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Canada – Banking

Local Banks in Canada

Canada has several major banks that provide a wide range of banking services to their customers. These banks include:

  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank)
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • Scotiabank
  • International Banks in Canada

    Major UK and USA banks have a presence in Canada as well. These banks include:

  • HSBC Bank Canada
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank
  • Citibank
  • Accounts and Services for Expats

    Several banks in Canada offer accounts and services specifically aimed at expats. These accounts provide many benefits and features to make banking easier for expats. Some of the banks that offer these services include:


    The bank offers a StartRight Program that includes a no-annual-fee bank account, credit card, and discounts on international money transfers.

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    Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

    The bank offers an RBC Newcomer Advantage that includes a no-annual-fee bank account, credit card, and access to financial advice.

    Typical Bank Opening Hours

    The typical bank opening hours in Canada are from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday to Friday. Some banks also open on Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

    Areas of Concern for Expats

    Expats should be aware of the following areas of concern regarding the banking system in Canada:

    Fees: Banks in Canada charge fees for many banking services, including ATM withdrawals, wire transfers, and overdrafts. Expats should compare the fees of different banks before choosing a bank.

    Credit History: Expats may have difficulty getting credit in Canada as they do not have a credit history. Banks in Canada use credit scores to determine the creditworthiness of customers. Expats can build credit by getting a secured credit card and making regular payments on time.

    Identification: When opening a bank account in Canada, expats must provide valid identification documents such as a passport, driver’s license, or permanent resident card.

    Taxation: Expats must also be aware of their tax obligations in Canada. They may be subject to Canadian taxes on their worldwide income, and must file Canadian tax returns.

    Opening a Bank Account

    If you are an expat looking to open a bank account in Canada, follow these steps:

    Step 1: Choose a Bank

    • Research the different banks in Canada and compare their services and fees. Choose a bank that meets your needs.

    Step 2: Gather Required Documents

    • You will need to provide identification documents such as a passport, driver’s license, or permanent resident card. You may also need to provide proof of address such as a utility bill or rental agreement.

    Step 3: Apply for an Account

    • You can apply for an account online or in person at a branch. Follow the bank’s instructions and provide all required information.

    Step 4: Fund Your Account

    • Once your account is opened, you can fund it by transferring money from your home country or depositing cash or cheques at a branch.

    Step 5: Activate Your Account

    • You may need to activate your account by making a deposit or using your debit card for the first time.

    In conclusion, Canada has several local and international banks that offer a wide range of banking services. Expats can benefit from accounts and services specifically aimed at them. However, they should be aware of fees, credit history, identification requirements, and tax obligations when banking in Canada. If you are an expat looking to open a bank account, follow the steps outlined above to make the process easier.

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