There are various Nationalized banking institutions in Canada. Following are the five top players in Canadian Banking system-
- Royal Bank of Canada
- Toronto-Dominion Bank
- Bank of Nova Scotia
- Bank of Montreal
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Apart from numerous other services, all these banks offer following two basic account types:
- Checking Account
- Saving account
Checking account is required for your day to day expenses. It is the account where your salary gets deposited. Saving account as name suggested is for saving and bank give some interest on the money as well. Bank usually charge a fee if you withdraw money from saving account.
How to select a bank?
Review following before selecting the bank and account type-
- Most banks have one or the other kind of fee from the list below,
- Per Transaction fee
- Monthly Account fee
- Check book (cheque book) issuing fee
- Most bank give fee waiver based on one or the other conditions below
- Certain minimum monthly balance is maintained
- Multiple product/services are used by the customer
- Student/senior citizens account holders
- Most banks don’t give any interest on checking account
- Few banks are open on weekends and till 8:00 PM during the weekdays.
- Most banks give certain number of free transactions based on account type.
- Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) governs all the banks and gives customer max $100,000 insurance on the money deposited in certain defined accounts.
There are few other institutions which doesn’t have their own physical branches but use one of the above banks to offer their banking services. These are generally no fee account with unlimited transactions.
- PC Financial
New Comers Program
Various banks have special packages for new comers. Check with bank about the current offer.
Opening an Account
Take your passport and VISA/Permit details as identification proof with you. You need to sign few agreement papers. Generally bank need SIN number as well but it is not a requirement while opening the bank account.
Things to get
- Checking account (Remember to get few cheques, if you don’t have free cheque book feature)
- Credit card for all adults in family
My choice: TD bank for their timings and fee waiver based on minimum monthly balance.