Canadian Banks and Credit Unions
Grace is a Togolese citizen who has recently immigrated to Canada. She landed in Fredericton, New Brunswick, a couple of days ago. Since Grace brought seven thousand dollars with her to the country, she wants to open an account as soon as possible. She wants to know about the most reliable banks in Canada. Moreover, Grace has heard Canadian banks charge bank fees. She wonders what those are.
The Canadian financial system consists of a complex network of institutions. Banks are at the centre point of this system. While there are several banks in Canada, five of them handle most of the financial matters in Canada.
The “Big Five” Banks
The term “Big Five” refers to these banks:
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
- Bank of Montreal (BMO)
- Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)
- Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)
- Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
These five banks are the largest banks in Canada. Consequently, they handle most of the financial transactions in Canada.
Other Banks – Second-Tier Banks
You may need to know there are many other banks that are quite large, but not as large as the Big Five. Here are some examples.
Other Financial Institutions
Some financial institutions in Canada may offer limited banking options such as loans and mortgages. For example, take a look at these institutions:
Credit unions are financial co-operatives. It means you need to be a member to open an account with them. As a member, you share the profit of the Credit Union at the end of their fiscal years. Credit unions are usually local. In other words, they usually operate in a couple of cities or provinces only. If you want to know more about credit unions visit the Canadian Credit Unions Association website.
Canadian banks rarely offer free services to their clients. Welcome to Canada!
Some of the potential bank fees include fixed monthly fees and withdrawal fees. Furthermore, they may even charge you for cheque or cash deposits. When you open an account with a bank, make sure you know the potential bank fees. Therefore, compare the fees with other options the banks offer and pick the best one.
If you wish to visit or move to Canada or if you have encountered any issues with the immigration authorities, you may fill out our free assessment form or book a consultation session to assess your potential opportunities or offer you immigration, visa, or citizenship advice.
Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not give legal advice nor should you rely on it as legal advice. If you have specific legal questions, you should consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals, organizations, regions, or countries) is coincidental.
Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!