I want to manage my finances

How complicated is it to open a bank account?

Bank or credit union? Banking package or transaction fees? It's not really all that complicated. Here are the key things you need to know before you open a bank account.

Chequing account

This is an acouunt in which you can deposit and withdraw money. The list of transactions you can perform includes: paying bills, depositing cheques, depositing your pay, withdrawing cash (debit card), writing cheques, and making pre-authorized (automatic) deposits and withdrawals.

Watch out for fees

For every transaction, you may be charged a fee. These can add up to a certain amount by the end of the month. Therefore it can be to your advantage to choose a banking package. The package includes a certain number of transactions per month for a fixed fee.

Youth or student account

Some institutions may offer you a special account with an economical fee (from $0 to $11). Others offer low-cost accounts below $4 a month. Check whether you will be able to carry out all the transactions you want, such as withdrawing cash from an ATM using a debit card. Check also how much you would be charged for any extra transaction.

Bank or credit union?

In order to make a wise choice, check out the following:

  • The number of ATMs
  • Access to mobile and Internet services
  • The product offer for students (credit cards, special accounts, etc.)

Open an account online or visit the institution of your choice armed with two pieces of ID. The main types of ID accepted are:

  • Driver's licence
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Social insurance card
  • Health insurance card

In the event of a problem

If a bank refuses to open an account for you, contact the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. If it is a credit union, contact the Autorité des marchés financiers.