Making a minor transaction regularly is the simplest strategy to prevent the account from going inactive. This can be done quickly and easily using online banking and maybe a simple deposit or withdrawal. You can regularly make an instant online money transfer to Gambia whenever needed to your loved ones making their living standards better and preventing your account from being dormant as well. However, if you fail to do so, you can follow the above-mentioned procedure to reactivate your dormant bank account.

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