Banks in Canada are eager to earn your business. As a newcomer to Canada, you will likely experience major Canadian banks are welcoming, and many offer incentives for newcomers to Canada. If you are not familiar with the banking system in Canada or North America generally, there are a few things Newcomers Canada would encourage you to research. Keep reading to learn more about the Canadian banking system and how you can open your new Canadian bank account!
Canada has a competitive financial system, the result of which is that you will have numerous different banking options to choose from. While there are numerous small banks throughout the country and many that are more common in specific regions of Canada, there are major banks that offer programs specifically for newcomers.
- National Bank of Canada (NBC) – Newcomers to Canada Package
- Bank of Montreal (BMO) – NewStart Program
- Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) – RBC Newcomer Advantage
- Scotiabank – StartRight Program
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) – Welcome to Canada Banking Package
- Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank) – New to Canada Banking Package
- HSBC – HSBC Canada Newcomers Program
- TD – New to Canada Banking Package
All of these institutions welcome the business of new Canadians, and all offer specific packages for newcomers.
Documentation for Opening a Canadian Bank Account
When opening a bank account, you will be required to visit the bank in person and provide original documents; photocopies or photos will not be accepted. There are numerous documentation options that you can provide to the bank, but you will need at least one of the following:
- A valid Canadian driver’s licence
- A valid Canadian passport
- A Canadian birth certificate
- A Canadian Social Insurance Number
- A Canadian Old Age Security card
- A provincial or territorial healthcare card
- Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
- A Permanent Resident card
Opening a Canadian Bank Account is Not Free!
Depending on the institution you select and the type of bank account you choose to open, you will receive different perks and incur specific fees. When you are opening a bank account in Canada you should be aware of the monthly chequing account fees, ATM fees, foreign transaction fees, the cost of cheques, debit transaction fees, and non-sufficient funds fees or overdraft protection costs. While establishing your bank account may not cost you money up front, you need to be aware of the ongoing fees and costs associated with your new bank account.