Most Canadians keep their money in the bank. A bank account is considered a safe place to keep your money. Banks let you write cheques, earn interest, apply for credit and pay your bills. These kinds of financial services are also offered by credit unions, caisses populaires and trust companies.

Since banks have various kinds of accounts, you can discuss with them what kind you need. To open one, you should be prepared to provide personal information, as well as some form of identification, such as your passport or your Social Insurance Number. The bank may need your Social Insurance Number for income tax purposes. This is the same for everyone, at any bank. Post office savings accounts do not exist in Canada.

To welcome newcomers to Canada, many banks offer special banking packages:

BMO Bank of Montreal

Newcomers to Canada who have obtained Landed Immigrant status within the last three years qualify for special offers, including a free banking plan for a year, with BMO Bank of Montreal. With the plan, you enjoy unlimited transactions such as bill payments, transfers, debit card purchases and BMO Automated Banking Machine withdrawals/deposits.

For a complete list of the banking products and services offered to newcomers by calling the toll-free number at 1-877-CALL-BMO (255-5266) or visit their website to obtain more information at


The CIBC Newcomers to Canada Plan is available to those who have obtained Permanent Resident status within Canada in the last two years. Under the plan’s chequing account, for the first year, you pay no monthly fee and no fees on an unlimited number of transactions like withdrawals at CIBC bank machines and branches, writing cheques, paying bills, and pre-authorized payments.

For more information on the plan, call 1-866-525-8622 or visit their website at

RBC Royal Bank

A banking account for up to 12 months and a RBC Royal Bank credit card with no credit history required are part of the RBC® Welcome to Canada package. More information on the banking package and other services offered to newcomers to Canada can be obtained by calling toll-free 1-800-769-2511 or visit the RBC website at As well, banking tutorials can be downloaded in up to 14 languages on how to open a bank account, buy a car, buy a home and send money overseas or save for your children’s education. Our toll-free number offers support in over 180 languages.


Scotiabank offers the Scotiabank StartRight Program for Newcomers to Canada, which includes savings on personal banking and other special offers. The program brochure can be downloaded in 17 languages on the Scotiabank website at,1608,CID12956_LIDen,00.html. Information on the program is also available by calling toll-free 1-866-800-5159 or by emailing

TD Canada Trust

TD Canada Trust provides multi-language online services as part of its program of services to newcomers to Canada. More information on the products and services offered can be obtained by visiting the TD Canada Trust website at or by calling the toll-free number at 1-866-222-3456.