Banks play a key role in Canada’s financial system and economic development. Banking in Canada is widely considered the most efficient and safest banking system in the world, ranking as the world’s soundest banking system for the past three years according to reports by the World Economic Forum.

The six major banks include TD Canada TrustScotiabankCanadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Bank of MontrealRBC Royal Bank and National Bank. There is also an International bank, HSBCwith several locations throughout Canada.

Types of Bank Accounts

There are two types of accounts to choose from – chequing accounts and savings accounts. Each account has different features that help you to do different things.

Chequing Account: 

  • Used for everyday banking and usually pays you little or no interest

  • Used by most people to pay for frequent expenses such as groceries, gas, and rent

  • Employers may require you to have a chequing account in which to deposit your salary

  • Some chequing accounts will have monthly charges or charge you for each cheque you write

Savings Account: 

  • All savings accounts pay interest but the amount is not always the same

  • Helps you save money for major purchases such as a car, vacation, or a down payment on a new home

  • Usually has a higher interest rate than a chequing account, which helps your money grow faster

Opening a Bank Account: 

It is important to open a bank account as soon as possible to facilitate any financial transactions from your home country and to start establishing yourself in Canada.  Most banking institutions require a Social Insurance Card to open up a bank account; however, in your situation, you will likely want to open an account before you have one.

In order to do this, you should establish contact with a banking representative who will explain the various types of accounts and transactions and determine a package suitable for your daily needs.

When you go to the bank to open an account, you should bring with you the following:

    • Passport and work authorization form

    • Letter from your employer verifying your income and stating the terms of your contract

    • 2 pieces of ID

    • Any letters of reference from bank(s) in your home country

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

For detailed information on banking in Canada please consult the FCAC website.


The official currency of Canada is the Canadian Dollar. There are 100 cents (¢) in a dollar.

The common bills, all paper money, are the same size but all are a different colour.  Bills are printed in the amounts of $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100:


The Canadian penny was removed from circulation in 2012.

Due to the removal of the penny, all Cash payments are rounded up, or down, to the nearest five-cent increment.  For example:

  • If your total is $1.01 you will pay $1.00

  • If your total is $1.02 you will pay $1.00

  • If your total is $1.03 you will pay $1.05

  • If your total is $1.04 you will pay $1.05

  • If your total is $1.06 you will pay $1.05

  • If your total is $1.07 you will pay $1.05

  •  If your total is $1.08 you will pay $1.10

  • If your total is $1.09 you will pay $1.10

The rounding up happens on cash transactions only.  Debit, credit or payment cards are processed to the exact total amount.

210 - 2285 Av Francis-Hughes, Laval, QC, H7S 1N5, Canada

Toll free: 1 877 777-0790

Phone: 514-382-0790

Fax: 450-667-5289

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