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Canadians' Banking Questions Answered

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					Canadians’
Banking Questions
Answered




Fall 2011
About the CBA
The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf
of 52 domestic banks, foreign bank subsidiaries
and foreign bank branches operating in Canada
and their 267,000 employees. The CBA advocates
for effective public policies that contribute to a sound,
successful banking system that benefits Canadians
and Canada’s economy. The Association also
promotes financial literacy to help Canadians make
informed financial decisions and works with banks
and law enforcement to help protect customers
against financial crime and promote fraud awareness.




About this Tool Kit
This tool kit has been created to assist Members of Parliament in
answering Canadians’ questions about banking.
                                                       01


The Right
Bank Account
for You



What You Need to Know
  	
  T
•		 here	is	a	lot	of	choice:	there	are	over	100	
  consumer bank account packages alone to choose
  from, offered by more than 20 banks in Canada.
  	
  C
•		 omparing	accounts	is	easy	using	a	simple,	free,	
  online tool.
  T
•		 here	are	low-fee	and	no-fee	accounts	available	
  for everyone and all you need to open an account
  is identification.
The Right Bank Account
for You
Fees, services, access – how do you choose the right
bank account?


The Types of Consumer                        How to Shop for an Account
Accounts Available
There are many different types of            There are a lot of
accounts available with a wide range of      accounts to choose
services, including:
 •	 basic	chequing	and	saving	accounts       from (over 100!), so
  	f
 •	 	ull	service	accounts	with	many	types	
    of transactions included                 it’s important to think
 •	 	ow-fee	or	no-fee	accounts
  	l                                         about the services
    y
 •	 	 outh,	student	and	seniors’	accounts.

How do you know which account is
                                             you need and to shop
right for you? Choosing the right account    around for the best
depends on the services you need
and	want.                                    account to meet
                                             your needs.
                                             And it’s easy to compare the banking
                                             packages available using the online
                                             interactive Banking Package Selector
                                             Tool available from The Financial
                                             Consumer	Agency	of	Canada	(FCAC).	

                                             The tool is available both online and in
                                             print.	Visit	the	FCAC	at	www.fcac-acfc.
                                             gc.ca	or	call	1-866-461-3222.

                                             Choosing the right service plan can save
                                             you	both	time	and	money.	
For example, if you want to save money, there are accounts that:
    a
 •	 	 llow	a	specified	number	of	transactions	for	a	lower	fee	than	some	unlimited	
    transaction accounts,
    w
 •	 	 aive	fees	if	you	keep	a	minimum	balance	in	the	account	(usually	$1000).	

If you need more services, there are banking packages that include more tools for a flat
monthly fee or a fee per transaction, including:
    c
 •	 	 ertified	cheques,	money	orders,	overdraft	protection,	e-mail	money	transfers	or	
    cheque returns,
    U
 •	 	 .S.	dollar	accounts	and	cross-border	debits,
    m
 •	 	 ultiple	accounts	(both	chequing	and	savings)	under	the	same	monthly	fee.



More About Low-Fee and No-Fee Accounts

               Banks in Canada are committed
               to ensuring that all Canadians can
               access banking services, regardless
               of income level.
A	number	of	Canadian	banks	have	committed	to	providing	low-fee	accounts	with	a	
monthly	fee	of	$4.00	or	less.	Services	included	with	the	low-fee	accounts	include:	
 •	 no	charge	for	deposits,
 •	 the	use	of	a	debit	card,
 •	 cheque-writing	privileges,	and
 •	 8	to	15	debit	transactions	per	month.

It’s also possible to pay no fees at all:
    i
 •	 	f	you	have	a	no-fee	service	package	(some	of	which	are	developed	specifically	to	
    help seniors and students),
    i
 •	 	f	your	bank	waives	your	fees	when	you	maintain	a	minimum	monthly	account	balance	
    (usually	$1000),	or
    i
 •	 	f	your	bank	offers	rebates	on	service	fees	if	you	have	additional	products	with	that	
    bank,	such	as	a	mortgage	or	credit	card.




                       A number of Canadian banks
<     $4               have committed to providing
                       low-fee accounts with a monthly
                       fee of $4.00 or less.
More About Accounts for Seniors
There are a number of bank account
packages designed specifically for
seniors.	If	you	are	a	senior	now,	or	
getting close, you may wish to compare
the banking account packages for
seniors to find out if there is one that
meets	your	needs.	Some	banks	offer	
packages specifically for seniors
                                            Opening an Account
starting at age 57, depending on
the	bank.                                   Anyone can open a bank account
                                            provided you have the proper
There	are	both	low-fee	and	no-fee	          identification.	It’s	important	to	
accounts	available	for	seniors.	These	      understand that you can open a bank
packages offer regular transactions, such   account even if:
as withdrawals, deposits, transfers, bill       y
                                             •	 	 ou	don’t	have	a	job;
payments	and	cheque-writing	privileges,	        y
                                             •	 	 ou	don’t	have	money	to	put	in	the	
in addition to more specialized services        account	right	away;	or
such	as	no-fee	money	orders,	certified	      •	 you	have	been	bankrupt.
cheques and travellers’ cheques, and a
discount	on	safety	deposit	box	rentals.	
                                            Identification Needed to Open
                                            an Account
                                            You will need two specific pieces
                                            of	identification	to	open	an	account.	
                                            There are many different options for



57+
                                            identification and a full list is available
                                            on the CBA website at www.cba.ca/
                                            bankingbasics under Opening a
                                            Bank	Account.	

Some banks offer                            It’s also possible to present only one
                                            piece of identification if your identity can
packages specifically                       be confirmed by a client in good standing
for seniors starting                        with the bank or by an individual of good
                                            standing in the community where the
at	age	57.                                  bank	is	located.	
Cashing a Cheque Without                         Questions?
an Account                                       If you have general questions about
You can still cash a federal government          banking in Canada, call the CBA’s
cheque	of	up	to	$1,500	at	a	bank	even	           Banking Information Line at
if you don’t have an account as long as          1-800-263-0231	or	send	an	email	
you can provide two pieces of specific           to	inform@cba.ca.	
identification from the list of required
identification (the list can be found
on the CBA website at www.cba.ca/                More Information
bankingbasics under Opening a Bank               CBA website:
Account).	It’s	important	to	understand,	         www.cba.ca/bankingbasics
however, that the bank is not required to
cash your cheque if:                             The Financial Consumer Agency
  •	 	here	is	evidence	that	the	cheque	
     t                                           of Canada:
     has been altered in some way or is          www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca
     counterfeit.	
     t
  •	 	he	cheque	is	not	an	item	that	will	
     be accepted under the Canadian
     Payments	Association	rules.	(Find	out	
     more at www.cdnpay.ca)
     t
  •	 	he	bank	believes	there	has	been	
     illegal	or	fraudulent	activity	involved.	

The banks also have agreements with
British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, and
New	Brunswick	that	allow	non-customers	
to cash provincial government cheques
as long as you have the appropriate
identification.
                                                            02


Managing
Household
Expenses


What You Need to Know
  W
•		 e	all	use	our	money	in	different	ways,	reflecting	
  our	values	and	priorities.	Regardless	of	our	financial	
  personalities, what we decide to do with our money
  today	will	impact	our	lives	tomorrow.	
  T
•		 hat’s	why	taking	control	of	our	money	right	now	—	
  where	it	comes	from	and	where	it	goes	—	is	the	first	
  step	towards	a	secure	future.	
  I
•		f	you’re	researching	better	ways	to	manage	your	
  household expenses, both your bank and the CBA
  may	be	able	to	help.
Managing Household
Expenses
Budgeting and                               to help their customers save and
                                            manage	their	money.	Most	banks	also	
Tracking Your                               offer services that automatically transfer
                                            money from your chequing account into
Expenses                                    your savings account every time your
                                            paycheque	is	deposited.	
There is no shortage
of information about                        Managing Credit Card Balances
how to create a budget,                     If you are carrying a credit card balance,
track your income and                       or having difficulty paying off your
                                            balance, you may wish to talk to your
expenses, and how                           bank	about	your	options.	It	might	be	
                                                                  beneficial to switch
to work towards your                                              to one of the 50
financial goals.                                                  lower-interest	rate	
                                                                  cards available in
The CBA’s website, under Consumer                                 the marketplace, a
Information and then Managing Money,                              lower interest loan,
has a printable budget worksheet and                              or	a	line	of	credit.	
some	tips	on	how	to	get	started.	Your	                            These loan products
bank may also have valuable information                           are available at rates
on how to budget and save, and many                               that are lower than
banks have innovative programs and                                standard credit
tools that can help you categorize and      cards and will make payments easier
track	your	expenses.	Visit	your	bank’s	     and reduce the amount of interest you
website, or talk to a representative at     pay.	The	Financial	Consumer	Agency	
the	branch.                                 of Canada (FCAC) has an online
                                            publication called the Credit Card
                                            Selector	Tool.	The	tool	will	help	you	
Helping You Save                            compare	features	and	interest	rates.	
Banks offer Canadians many different        Visit the FCAC at www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca
tools to help them save as well as invest   or	call	1-866-461-3222.
their	money	for	short-term	or	long-term	
needs.	From	tax-free	savings	vehicles	to	   For	longer-term	debt,	you	may	wish	
GICs	to	high-interest	savings	accounts,	    to talk to your bank to explore debt
banks have their own unique programs        consolidation.	
If You’re Struggling with Debt                  Questions?
Banks closely monitor their customers’          If you have general questions about
borrowing to ensure that debt levels            banking in Canada, call the CBA’s
are	manageable.	Everyone	has	unique	            Banking Information Line at
borrowing needs and the amount of               1-800-263-0231	or	send	an	email	
debt they feel comfortable carrying             to	inform@cba.ca.	
can	also	vary.	Banks	can	provide	the	
financial advice that is right for each
individual	customer.

Banks do not want to see their customers
in	financial	difficulty.	If	you	think	your	
                                                    Banks do not
debt is becoming unmanageable, talk to              want to see their
your	bank.	It’s	important	to	ask	for	help	
early	before	the	situation	gets	worse.	             customers in
Your bank may be able to help you work
through financial problems by providing
                                                    financial	difficulty.	
advice, debt counselling and flexible loan          If you think your
repayment arrangements such as loan
consolidation or lengthening the term               debt is becoming
of	the	debt	to	reduce	regular	payments.	
They	may	also	refer	customers	to	a	not-
                                                    unmanageable, talk
for-profit	credit	counselling	agency	if	they	       to	your	bank.
feel	it	would	be	helpful.

For	more	than	40	years	banks	have	been	
strong	supporters	of	not-for-profit	credit	
counselling	agencies	—	providing	both	
financial support and many hours of
volunteer	employee	time	—and	the	good	
work that they do to help Canadians
learn	better	money	management	skills.	
Supporting credit counselling is also
part	of	the	broader	and	on-going	banking	
industry commitment to strengthening
the	financial	literacy	of	all	Canadians.	




Additional Resources to Learn About Banking in Canada
The Debt and Credit Counselling section of the CBA website:
www.cba.ca/bankingbasics
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada:
www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca
                                                          03


Banking
for New
Canadians


What You Need to Know
  	
  A
•		 ll	of	the	major	banks	offer	extensive	information	
  on how newcomers to Canada can get started in
  their new country, including checklists, information,
  financial	services	and	advice.	
  	
  G
•		 etting	started	with	a	bank	account	is	easy	and	
  there is a lot of choice: there are over 100 consumer
  bank account packages alone to choose from,
  offered	by	more	than	20	banks	in	Canada.
  C
•		 omparing	accounts	is	easy	using	a	simple,	free,	
  online	tool.
Banking for
New Canadians
How Banking in                              Bank Deposits are Secure
                                            Canadian	banks	are	well-managed,	well-
Canada May Be                               capitalized	and	well-regulated.	In	fact,	
                                            the	World	Economic	Forum	has	rated	the	
Different                                   Canadian banking industry number one
                                            in	the	world	for	safety	and	soundness.	In	
Banking in Canada can                       the unlikely instance of a bank failure in
be a different process                      Canada, your deposits in your Canadian
                                            dollar savings and chequing accounts
than what you may be                        (up	to	$100,000)	are	protected.	The	
                                            institution must be a member of the
used to in your home                        Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation
country. While banking                      (CDIC), and it’s important to note that all
                                            Canadian banks that take retail deposits
services differ around                      are	members	of	CDIC.

the world, here are
some characteristics of                        For more information
                                               visit www.cdic.ca.
the Canadian system:
A National System of Banking
Canada has a national system of banking     Costs
where each of the five largest Canadian     Fees for banking products and services
banks	has	branches	in	all	ten	provinces.	   can	vary.	There	are	low-fee	and	no-fee	
The benefits of this national system mean   accounts available and higher fees
that you have access to similar products    may be charged on accounts that offer
at the same price regardless of where       additional	services.	It’s	important	to	
you	live	in	Canada.	                        understand what services you need and
                                            then to shop around for the package
                                            that	best	meets	those	needs.	It’s	easy	to	
                                            compare the banking packages available
                                            using the online interactive Banking
                                            Package Selector Tool available from
                                            The Financial Consumer Agency of
                                            Canada	(FCAC).	The	guide	is	available	
                                            both	online	and	in	print.	Visit	the	
                                            FCAC at www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca or call
                                            1-866-461-3222	to	receive	a	copy	of	
                                            this	free	publication.
                         Interest Rates
                         Interest	rates	for	different	products	are	set	by	each	bank.	
                         The decision on how much interest to charge on a loan
                         depends on how risky the loan is as well as the prices that
                         banks and other lenders pay to raise funds in the broader
                         marketplace.	Canada	has	a	very	competitive	market,	so	
                         it’s	important	to	shop	around.




Canada has a very competitive market,
so it’s important to shop around.




Opening an Account

It’s important to understand that you can open
a bank account even if:
  •	you	don’t	have	a	job;
    y
  •		 ou	don’t	have	money	to	put	in	the	account	
    right	away;	or
  •	you	have	been	bankrupt.

To	open	a	bank	account,	you	will	need	identification.	You	can	open	an	account	if	
you meet the requirements that are set out in the Access to Basic Banking Services
Regulations under the Bank Act.	To	open	an	account,	you	must	present	two	specific	
pieces of identification, such as:
 •	 a	Canadian	drivers’	licence;
 •	 a	Certificate	of	Canadian	Citizenship;
    a
 •	 	 	Certification	of	Naturalization,	in	the	form	of	a	paper	document	or	card	
    but	not	a	commemorative	issue;
    a
 •	 	 	Permanent	Resident	card	or	Citizenship	and	Immigration	Canada	Form	
    IMM	1000	or	IMM	1442.	
A foreign passport and an employee card with a photograph are also acceptable pieces
of	secondary	identification.	



A full list of the kinds of identification that a bank
can accept is available on the CBA website at
www.cba.ca/bankingbasics under Opening a
Bank Account

It’s also possible to present only one piece of identification if your identity can be
confirmed by a client in good standing with the bank or by an individual of good
standing	in	the	community	where	the	bank	is	located.	




                            Starting a Business
                            Many new Canadians want to start
                            their own businesses and look to
                            banks for financial advice, services
                            and products. The majority of bank
                            business customers are small
                            businesses and banks work hard
                            to meet the needs of this large and
                            diverse group.
                            Banks offer financing, information, advice and many other
                            services to help people start and manage their businesses,
                            including educational and planning resources such as
                            seminars and workshops, credit cards for small business,
                            lines of credit, overdraft protection, telephone banking,
                            online banking, venture loans, and payroll and cash
                            management	services.	
Questions?
If you have general questions about banking in Canada, call the CBA’s Banking
Information	Line	at	1-800-263-0231	or	send	an	email	to	inform@cba.ca.


Bank Resources to Help with the Financial Transition to Canada

BMO Newcomers to Canada — For those planning to come to Canada soon,
or who have recently arrived in Canada, this page helps ensure the financial
transition	goes	smoothly.	
www.bmo.com/home/personal/banking/everyday/newcomers-to-canada


CIBC	Welcomes	Newcomers	to	Canada	— Information on living, working and studying
in	Canada,	as	well	as	getting	identification.	
www.cibc.com/ca/newcomers/index.html


HSBC New to Canada — A checklist for newcomers, advice on getting started
in	Canada	and	a	Canadian	immigration	and	banking	glossary.
www.hsbc.ca/1/2/en/personal/immigration-canada/new-to-canada


RBC Immigrating to Canada — Information about life in Canada, buying a home,
employment	and	financial	services	that	are	tailored	to	newcomers’	needs.
www.rbc.com/canada/index.html


Scotiabank Startright Program for New Canadians — A banking program for
new	Canadians.
www.startright.scotiabank.com/srg/	


TD Bank Group New to Canada — A summary of TD Canada Trust initiatives to
help	newcomers	better	understand	banking	in	Canada.
www.tdcanadatrust.com/newtocanada


ICICI — Information about a Newcomers’ to Canada account
http://www.icicibank.ca/personal/crossborderbanking/helloCanada.html



Additional Resources to Learn About Banking in Canada
The Basic Banking section of the CBA website:
www.cba.ca/bankingbasics
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada:
www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca
                                                         04


Banking
and
Farmers


What You Need to Know
  A
•		 ll	major	banks	have	dedicated	departments	serving	
  farmers during all phases of their business.
  A
  	
•		 ll	major	banks	are	participating	lenders	in	the	
  Government of Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Loans
  Act (CALA) program to help you establish, improve
  or develop your farm.
  B
•		 anks	offer	the	AgriInvest	account	to	help	farmers	
  recover from small declines in farm income.
  S
•		 upport	is	available	to	young	farmers	who	may	
  need more support and advice than more experienced
  producers, as well as advice on business succession.
Banking and Farmers
Banks in Canada are proud of their longstanding business
relationship	with	farmers	and	agricultural	customers.	These	strong	
relationships have helped banks work with their customers on
the	day-to-day	issues	of	running	a	farm	and	through	the	significant	
challenges	that	the	industry	has	had	to	confront.	


Dedicated                    Establishing,                 Your AgriInvest
Agriculture                  Improving and                 Account
Departments                  Developing                    If you haven’t already,
All	major	banks	have	        Your Farm                     opening an AgriInvest
dedicated departments        All	major	banks	are	          account at a participating
to serve agricultural        participating lenders in      bank can help you take
businesses.	These	           the federal Canadian          advantage of the federal
departments are staffed      Agricultural Loans Act        government’s matching
by teams of agricultural     (CALA) program to             contributions under the
specialists that know        help beginning farmers        AgriInvest Program to
your industry and are        establish their farms and     help you manage small
able to provide services     for more experienced          declines in your farm
during all phases of your    producers to improve          income.	To	open	your	
business.	In	addition	       and	develop	their	farms.	     account, bring in your
to business accounts,        Agricultural	co-operatives	   original government
banks offer products         can also access the           issued AgriInvest
to meet your operating,      loans available through       Account Initiation Form
capital improvement          the program to process,       to	your	local	bank.	
and equipment                distribute, or market the     More details about the
financing needs as           products	of	farming.          program are available on
well as products to          Loans are limited             the	Agriculture	and	Agri-
manage financial risk        to a maximum of               Food Canada website at
and	expenses.	Bank	          $500,000	for	land	and	        www.agr.gc.ca.
agriculture specialists      the construction or
can also offer advisory      improvement of buildings,
services with detailed       and	$350,000	for	all	
information on economic      other	loan	purposes.	
conditions, market trends,   Contact your bank’s
government policies,         agriculture specialists to
and regulatory issues that   determine if you qualify
may	impact	your	farm.        and if this program
                             can help you acquire
                             or improve the capital
                             assets	for	your	farm.
Supporting Young Farmers                      Banks also support Outstanding
and Rural Communities                         Young	Farmer	Programs,	4-H	clubs	
                                              and university programs that provide
The banking industry believes young
                                              assistance to agricultural youth
farmers are an important part of the
                                              and entrepreneurship, networking
agricultural and rural community success
                                              opportunities,	and	scholarships.	Contact	
story.	There	has	been	a	resurgence	
                                              your	bank	to	find	out	what’s	available.
of interest in agriculture by a younger
generation	of	farmers.	While	bright	
                                              Banks are also working with producers
and determined, these younger farmers
                                              on succession planning to ensure a
sometimes need increased support
                                              viable transition to future generations
and advice than more experienced
                                              of	farmers.	
producers	do.	

Your local bank branch can supply
the tools, advice and support you need        Questions?
to	succeed.	Many	branches	can	provide	        If you have general questions about
advice on how to develop a business           banking in Canada, call the CBA’s
plan and often hold business seminars         Banking Information Line at
that provide access to experts in             1-800-263-0231	or	send	an	email	
your	field.	                                  to	inform@cba.ca.	


                                              More Information
                                              Bank website resources for farmers:
          The banking
                                              RBC: www.rbcroyalbank.com/
          industry believes                   commercial/agriculture/
          young farmers                       CIBC: www.cibc.com/ca/small-business/
          are an important                    agriculture-serv.html

          part of the                         TD: www.tdcanadatrust.com/agriculture/
          agricultural and                    BMO: www.bmo.com/home/commercial/
          rural community                     banking/specialized-banking/farms-
                                              agriculture
          success story.
                                              Scotiabank: www.scotiabank.com	
                                              Click on Business Services and then
                                              Agriculture	under	Industry	Solutions.

                                              National Bank: www.nbc.ca
* In Québec, this program is only offered
  through	La	Financière	agricole	du	Québec.   Click on Business and then
                                              Agriculture Services

                                              Laurentian Bank: www.laurentianbank.ca/
                                              en/entreprises/agricoles
                                                      05


Banking
for
Students


What You Need to Know
  M
•		 any	banks	offer	low-fee	or	no-fee	account	
  packages for students who are studying at the
  post-secondary level.
  A
•		 ll	major	banks	have	dedicated	student	pages	
  on their websites with many helpful resources
  on budgeting, planning for a career and available
  scholarships.
  B
•		 anks	also	offer	podcasts,	social	networking	
  resources and blogs that can help students plan
  for the future and manage their money now and
  after they leave school.
Banking for Students

Special Accounts for Students
Many banks offer low-fee or no-fee banking
account packages for students. You’ll want
to compare the bank account packages
available and think about the services and
features you need.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) publishes an online, interactive
Banking	Package	Selector	tool	which	will	help	you	compare.	The	tool	is	available	both	
online	and	in	print.	Visit	the	FCAC	at	www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca	or	call	1-866-461-3222.


                            Opening an Account
                            To open an account, you will need two specific pieces of
                            identification,	such	as	a	Canadian-issued	birth	certificate,	
                            a Canadian drivers’ licence, a passport, or a social insurance
                            card.	There	are	many	different	options	for	identification	
                            and a full list is available on the CBA website at www.cba.ca/
                            bankingbasics	under	Opening	a	Bank	Account.	

It’s also possible to present only one piece of identification if your identity can be
confirmed by a client in good standing with the bank or by an individual of good
standing	in	the	community	where	the	bank	is	located.




How Your Bank Can Help You Prepare for the Future
Managing	money	is	about	more	than	just	accounts.	
All	of	the	major	banks	post	extensive	resources	for	students	
on their websites including information about:
    e
 •	 	 ffective	budgeting	while	on	campus;
    p
 •	 	 lanning	for	a	career,	and	how	to	become	
    an	entrepreneur;
    a
 •	 	 vailable	scholarships.	

There are links to podcasts, social networking resources
and blogs that can help you plan for the future and manage
your	money	now	and	after	you	leave	school.
                                              More Information
                                              Bank website resources for students:

                                              RBC Better Student Life:
                                              www.betterstudentlife.ca

                                              CIBC Student Life:
Are You Ready for a Credit Card?
                                              www.cibc.com/ca/student-life
To get a credit card, you must be of the
age	of	majority	in	the	province	where	you	    TD Student Life:
live.	Most	importantly,	however,	you	need	    www.tdcanadatrust.com/student	
to first decide whether you are ready for
a	credit	card.	Credit	cards	can	be	an	        BMO Smart Steps for Students:
excellent way to build a credit history       www.bmo.com/smartstepsportal/
for the future, provided they are used        student/en/
wisely.	And	credit	cards	aren’t	just	given	
to	anyone.	When	the	bank	receives	an	         Scotiabank Student Life:
application they will look at a number        www.scotiabank.com/student
of things, including your income, debt
levels and other sources of credit you        National Bank:
may have and decide whether you               www.nbc.ca/students
qualify for a credit card and at what
credit	limit.                                 Laurentian Bank:
                                              www.laurentianbank.ca	> mystudies

Questions?
If you have general questions about
banking in Canada, call the CBA’s
Banking Information Line at
1-800-263-0231	or	send	an	email	
to	inform@cba.ca.	
                                                                06


Youth
and Financial
Literacy

What You Need to Know
  F
•		 inancial	literacy	is	an	essential	life	skill.	Developing	
  an understanding of money at a young age will
  help young people better manage their money in
  the	future.	
  B
•		 anks	recognize	that	they	have	a	role	to	play	in	
  contributing to financial literacy for youth and they
  lead and sponsor many financial literacy programs,
  including the CBA’s high school seminar program,
  Your	Money.
  M
•		 any	banks	also	offer	special	websites	to	help	
  children learn about banking and saving money
  and banking packages that will get them started
  with	their	own	bank	account.
Youth and Financial
Literacy
Banks recognize that they have a role to play in contributing to
the financial literacy of all Canadians and offer many special
incentives to youth and children to learn more about money and
starting	to	save.	


Getting Your Child
Interested in Saving
Their Money
There’s nothing wrong
with a piggy bank, but
some kids love the idea
                                   Most	banks	offer	no-fee	account	
of having their own                packages for children so that they can
bank account.                      get	started	with	their	savings.	It	may	be	
                                   convenient to open an account where
                                   you already bank so ask if they have a
                                   special	children’s	account.	You	can	also	
                                   compare children’s account packages
                                   using The Financial Consumer Agency
                                   of Canada (FCAC) online, interactive
                                   “Cost	of	Banking	Guide.”	The	guide	is	
                                   available	both	online	and	in	print.	Visit	
                                   the FCAC at www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca or
                                   call	1-866-461-3222.

                                   Many banks also have special websites
                                   to help children learn about banking
                                   and to get them excited and interested
                                   in	saving	their	money.	Some	also	offer	
                                   branch tours to help children understand
                                   how	a	bank	works.	
Youth and Financial Literacy

As children get older, it is even more important
to instil good money management skills as
they	take	on	part-time	jobs	or	begin	saving	
for	post-secondary	education.	The	banks	
offer many programs to support and help teach
financial literacy skills such as saving and
money	management.




How Banks are                            B
                                      •	 	 ank	the	Rest	—	This	is	a	savings	
                                         program	that	allows	you	to	auto-

Helping:                                 matically round up purchases made
                                         using the Scotiabank debit card to
                                         the	next	multiple	of	$1	or	$5.	The	
                                         difference between the purchase
                                         total and the rounded up amount is
                                         then	transferred	to	a	savings	account.

                                         T
                                      •	 	 he	Learning	Partnership’s	
                                         Entrepreneurial Adventure (EA)	—	
Another key source of                    Sponsored by BMO Financial Group,
information is the Financial             EA brings students and teachers from
Consumer Agency of Canada.               kindergarten to grade 12 together with
The City is the FCAC’s interactive,      business partners to create ventures
self-guided	online	learning	             that	benefit	their	local	communities.
resource	for	young	people.	
Check it out on their website at
www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca.
    The banks also jointly support a non-commercial
    in-class seminar called Your Money, which the
    CBA has been offering for over ten years to deliver
    basic money management information to senior
    high-school students in communities across Canada.




•	 	 tudents	in	Free	Enterprise	—	This	
   S                                          M
                                           •	 	 omentum	Community	Economic	
   program, sponsored in part by banks,       Development Society	—	Sponsored	
   including TD Bank Group, CIBC,             by	RBC	Foundation,	this	Calgary-
   Scotiabank and HSBC Bank Canada,           based money management program
   provides grants for students to            delivers workshops with a goal of
   develop and implement sustainable          helping individuals take control of
   financial	education	projects.              their	personal	finances	and	develop-
                                              ing money management knowledge
•	 	 D	Money	Lounge	on	Facebook	—	
   T                                          and	skills.
   This Facebook group offers
   financial education aimed at               C
                                           •	 	 learfacts.ca – This financial literacy
   students	and	youth.                        website, sponsored by National Bank,
                                              offers articles and information for
•	 	 unior	Achievement	Programs	
   J                                          families,	home-owners,	students,	and	
   —	These	popular	programs	are	              business	owners.	
   offered in schools and teach
   money management skills as well
   as business and entrepreneurship
   education.	Several	banks	in	Canada	
   are	supporters	of	Junior	Achievement	
   including BMO Financial Group,
   CIBC, HSBC Bank Canada, RBC,
   Scotiabank,	and	TD	Bank	Group.	
                                                         07


Financial
Fraud
Prevention Tips



What You Need to Know
  B
•		 anks	have	very	sophisticated	security	systems	
  and teams of fraud experts in place to monitor
  transactions	to	protect	you	from	criminal	activity.
  	
  W
•		 hile	banks	work	hard	to	prevent	fraud,	there	are	
  simple	steps	that	you	can	take	to	protect	yourself.
  I
•		f	you	are	a	victim	of	fraud,	your	bank	will	launch	
  an investigation and, in most cases, you will be
  reimbursed	for	any	money	that	was	stolen.
                                               More Information
                                               Bank website resources for children
                                               and youth:

                                               CIBC SmartStart program:
                                               www.cibc.com/ca/youth/

The Your Money Seminar Program                 RBC Leo Young Savers Account
                                               www.rbcroyalbank.com
The	banks	also	jointly	support	a	non-
commercial	in-class	seminar	called	
                                               TD Youth account:
Your Money, which the CBA has been
                                               www.tdcanadatrust.com/accounts/youth.jsp
offering for over ten years to deliver basic
money management information to senior
                                               Scotiabank Getting There Savings
high-school	students	in	communities	
                                               Account for Youth:
across	Canada.	Offered	in	partnership	
                                               www.scotiabank.com
with the federal Financial Consumer
Agency of Canada (FCAC) and delivered
                                               National Bank’s Banking Programs
by volunteer bankers, the seminar has
                                               for Youth (PDF):
reached	over	200,000	students	to	date.	
                                               www.nbc.ca
Teachers interested in booking a free
seminar for their class can find out more
                                               ING Planet Orange:
at www.yourmoney.cba.ca.
                                               www.orangekids.com

                                               Laurentian Bank’s Operations
Questions?                                     Account Youth:
If you have general questions about            www.laurentianbank.ca
banking in Canada, call the CBA’s
Banking Information Line at                    BMO Resources:
1-800-263-0231	or	send	an	email	               www.bmo.com/home/about/banking/
to	inform@cba.ca.	                             corporate-responsibility/financial-
                                               literacy#lit_students


                                               Additional Resources

                                               Your Money Seminars
                                               www.yourmoney.cba.ca

                                               The Financial Consumer Agency of
                                               Canada’s financial literacy program:
                                               www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/eng/education
Financial Fraud
Prevention Tips
The banks in Canada take the issue of fraud very seriously and
they	are	working	around	the	clock	to	protect	you.	While	the	
banks are working hard to prevent fraud, there are simple steps
that	you	can	take	to	better	recognize	fraud	and	protect	yourself.	
Here	are	some	tips	on	the	more	common	types	of	scams.	


                                   Debit Card Fraud
                                   Debit cards are very safe, with 99 per
                                   cent of transactions occurring in Canada
                                   without	incident	each	year.	There	are	



99%
                                   ways to avoid having your information
                                   stolen	and	your	card	copied.	
                                       A
                                    •	 	 lways	protect	your	Personal	
                                       Identification Number (PIN): use your
                                       shoulder or your hand to shield your
of debit card                          PIN	when	entering	it	onto	the	keypad.	
                                       N
                                    •	 	 ever	lend	your	card	or	disclose	
transactions occur                     your	PIN	to	anyone.
without incident                       M
                                    •	 	 emorize	your	PIN:	don’t	write	
                                       it	down.	
each year                              I
                                    •	 	f	anything	seems	unusual	about	
                                       the ABM or payment terminal, don’t
                                       use	it;	report	the	situation	to	police,	
                                       the	retailer	or	the	bank.
                                       R
                                    •	 	 egularly	review	your	transaction	
                                       history and report anything unusual
                                       to	your	bank	immediately.	
                                       C
                                    •	 	 hange	your	PIN	periodically.
                          Credit Card Fraud
                          Banks and credit card companies take significant steps to
                          protect	customers	and	minimize	fraud	as	much	as	possible.	
                          For example, did you know that:
                              b
                           •	 	 anks’	systems	can	automatically	detect	unusual	activity	in	
                              a customer’s account so that steps can be taken to prevent
                              fraud	from	occurring.	
                            	V
                           •	 	 isa,	MasterCard	and	American	Express	have	zero	liability	
                              policies for unauthorized transactions, which means if your
                              card is used to make fraudulent purchases, you won’t be
                              held	responsible.




There are steps you can take to protect yourself including:
   R
•	 	 eport	a	lost	or	stolen	card	as	soon	as	you	notice	it	is	gone.	
   M
•	 	 ake	it	a	habit	to	regularly	check	your	transactions	online	or	on	your	
   monthly	statement.	If	there	are	any	charges	that	you	didn’t	make,	
   report	them	to	your	card	issuer	right	away.	
   N
•	 	 ever	give	out	your	card	number	over	the	phone	or	Internet	unless	you	
   know	you	are	dealing	with	a	reputable	company.	
   S
•	 	 ometimes	scammers	will	try	to	trick	people	into	revealing	information	
   about	their	credit	cards	either	over	the	phone	or	through	e-mail.	It’s	important	
   to know that your bank or credit card company would never call to ask
   for personal information like your credit card number, expiry number, PIN, or
   the	security	number	on	the	back	of	your	card.




Contactless Cards

There have been news reports recently about
electronic pick-pocketing, where a criminal with a
card reader and computer can read the information
on contactless cards and commit fraud.
Contactless card transactions are processed through the same secure networks used
for	all	other	Visa,	MasterCard	and	Interac	transactions.	It’s	important	to	know	that	
contactless	cards	are	embedded	with	multiple	layers	of	security	to	protect	you.	
For example:

Short Range – Cards must be within a few centimeters of a reader for any data to
be	transmitted.	The	short	range	makes	it	difficult	for	criminals	to	gain	access	to	card	
information from a distance and, even if they could, the card data cannot be used to
create a counterfeit card and the encryption technology would make the stolen card
information	useless.	
Encryption – Each transaction you make
with your contactless card creates a
unique encryption code, which expires
after	the	transaction	is	finished.	If	
someone was able to get close enough
to steal data from your card, they would
not be able to use the encryption code
because	it	would	have	expired.

Limited Information – Your name is
not transmitted during a contactless
transaction.	For	Visa	and	MasterCard,	
the	three-digit	security	code	on	the	back	
of	your	card	is	also	not	transmitted.          Fraudulent E-mails
                                               E-mail	fraud	—	sometimes	called	
Low Transaction Limits – Contactless           “phishing”	or	“brand	spoofing”—	uses	
cards generally have low transaction           fraudulent	e-mail	messages	and	websites	
limits and any larger purchase will require    that look like they are from a legitimate
you	to	enter	your	PIN.	If	you	card	is	lost,	   company, such as a bank, credit card
this will prevent large purchases from         company, online retailer or government
being	made.                                    agency.	The	e-mail	you	receive	may	
                                               look real, with company logos and
Zero Liability – Visa, MasterCard and          branding, but you may have actually
Interac all have zero liability policies for   received	this	spam	or	mass	e-mail	from	
credit	and	debit	card	holders.	In	cases	       a	criminal.	Here	are	some	simple	steps	
of fraud, you won’t be held responsible        that consumers can take to protect
and	will	get	your	money	back.                  themselves, including:
                                                   B
                                                •	 	 e	sceptical.	Fraudulent	e-mails	can	
                                                   look like they come from a real bank
                                                   e-mail	address.	If	you	have	any	doubts	
                                                   about	an	e-mail	that	looks	like	it	is	from	
                                                   your bank or a reputable company,
                                                   contact them before responding to

Zero Liability
                                                   ensure	that	it	is	legitimate.	
                                                   N
                                                •	 	 ever	send	or	confirm	your	personal	
                                                   or	financial	information	by	e-mail.	
                                                   A
                                                •	 	 lways	enter	your	bank’s	website	
Visa, MasterCard                                   using	the	website	address	(URL)	
                                                   that	you	know	is	accurate.	Contact	
and Interac all                                    your bank to get the correct website
have zero liability                                address	if	you’re	unsure.	
                                                   C
                                                •	 	 heck	the	domain	name	shown	as	
policies for credit                                the	link	in	the	e-mail.	When	you	click	
                                                   the link, if it does not match the name
and debit holders.                                 that appears in the browser at the
                                                   top of the screen, then it may be a
                                                   fraudulent	website.	
•	 	 n	the	Internet,	whenever	entering	
   O                                           The CBA website has more information
   personal information, ensure that you       on how to safeguard your money at
   are	using	a	secure	website.	Look	for	       www.cba.ca/fraud.	You’ll	learn	
   “https://”	rather	than	just	“http://”	in	   more about:
   the	address	bar	of	your	Web	browser	
                                               What Seniors Need to Know
   as well as a closed padlock in the
                                               about Financial Abuse
   bottom	right	corner	of	your	browser.	
   M
•	 	 ake	sure	that	your	home	computer	         Staying Safe Online
   is	protected.	Install	anti-spam,	anti-
                                               WiFi Hotspot Scams
   spyware	and	anti-virus	software	and	
   make	sure	they	are	always	up-to-date.       Grandparent Scams
   R
•	 	 egularly	review	your	bank	and	credit	
                                               Overpayment Scams
   card statements to ensure that all
   transactions	are	authorized.                Identity Theft
   C
•	 	 heck	your	credit	report	at	least	         Real Estate Fraud
   once a year by contacting credit
   reporting agencies Equifax Canada or        How to Protect Against Malware
   TransUnion	Canada.                          Phoney Bank Inspector Scams
                                               Avoiding Counterfeit Bills
                                               Staying Safe at the ABM



                                               Questions?
                                               If you have general questions about
                                               banking in Canada, call the CBA’s
                                               Banking Information Line at
Look for “https://”                            1-800-263-0231	or	send	an	email	
rather than just                               to	inform@cba.ca.	(Please	note	that	if	
                                               you believe that you have been a victim
“http://” in the                               of fraud, you should contact the police
                                               and	your	bank	immediately.)
address bar of your
Web browser as                                 More Information
well as a closed                               The CBA website has extensive
padlock in the                                 information on fraud prevention including
                                               regular free tips on its website at
bottom right corner                            www.cba.ca/fraud.	Sign	up	now!

of your browser
                                                          08


For Seniors –
Preventing
Financial Abuse



What You Need to Know
  F
•		 inancial	abuse	targeting	seniors	is	a	real	concern	
  as many older Canadians hold a high concentration
  of	wealth	saved	over	their	lifetime.
  	
  W
•		 hile	anyone	can	be	a	victim	of	fraud	there	are	
  simple steps you can take to protect yourself from
  the	common	scams	targeting	seniors.
  I
•		f	you	have	been	the	victim	of	financial	abuse	or	a	
  crime,	there	is	help	available.	
For Seniors – Preventing
Financial Abuse
Protecting Yourself From                      Financial	Abusers	—	Who	Are	They?
Financial Abuse: What Seniors                 A financial abuser can be someone you
Need to Know                                  thought you trusted in your life: including
                                              a family member, caregiver, professional
Sometimes it’s useful to have a family
                                              or	friend.	He	or	she	may	exploit	your	
member or other caregiver help you with
                                              relationship to pressure you to gain
your	financial	affairs.	
                                              access	to	your	finances	or	estate.	A	
                                              person may be a financial abuser if they
Their responsibility is to protect your
                                              put pressure on you to give or lend them
well-being	and	financial	interests.	
                                              money, or to gain access to your financial
However in most cases financial abuse
                                              information, misuse a power of attorney,
happens when someone you know tries
                                              take items or money from your home or
to take or control what belongs to you
                                              bank account without permission, misuse
for	their	own	benefit,	not	yours.	This	can	
                                              your	bank	or	payment	cards	or	your	joint	
include	your	money	or	your	property.	
                                              banking accounts, forge your signature
Financial abuse is unethical, and in many
                                              on any legal document, or sell or transfer
cases	it	is	also	a	crime.
                                              your property against your wishes or
                                              interests.

                                              Warning	Signs: There are some warnings
                                              signs that you or family members may
                                              observe that indicate financial abuse may
                                              be	happening.	For	example:
                                                  A
                                               •	 	 	caregiver	may	take	an	extreme	
                                                  interest or involvement in your financial
                                                  matters.	
                                                  Y
                                               •	 	 ou	may	begin	to	notice	withdrawals	
                                                  or transfers in your bank accounts that
                                                  you don’t remember making or are
                                                  inconsistent	for	a	senior.	
                                                  C
                                               •	 	 hanges	may	be	made	to	your	will,	
                                                  trusts, contracts, power of attorney,
                                                  property titles, deeds or mortgages
                                                  that	are	not	in	your	best	interest.
                                                  N
                                               •	 	 on-payment	of	services,	which	
                                                  may indicate a loss of funds or access
                                                  to	funds.
                                                  C
                                               •	 	 losing	of	RRSPs	or	bank	accounts	
                                                  without	regard	for	penalties.
How Can You Prevent It? A	joint	                Where	to	Get	Help	
account, power of attorney or other             Remember, financial abuse is a violation
arrangement may be useful, but these            of	your	rights	and	may	be	a	crime.	It	is	
arrangements should be used in your             not	your	fault,	and	you	can	get	help.	
best	interest.	Make	sure	your	wishes	and	
expectations are clear when you enter           Alberta – Family Violence InfoLine:
into	any	such	agreement.	Here	are	a	few	        310-1818
other tips:
 •	 	f	you	are	able,	conduct	your	financial	
    I                                           British Columbia – Coalition to
    transactions and estate matters             Eliminate Abuse of Seniors:
    yourself,	whenever	possible.                1-866-437-1940
    C
 •	 	 arefully	consider	any	request	for	
    a	loan.	Don’t	be	pressured	to	lend	         Manitoba – Seniors Abuse Line:
    money	if	you’re	not	comfortable.            1-888-896-7183
    M
 •	 	 ake	sure	you	understand	every	
    document	you	sign.                          Newfoundland and Labrador – Senior’s
 •	 	 ave	pension	cheques	directly	
    H                                           Resource	Centre:	1-800-563-5599	
    deposited into your bank account
    and bills direct debited out of your        New Brunswick – Department of Social
    account.                                    Development (Abuse Line):
 •	 	 peak	to	a	lawyer	to	make	sure	that,	if	
    S                                           1-888-992-2873
    you have a power of attorney, it is set
    up the way you want and will protect        Northwest Territories – Seniors
    your	best	interests.	                       Information	Line:	1-800-661-0878	

                                                Nova Scotia – Senior Abuse Line:
                                                1-877-833-3377

Make sure                                       Nunavut – Contact the social services
                                                or health centre in your community or
                                                the	RCMP	at	1-867-979-0123	
you understand
every document                                  Ontario – Senior Safety Line:
                                                1-866-299-1011
you sign.
                                                Prince Edward Island – Adult
                                                Protection	Line:	902-368-6717

                                                Quebec	–	Info-Abuse	Line:	
                                                1-888-489-ABUS	(2287)

                                                Saskatchewan – Seniors Mechanism
                                                Info	Line:	1-888-823-2211	

                                                Yukon	–	Seniors’	Services/Adult	
                                                Protection	Unit:	1-800-661-0408	x3946

                                                Call	your	local	police.	
                                                Talk	to	your	bank	manager.	
Frauds and Scams Targeting Seniors

While anyone can be a target of a fraud or
scam, there are some criminals who specifically
target seniors. Here are two types of scams
to be aware of:
                                   Grandparent Scam
                                   Criminals have set their sights on seniors with
                                   grandchildren using a particularly malicious trick
                                   known	as	the	“grandparent	scam”.	A	senior	will	
                                   receive a phone call from someone who starts
                                   the conversation with, “Grandma? Do you know
                                   who	this	is?”	The	victim,	thinking	it’s	one	of	their	
                                   grandchildren, will respond with, “Yes, I know it’s you
“Grandma?                          (name	of	grandchild).”	The	caller	will	then	start	using	
                                   this	name	to	gain	credibility	with	the	victim.

Do you know                       The caller will claim to be in trouble and will request
who	this	is?”                     money	right	away.	Often	they’ll	say	they	were	in	a	car	
                                  accident with a rental car or they are under arrest and
                                  in	jail	in	another	city	or	country.	The	victim,	wanting	
                                  to help, will withdraw funds from their bank account
                                  and	wire	money	to	the	“grandchild”.	The	money	will	
be sent through a money transfer service where the criminal can then pick it up at any
location	across	the	world.	

Fortunately there are a few simple steps that you can take to avoid falling victim to
this	scam.	For	example,	never	offer	information	to	the	caller.	If	they	prompt	you	with	a	
question	like,	“Do	you	know	who	this	is?”	simply	say	no	and	have	them	tell	you.	And	ask	
questions	that	only	your	grandchild	could	answer	so	you	know	who	you’re	talking	to.	
Also,	never	wire	money	to	someone	under	uncertain	conditions.	It	is	nearly	impossible	
to	recover	or	trace	money	that	has	been	wired.	




      If they prompt you with a question like,
      “Do you know who this is?”
      simply say no and have them tell you.
Phoney Bank Inspector Scam                   It is important to remember that neither
In this scam, criminals will impersonate     your bank nor a police investigator
a bank investigator and trick you into       will ever request that you assist in an
providing	your	own	money	to	“aid”	           undercover investigation or ask you to
a	criminal	investigation.	A	victim	will	     withdraw	money	from	your	account.
receive a phone call from someone who
claims to be a bank inspector, bank
manager	or	police	investigator.	They	will	   If you receive such a
explain that the bank is investigating a
series of fraud cases that have been         suspicious call, hang up
committed by staff at your branch and
ask you to withdraw a large sum of           and call police. Never
money from your account that will be         give out personal bank
inspected and used as evidence as
part	of	the	investigation.	                  information over the
After you withdraw the money, you’ll         phone unless you have
hand over the money and then be              called your bank and
told to go home and wait for a phone
call confirming that the money has           they ask you questions
been	re-deposited	into	your	account.	
Unfortunately,	no	call	comes,	the	money	     to verify your identity.
is	not	returned	and	the	“inspector”	is	
never	heard	from	again.




Questions?                                   More Information:
If you have general questions about          The Financial Consumer Agency
banking in Canada, call the CBA’s            of Canada
Banking Information Line at                  www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca
1-800-263-0231	or	send	an	email	to	          1-866-461-FCAC	(3222)
inform@cba.ca.	(Please	note	that	if	you	
believe that you have been a victim of       Canadian	Anti-Fraud	Centre
fraud, you should contact the police and     www.antifraudcentre.ca
your	bank	immediately.)                      1-888-495-8501

                                             The CBA website at
                                             www.cba.ca/seniors-fraud

                                             Sign up for the CBA’s Fraud
                                             Prevention Tip at
                                             www.cba.ca/fraud
                                                             09


Banking
Service Fees



What You Need to Know
  T
•		 he	Canadian	banking	system	is	very	competitive	
  and there are over 100 different account packages
  on	the	market	to	choose	from.	And	comparing	
  packages	online	is	easy.	
  I
  	
•		t’s	also	possible	to	pay	no	service	fees	at	all	if	you:
      y
	 	 –		 our	bank	offers	a	no-fee	service	package,	
    – if your bank waives your fees when you maintain
      a minimum monthly account balance (usually
      $1000),	or
    – if your bank offers rebates on service fees if you
      have additional products with that bank, such
      as	a	mortgage	or	credit	card.
Banking Services Fees
What You Can Do to Reduce                        Questions?
Your Service Fees                                If you have general questions about
Here are a few ways that you can reduce          banking in Canada, call the CBA’s
the monthly services fees that you pay to        Banking Information Line at
your bank:                                       1-800-263-0231	or	send	an	email	
                                                 to	inform@cba.ca.	
   I
•	 	f	you	are	not	sure	about	which	service	
   fee package is right for you, talk to
   your	bank	–	they	can	help	you	decide.	        More Information
   There are many different account              CBA website:
   packages available and your bank may          www.cba.ca/bankingbasics
   offer an alternative package that better
   meets	your	needs	at	a	lower	cost.             The Financial Consumer Agency of
                                                 Canada:	www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca
   S
•	 	 hop	around	for	a	banking	package	
   with	lower	or	no	fees.	It’s	easy	to	
   compare the banking packages
   available using the online interactive
   Banking Package Selector Tool
   available from The Financial Consumer
   Agency	of	Canada	(FCAC).	The	tool	is	
   available	both	online	and	in	print.	Visit	
   the FCAC at www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca or
   call	1-866-461-3222.

   I
•	 	t’s	also	possible	to	pay	no	service	
   fees at all if your bank waives your fees
   when you maintain a minimum monthly
   account	balance	(usually	$1000),	or	
   if your bank offers rebates on service
   fees if you have additional products
   with that bank, such as a mortgage or
   credit	card.

   I
•	 	f	you	are	a	student	or	a	senior,	find	out	
   if	your	bank	offers	a	no-fee	package	
   that	suits	your	banking	habits.	
                                                          10


How to Make
a Complaint
About Your Bank




What You Need to Know
  B
•		 anks	are	in	the	customer	service	business	and	
  they work hard at building longstanding relationships
  with	their	clients.	
  I
•		f	a	problem	does	occur,	however,	banks	have	
  a process in place to help their clients resolve
  complaints.	
How to Make a Complaint
About Your Bank

The Four Step Process
There	are	four	potential	steps	to	solving	a	problem	with	a	bank.	




Step 1                                         Step	3
Talk to someone in your branch or              If the bank still hasn’t
bank service centre first. A customer          settled the problem
service representative might be able           to your satisfaction,
to	help	you	and	resolve	your	concern.	         contact your bank’s
You can also ask to speak to a supervisor      ombudsman, who is
or	manager.	                                   independent of the product areas of the
                                               bank.	Banks’	internal	ombudsmen	help	
                                               consumers resolve disputes with their
                     Step 2                    bank.	The	CBA	website	has	a	full	list	of	
                     If the issue has not      bank ombudsman contacts, including
                     been resolved to          e-mail	addresses	and	phone	numbers,	at	
                     your satisfaction,        www.cba.ca/resolvingproblems.	
                     find out from your
bank	what	to	do	next.	In	some	cases,	the	
next step is to contact a manager, local                        Step	4	
executive office or customer care                               Contact an external
centre.	Ask	a	representative	or	manager	                        independent
at your branch for the number or address                        ombudsman service.
of	who	you	should	contact.	Each	bank	                           There are two
has a brochure outlining the process           independent bodies that investigate
for dealing with complaints, including         complaints from individuals and small
contact	numbers.	Similar	information	is	       businesses about products and services
also	available	on	the	bank	website.	           provided	by	bank	financial	groups.	
                                               The	objective	of	these	services	is	to	
                                               provide impartial and prompt resolution
                                               of complaints and they are available
                                               free	of	charge.	
Ombudsman Services                        More Information
The two independent bodies that           The CBA website has a full list of bank
investigate complaints are the            ombudsman	contacts,	including	e-mail	
Ombudsman for Banking Services            addresses and phone numbers at
and Investments (OBSI) and ADR            www.cba.ca/resolvingproblems.	
Chambers Banking Ombuds Office
(for	RBC	Royal	Bank	customers	only).	
Before you contact the OBSI or
ADR Chambers, you must first try to
resolve your complaint directly with
your bank as described in steps one,
two	and	three.

Banking customers of RBC Royal Bank
should contact ADR Chambers Banking
Ombuds	Office	at	1-800-941-3655	or	
www.bankingombuds.ca.	

All other complaints should be directed
to the Ombudsman for Banking
Services and Investments (OBSI) at
1-888-451-4519	/	416-287-2877,	
e-mail:	ombudsman@obsi.ca,	
www.obsi.ca.	




                                  Before you contact the OBSI
                                  or ADR Chambers, you must
                                  first try to resolve your
                                  complaint directly with your
                                  bank as described in steps
                                  one, two and three on the
                                  previous page.

				
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