Banking in Canada

Banking in Canada is widely considered one of the safest banking systems in the world, ranking as the world's soundest banking system for the past six years according to reports by the World Economic Forum.

The five largest banks in Canada are:

  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)
  • Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

Each if these banks offer programs for newcomers. These come with special newcomer incentives, so be sure to look into them. The best bank in Canada for you will depend on your specific needs, where you live, what services you require and what best meets your financial needs.

The five largest banks will offer packages that give you everything you need to get started financially in Canada, including:

  • Your First bank account
  • A mortgage for your first home in Canada
  • Your first debit and credit card
  • Cost-effective ways to send money overseas
  • Your first car loan
  • Assistance with business accounts for your first business in Canada
  • Multilingual ABMs
  • Online, mobile, tablet banking
  • Telephone Banking

Opening a Bank Account

You can open a bank account in Canada if you meet the requirements that are set out in the Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations under the Bank Act. You can open a bank account even if:

  • you don’t have a job,
  • you don’t have money to put in the account right away, or
  • you have been bankrupt.

As a newcomer, to open a bank account, you must present two specific pieces of identification, such as:

  • A Permanent Resident card or Citizenship and Immigration Canada Form IMM 1000 or IMM 1442.
  • A foreign passport and an employee card with a photograph are also acceptable pieces of secondary identification.

You can find a full list of the kinds of identification that a bank can accept from the bank of your choice.




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