When you arrive in Canada, one of the first things you will need to do is open a bank account to receive your salary from your job in Canada, to rent or buy accommodation, to pay your bills, to get a phone line, and for many other necessities.
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Your money will be safe in a Canadian bank since Canada’s financial system is the healthiest in the world, according to the World Economic Forum. Besides that, institutions that are members of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) guarantee savings deposits for up to CAD$100,000 per depositor.
How to choose a bank
- Consider all your options and shop around for the best deal
- Ask people to recommend a bank to you
- Take into consideration the distance between the bank branch and the place where you live or work, as well as the hours of service
- Ask your employer if he or she has any special package in a specific bank to minimize your banking fees
Similar quality services, such as online banking and automatic banking machines (ABMs), are offered by all Canadian Banks.
How to compare bank accounts
Here is a tool to help you find the best banking package for your needs.
What should I do after choosing a bank?
Firstly, you should call the bank to arrange an appointment to open up an account. This will take some time, so appointments are necessary.
When you meet with the bank representative, ask about the service fees on the accounts. Discuss all options to find out which type of account best suits your needs.
What documents do I need to provide the bank?
- You will be asked to provide various documents to prove your identity, such as your passport, your Social Insurance Number (SIN), your permanent resident card, or your driver’s licence. These documents (or at least one of them) must contain your signature, your current address, and your photograph.
- You will also need to provide documents proving your address. These documents are usually requested in the form of a utility bill, such as a telephone bill.
- You may be asked to provide documents proving your banking history and/or a reference from your employer or your previous bank.
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What if I have only one piece of acceptable identification?
In that case, the bank will probably ask another qualified person to confirm your identity.
Can a bank refuse to open an account for me if I am unemployed?
No, a bank cannot refuse to open an account for you if you do not have a job. The same applies if you are bankrupt.
Do I need to deposit money to open an account?
No, the bank cannot ask you to deposit money to open the account for you. Be prepared to deposit money into the account if you consider ordering cheques.
Do I need to pay a fee to open an account?
No, there is no cost to open a bank account. For an account at a credit union, you may need to pay a membership fee.
Which are the biggest Canadian banks?
The biggest Canadian banks, often called “the big five,” are:
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However, there are plenty of other banks which have offices in Canada. You can find a complete online list here.
What is the CDIC?
The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) is a federal Crown Corporation created in 1967 to provide deposit insurance and contribute to the stability of Canada’s financial system. All banking institution members of the CDIC guarantee savings deposits for up to CAD$100,000 per depositor.
What is the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)?
The FCAC provides consumers with information about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with financial institutions while helping you with a variety of financial products and services, such as bank accounts, payday loans, mortgages, and credit reports. To learn more, visit the FCAC website or contact them at 1?866?461?3222.