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Bank of Canada Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. B-2)

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Act current to 2021-11-17 and last amended on 2020-01-31. Previous Versions

Management (continued)

Marginal note:Directors’ fees

 The directors are entitled to receive for attendance at directors’ meetings and Executive Committee meetings such fees as may be fixed by the by-laws of the Bank.

  • R.S., c. B-2, s. 11
  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 40, s. 46

Marginal note:Chair

 The Governor is Chair of the Board of Directors.

  • R.S., 1985, c. B-2, s. 12
  • 2001, c. 9, s. 192(E)

Executive Committee

Marginal note:Constitution of Executive Committee

  •  (1) There shall be an Executive Committee of the Board consisting of the Governor, the Deputy Governor and not less than two or more than four directors selected by the Board.

  • Marginal note:Deputy Minister of Finance to be member of Executive Committee

    (2) In addition to the members of the Executive Committee as constituted by subsection (1), the person who is a member of the Board by virtue of subsection 5(2) is a member of the Executive Committee, but that person does not have the right to vote.

  • Marginal note:Powers of Executive Committee

    (3) The Executive Committee is competent to deal with any matter within the competence of the Board and shall keep minutes of its proceedings, which shall be submitted to the Board at its next meeting.

  • R.S., c. B-2, s. 13
  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 40, s. 47

Government Directive

Marginal note:Consultations

  •  (1) The Minister and the Governor shall consult regularly on monetary policy and on its relation to general economic policy.

  • Marginal note:Minister’s directive

    (2) If, notwithstanding the consultations provided for in subsection (1), there should emerge a difference of opinion between the Minister and the Bank concerning the monetary policy to be followed, the Minister may, after consultation with the Governor and with the approval of the Governor in Council, give to the Governor a written directive concerning monetary policy, in specific terms and applicable for a specified period, and the Bank shall comply with that directive.

  • Marginal note:Publication and report

    (3) A directive given under this section shall be published forthwith in the Canada Gazette and shall be laid before Parliament within fifteen days after the giving thereof, or, if Parliament is not then sitting, on any of the first fifteen days next thereafter that either House of Parliament is sitting.

  • R.S., c. B-2, s. 14

Bank Staff

Marginal note:Officers and employees

  •  (1) Such officers and employees may be employed as in the opinion of the Executive Committee may be necessary.

  • Marginal note:Pension fund

    (2) The Board may by by-law establish a pension fund for the officers and employees of the Bank and their dependants and may contribute to it out of the funds of the Bank. The pension fund shall be invested in such manner as may be provided by the by-laws of the Bank.

  • Marginal note:By-laws respecting Governor and Deputy Governor

    (3) A by-law made under subsection (2) that provides for or relates to the payment of a pension in respect of the retirement of the Governor or Deputy Governor otherwise than by reason of age or disability does not take effect unless it is approved by the Governor in Council.

  • R.S., 1985, c. B-2, s. 15
  • 1997, c. 15, s. 96(E)

Secrecy

Marginal note:Oath of directors and staff

 Before a person starts to act as a director, an officer or an employee of the Bank, he or she shall take an oath, or make a solemn affirmation, of fidelity and secrecy, in the form set out in the schedule, before a commissioner for taking affidavits.

  • R.S., 1985, c. B-2, s. 16
  • 1997, c. 15, s. 97
  • 2001, c. 9, s. 193

Capital and Shares

Marginal note:Capital

  •  (1) The capital of the Bank shall be five million dollars but may be increased from time to time pursuant to a resolution passed by the Board of Directors and approved by the Governor in Council and by Parliament.

  • Marginal note:Shares

    (2) The capital shall be divided into one hundred thousand shares of the par value of fifty dollars each, which shall be issued to the Minister to be held by the Minister on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Registration

    (3) The shares issued to the Minister shall be registered by the Bank in the name of the Minister in the books of the Bank at Ottawa.

  • R.S., c. B-2, s. 17

Business and Powers of the Bank

Marginal note:Powers and business

 The Bank may

  • (a) buy and sell gold, silver, nickel and bronze coin or any other coin and gold and silver bullion;

  • (b) buy and sell foreign currencies and maintain deposit accounts with banks or foreign banks, either in or outside Canada, to facilitate such operations;

  • (c) buy and sell securities issued or guaranteed by Canada or any province;

  • (d) buy and sell securities issued or guaranteed by the government of the United States, of Japan, of the United Kingdom or of a member state of the European Union;

  • (e) [Repealed, 2001, c. 9, s. 194]

  • (f) buy and sell special drawing rights issued by the International Monetary Fund;

  • (g) for the purposes of conducting monetary policy or promoting the stability of the Canadian financial system,

    • (i) buy and sell from or to any person securities and any other financial instruments — other than instruments that evidence an ownership interest or right in or to an entity — that comply with the policy established by the Governor under subsection 18.1(1), and

    • (ii) if the Governor is of the opinion that there is a severe and unusual stress on a financial market or the financial system, buy and sell from or to any person any securities and any other financial instruments, to the extent determined necessary by the Governor;

  • (g.1) [Repealed, 2008, c. 28, s. 146]

  • (h) make loans or advances for periods of not more than six months to any member of the Canadian Payments Association on taking

    • (i) security in any property, including in any real property or immovable situated in Canada, or

    • (ii) an assignment or transfer of the member’s right, title or interest in any real property or immovable situated in Canada, including any mortgage or hypothec on that real property or immovable;

  • (i) make loans or advances for periods not exceeding six months to the Government of Canada or the government of a province on taking security in readily marketable securities issued or guaranteed by Canada or any province;

  • (j) make loans to the Government of Canada or the government of any province, but such loans outstanding at any one time shall not, in the case of the Government of Canada, exceed one-third of the estimated revenue of the Government of Canada for its fiscal year, and shall not, in the case of a provincial government, exceed one-fourth of that government’s estimated revenue for its fiscal year, and such loans shall be repaid before the end of the first quarter after the end of the fiscal year of the government that has contracted the loan;

  • (k) [Repealed, 2008, c. 28, s. 146]

  • (l) accept deposits from the Government of Canada and pay interest on those deposits;

  • (l.1) accept deposits from any bank, authorized foreign bank that is not subject to the restrictions and requirements referred to in subsection 524(2) of the Bank Act or other member of the Canadian Payments Association;

  • (l.2) pay interest on the deposits referred to in paragraph (l.1) if the money deposited is to be used for the purpose of making loans or advances referred to in paragraph (h);

  • (l.3) accept deposits from the government of any province or from any corporation or agency of the Government of Canada;

  • (m) open accounts in a central bank in any other country or in the Bank for International Settlements, accept deposits from central banks in other countries, the Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and any other official international financial organization, act as agent or mandatary, or depository or correspondent for any of those banks or organizations, and pay interest on any of those deposits;

  • (m.1) act as a custodian of the financial assets of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation and of those of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation;

  • (n) acquire, hold, lease or dispose of real property or immovables;

  • (o) accept deposits of money that are authorized or required by an Act of Parliament to be transferred to the Bank, and, in accordance with that Act, pay interest on money so deposited and pay out money to any person entitled to it under that Act; and

  • (p) carry on any business activity that is incidental to or consequential on something the Bank is allowed or required to do by this Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. B-2, s. 18
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 142
  • 1997, c. 15, s. 98
  • 1999, c. 28, s. 95
  • 2001, c. 4, s. 58, c. 9, s. 194
  • 2004, c. 25, s. 6(E)
  • 2008, c. 28, s. 146
  • 2014, c. 20, s. 108
  • 2016, c. 12, s. 123
  • 2017, c. 33, s. 185
  • 2018, c. 12, s. 220

Marginal note:Policy established by Governor

  •  (1) The Governor shall establish a policy for the purposes of subparagraph 18(g)(i).

  • Marginal note:Publication

    (2) The Bank shall publish the policy and any amendment to it in the Canada Gazette and the policy or the amendment comes into force seven days after the day on which the Bank publishes it or on any later day specified by the Governor.

  • 2008, c. 28, s. 147

Marginal note:Publication

 If the Bank takes any action under subparagraph 18(g)(ii), the Bank shall cause a notice to be published in the Canada Gazette that the Governor has formed an opinion that there is a severe and unusual stress on a financial market or the financial system. The notice is to be published as soon as the Governor is of the opinion that its publication will not materially contribute to the stress to which the notice relates.

  • R.S., 1985, c. B-2, s. 19
  • 1991, c. 46, s. 581
  • 1997, c. 15, s. 99
  • 2001, c. 9, s. 195
  • 2008, c. 28, s. 147

Marginal note:Acquisition of collateral securities

 The Bank may

  • (a) acquire from any bank or authorized foreign bank that is not subject to the restrictions and requirements referred to in subsection 524(2) of the Bank Act and hold any property held by the bank or authorized foreign bank as security under Part VIII of the Bank Act; and

  • (b) exercise every right and remedy in respect of any security acquired under paragraph (a) that could have been exercised by the bank or authorized foreign bank.

  • R.S., 1985, c. B-2, s. 20
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 142
  • 1999, c. 28, s. 96
  • 2001, c. 9, s. 195

Marginal note:Publication of minimum interest rates on loans

 The Bank shall at all times make public the minimum rate at which it is prepared to make loans or advances.

  • R.S., c. B-2, s. 18

Marginal note:Time limit for unpaid debts

  •  (1) The Bank is not liable in respect of any unpaid debt in respect of which a federal financial institution has made a payment to the Bank under the relevant Act in respect of the federal financial institution if

    • (a) the amount paid to the Bank was less than $1,000; and

    • (b) at least 40 years have gone by since the later of

      • (i) the last time a transaction took place on the books of the federal financial institution in respect of the unpaid debt, and

      • (ii) the last time a statement of account was requested of or acknowledged to the federal financial institution by the former creditor in respect of the unpaid debt.

  • Marginal note:Time limit for instruments

    (1.1) The Bank is not liable in respect of any instrument in respect of which a federal financial institution has made a payment to the Bank under the relevant Act in respect of the federal financial institution if

    • (a) the amount paid to the Bank was less than $1,000; and

    • (b) no payment has been made in respect of the instrument for at least 40 years after the day the instrument was issued or accepted.

  • Marginal note:Time limit for liquidation claims

    (1.2) The Bank is not liable in respect of any claim against a liquidator in respect of the winding-up of a federal financial institution if

    • (a) the amount of the claim has been paid to the Minister and by the Minister to the Bank under the relevant Act in respect of the federal financial institution;

    • (b) the amount paid to the Bank was less than $1,000; and

    • (c) at least 40 years have gone by since the later of

      • (i) the last time a transaction took place on the books of the federal financial institution in respect of the subject-matter of the claim, and

      • (ii) the last time a statement of account was requested of or acknowledged to the federal financial institution by the former creditor in respect of the subject-matter of the claim.

  • Marginal note:Time limit for returned payments

    (1.21) The Bank is not liable in respect of any returned payment as defined in section 2 of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act in respect of which the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation has made a payment to the Bank under subsection 14.01(1) of that Act if

    • (a) the amount paid to the Bank was less than $1,000; and

    • (b) at least 40 years have gone by since the applicable date referred to in subsection 14(2.9) of that Act.

  • Marginal note:Limitation of Bank’s liability

    (1.3) The Bank is not liable in respect of a debt referred to in subsection (1), an instrument referred to in subsection (1.1), a claim referred to in subsection (1.2) or a returned payment referred to in subsection (1.21) if the amount paid to the Bank in respect of the debt, instrument, claim or returned payment was $1,000 or more and at least 100 years have gone by since the payment was made to the Bank.

  • Marginal note:Application

    (1.4) For greater certainty, subsections (1) to (1.3) also apply in respect of amounts paid to the Bank before the coming into force of this subsection.

  • Marginal note:No liability where claims paid

    (2) The Bank is not liable in respect of

    • (a) any unpaid debt or any instrument in respect of which a federal financial institution has paid an amount to the Bank in accordance with the relevant Act in respect of the federal financial institution, or

    • (b) any claim against a liquidator in respect of the winding-up of a federal financial institution the amount of which claim has been paid to the Minister and by the Minister to the Bank under the relevant Act in respect of the federal financial institution,

    where an amount equal to the amount so paid has been paid by the Bank to the creditor in accordance with the relevant Act in respect of the federal financial institution or to the Receiver General under subsection (3).

  • Marginal note:No liability where claims paid — returned payments

    (2.1) The Bank is not liable in respect of any returned payment as defined in section 2 of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act in respect of which the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation has paid an amount to the Bank under subsection 14.01(1) of that Act if an amount equal to the amount so paid has been paid by the Bank to a claimant under subsection 14.01(4) of that Act or to the Receiver General under subsection (3).

  • Marginal note:Amounts to be paid to Receiver General

    (3) An amount equal to the amount paid to the Bank in respect of a debt referred to in subsection (1), an instrument referred to in subsection (1.1), a claim referred to in subsection (1.2) or a returned payment referred to in subsection (1.21) shall, within two months after the end of the calendar year in which the applicable 40-year period expired, be paid by the Bank without interest to the Receiver General and the Bank may destroy all records relating to the debt, instrument, claim or returned payment.

  • Marginal note:Amounts part of C.R.F.

    (4) Any amount paid by the Bank to the Receiver General under subsection (3) shall form part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

  • Marginal note:Definitions

    (5) For the purposes of this section,

    federal financial institution

    federal financial institution means a bank, an authorized foreign bank, a company to which the Trust and Loan Companies Act applies or an association to which the Cooperative Credit Associations Act applies; (institution financière fédérale)

    relevant Act

    relevant Act in respect of a federal financial institution means

  • R.S., 1985, c. B-2, s. 22
  • 1991, c. 46, ss. 582, 583, c. 48, s. 494
  • 1997, c. 15, s. 100
  • 1999, c. 28, s. 97
  • 2001, c. 9, s. 196
  • 2007, c. 6, s. 394
  • 2012, c. 5, s. 183
 
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