Banking in York Region
Most people in Canada keep their money in bank accounts. Canada has a safe banking system, where money can be kept and earn interest. Banks offer credit services such as loans, mortgages and credit cards.
Canada's currency is the Canadian Dollar (CDN). If you need to convert currency to Canadian dollars, a currency converter helps you determine how much the money is worth compared to the Canadian dollar.
The five largest banks in Canada are:
- Bank of Montreal (BMO Financial Group)
- Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
- Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
- Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank Financial Group)
These large banks have many branches around York Region.
Other banks that have branches in York Region include:
- HSBC Bank of Canada
- National Bank
- The Bank of East Asia (Canada)
- The Italian Canadian Savings Credit Union
- The Laurentian Bank
It is important to have a bank account.
There are two main types of bank accounts – savings and chequing accounts. Savings accounts help to save money. Chequing accounts allow you to pay for things such as rent, telephone, utilities and other expenses. Banks charge different fees for different types of accounts and services.
When opening a bank account, it is important to:
- Learn about terms and fees for services
- Ask if the bank will look at your financial and credit history outside of Canada
- Be sure that you carefully read and understand any agreement before signing it
Once you have a bank account, you receive a bank card which you can use to get your money from an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATMs are located in banks, malls and other public places. You can also use your bank card to buy things in most stores.
If you are new to Canada, opening a bank account will help you build your credit rating.
It is important to establish a credit rating. If you are new to the country, it is important that you bring all of your banking documents to Canada. You need to show your credit history in your country of origin. This may help to establish your credit history in Canada.
To help establish your credit rating in Canada, you might want proof of your past credit history, such as previous loans, mortgages or credit cards. There are several ways to establish your credit rating. For example, have someone you know and trust guarantee your first small loan or get a Canadian credit card from one of the major financial institutions.
Companies called Credit Bureaus - Transunion Canada and Equifax Canada - determine credit ratings. These companies keep track of how well you pay off your debts. For example, if you do not pay a debt on time, this can damage your ability to borrow money. Generally, the better your credit history, the easier it is to borrow. A good credit rating is important if you want to buy a house, car or other major purchases.
Credit ratings are linked to your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and are for individuals not families.
The Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments in Canada collect money in the form of taxes from individuals and companies. This helps pay for government programs and services ranging from roads and public utilities to schools and healthcare. For more information on the Canadian tax system, visit Settlement.org.
When living in York Region, the most common types of government taxes that you will encounter are; income tax, sales tax (13 percent), property tax and business taxes (if you own a business).
For more information about banking in York Region and Ontario:
- NEW Money Management Tools for Newcomers - People who are new to Canada or those planning to move here can get customized money management information through Money Management Tools for Newcomers to help ease their transition and set them up for success. The tool also supports settlement workers who are helping newcomers to settle, providing credible financial information to suit their clients’ individual needs.
- Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) - protects and informs consumers about financial products and services and provides information about rights and responsibilities of financial consumers.
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada – Protecting Your Money - learn more about opening a bank account, using bank machines and Interac Direct Payment (debit cards) and applying for a credit card.
- Settlement.org - provides information about opening a bank account in Ontario.