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Introduction to Banks in Canada

Banks in Canada

According to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, as of September 30, 2010,  the Canadian banking industry currently has 22 domestic banks in Canada, 26 foreign bank subsidiaries and 23 full-service foreign bank branches and seven foreign bank lending branches with operations in Canada . In total, these institutions manage close to $3.1 trillion in assets.

The very first chartered bank in Canada was Bank of Montreal which was established in 1817.  Since this time banking in Canada has grown to be a major financial contributor to Canadian society.  Banks in Canada now serve millions of customers and help individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, large corporations, governments, institutional investors and non-profit organizations all across the country.

The major domestic Canadian banks offer a broad range of banking, investment and financial products and services.  The banks in Canada are extremely large and many have country-wide branch retail networks.  Some of the bigger domestic Canadian banks like the RBC, TD Bank, Scotia Bank, CIBC and BMO  also do business in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean,  Europe,  Asia and all over other parts of the world.  Almost half of the earnings made by these banks are generated outside of Canada.

The most well known banks in Canada and the ones that do the most business and have the biggest brands are the “Big Five” banks.

The Big 5 Banks

Royal Bank                                  Scotiabank                 BMO               CIBC

Royal Bank (RBC) is the biggest bank in Canada followed closely by the TD Bank. The other three Canadian banks included in the Big Five, listed by assets size order include Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal and CIBC. These five banks are Schedule 1 banks (domestic banks) operating in Canada under government charter. The bank shares must be widely held with no one entity or person holding more than 20% ownership share.

Just how big are the Big Five banks in Canada. Royal Bank has over 1200 retail branches across Canada, TD Bank has over 1100,  Scotiabank has over 1000, BMO (Bank of Montreal) has over 900 and CIBC has over 1000. Royal Bank has approximately  79,000 employees with the other banks following close behind… TD 65,000, Scotiabank 70,000, BMO 38,000 and CIBC 42,000. The asset size of these banks are approximately as follows…RBC with 760 Billion, TD Bank with 619 Billion, Scotiabank 526 Billion, BMO 411 Billion and CIBC 352 Billion.

Many large international banks are also have operations and retail networks in Canada.  As an example HSBC, is an international bank with an extensive retail branch network.  HSBC has a retail branch network of approximately 150.

There are other financial institutions in Canada that compete with the banks in Canada including credit unions, insurance companies and mutual fund companies.

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Canadian Bank Facts

Here is a list of facts about Canadian Banks and Canadian Banking:

1. There are over 6,175 bank branches in Canada (2011)
2. There were over 899 million ABM transactions performed at bank-owned ABMs in Canada (2011)
3. Only .33% of mortgage holders of Bank held mortgages are in arrears (2011)
4. The six largest banks in Canada paid over 10 billion dollars in taxes (2011)
5. In 2011, banks employed 274,120 Canadians. Over the last 10 years industry employment has increased 14.4%
6. People employed by Canadian banks in other countries was 104,040 (2011)
7. Banks provide financing to over 1.6 million small and medium sized businesses
8. Canada’s Bank Act is reviewed and updated every five years so that the regulatory structure is
keeping pace with changes in the industry
9. 83% of Canadians give Canadian banks a good to excellent performance rating when it comes to
being stable and secure. (2011)
10. 81% of Canadians believe that Canada’s banks are more stable and secure compared
to other banks around the world (2011)

(source for top 10 facts comes from the Canadian Bankers Association)

11. RBC is Canada’s largest bank
12. TD Canada Trust is Canada’s second largest bank
13. The top 5 banks in Canada are RBC, TD Canada Trust, BMO, CIBC and Scotiabank
14. The sixth largest bank in Canada is the National Bank of Canada
15. The internet is now the key way to bank for 45% of Canadians (2012)
16. 23% of Canadians still use branches as their main way to conduct banking.(2012)
17. 91% of Canadians are satisfied with their banks’ website (2012)
18. There are more than 59,000 ABMs in Canada, including more than 17,590 bank-owned ABMs. (2012)
19. 5% of Canadians reported using mobile banking in 2011 with 23% of Canadian expecting to do mobile banking in the near future.
20. There are 70 Banks operating in Canada. (2012)
21. There are over 450,000 Interac Payment Terminals at retailers across Canada. (2011)
22. CIBC has over 42,000 employees worldwide. (2012)
23. CIBC has 1100 branches across Canada with almost 4,000 ABMs. (2012)
24. CIBC has over 11 million clients. (2012)

(source for many of the facts listed above is from the Canadian Bankers Association)

Filed in FAQs, Info

Canadian Bank Credit Ratings

Canadian banks are evaluated by credit rating agencies to evaluate their credit worthiness and provide a future outlook on their ability to pay back the debt and the likelihood of default. Canadian Banks are reviewed by the following credit agencies on a regular basis – DBRS, MOODY’S, STANDARD & POOR’S and FITCH.

Credit rating evaluations are fluid and change all the time. Sometimes credit ratings are upgraded and other times they are downgraded. Canadian Bank credit ratings are often tied to the Canadian economy, the Canadian real estate market, Canadian employment rates, the global economy, GDP, etc. Historically Canadian Banks generally have had high credit ratings.

Recently however, in July 2012, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services cut its outlook from stable to negative on seven Canadian banks, sighting concerns over unsustainably of high home prices and high consumer debt levels. Moody’s had cut 15 banks credit ratings in June 2012 too. Here is a link to an article from the Montreal Gazette about Moody’s credit rating downgrade .

To view the current 5 Big Canadian Bank Credit Ratings published on their websites we have provided direct links to the RBC Credit Ratings, CIBC Credit Ratings, Scotiabank Credit Ratings, BMO Credit Ratings and TD Bank Credit Ratings:

Current RBC Credit Ratings
Current BMO Credit Ratings
Current CIBC Credit Ratings
Current Scotiabank Credit Ratings
Current TD Bank Credit Ratings

Filed in Compare Canadian Banks, Info

Send Money Online in Canada

Here are the best ways to send money online in Canada to places in Canada and around the world.

1. Interac E-Transfer. Canadian Banks offer Interac E-Transfer service, which allows customers to transfer money online using internet banking. Both the sender and the recipient need to have a bank account in Canada with one of the Canadian banks and be set up for online banking. To send money all you will need is the recipients email or mobile phone number.

The sender will need to go online to their bank’s website, login to their account by typing their access card number and password. Choose to “Make a Transfer” as done on TD Canada’s website as an example, and then choose “Send Money” under Interact E Transfer heading.

The sender needs to give the recipient a password for a “Security Question” to accept the money. A recipient will see a note in their email box that they have received money. They will click on the link in the email which allows them to choose the bank they wish to deposit the funds into. They will be prompted to type in the password they have been given by the sender. Once the correct password has been entered the funds will be deposited to their account and the transfer cannot be undone.

Many credit unions in Canada offer Interact E-transder service too.

Cost: The Interact E-transfer fee: is $1.50 per transaction (typically at most banks)

2. Paypal. You can transfer money free using Paypal to persons in Canada. You will need to have an account with Paypal and have your bank account linked.

Cost: Free

Other online money transfer services include:

3. Western Union. E-commerce business that offers money transfer service. Western Union has over 510,000 Agent locations in 200 countries and territories.
You can send money online now using the Western Union website. You will need to register online to set up an account. Use your Canadian bank-issued Visa® or MasterCard® to send money online. Also if you are a Scotia customer, you can send money online or by using your mobile phone for a fee* of $9 plus 1% of money sent.

Cost: The cost varies. The fee is based on the amount of the money sent and it also depends on where the sender is sending the money (which country/location).

MoneyGram. MoneyGram brand is recognized throughout the world as a leading global payment services company. MoneyGram’s money transfer service moves money quickly and easily around the world in over 196 countries and over 200,000 agents. You can now send money directly to a bank account using the MoneyGram service.

Hyperwallet. Hyperwallet is a Canadian based global money transfer service business. You can send money online using Hyperwallet’s money transfer service. Send money online (to 31 countries) for just $7.00 per transfer with no wire fees for senders or recipients.

Cost: The fees vary based on dollar amount of money being sent and the location where the funds are being sent.

CanadianForex. CanadianForex, which started in 2007, has grown into one of the world’s largest online foreign exchange companies. What you should know is that they offer great rates and low fees (and even no fees!), however they do not offer overseas money transfers under CAD2,000 and no cash transfers. The maximum fee you can be charged is CAD15. Every funds transfer is free starting from CAD10,000 or equivalent.

Xoom Global Money Transfer. Recipients do not need a bank account or Internet connection to receive funds. Senders have the option to send money using a credit card, debit card or bank account. You can deposit money to any Dollar (CAD) bank account including TD, Royal Bank, CIBC and Scotiabank.
Most money transfers are deposited within two business days. You can send up to $2,999 for only $4.99.

Axis Bank and ICICI Bank Canada (Both Indian Banks) allow customers to send money online in Canada to locations in India. The transfer fees are usually free if you do foreign exchange. which is another online money transfer business.

Filed in Send Money • Tags:

Best Canadian Bank Wire Transfer Fees

Here is a list of the big 5 banks in Canada Wire Transfer Fees. These wire service fees have been compiled using the currently published information listed on the various bank websites as of Sept 2012. Find and compare Canadian bank wire transfer fees for each of the big 5 banks.

RBC Wire Transfer Fees:
Outgoing payment within Canada or to other countries (most currencies)
Starting at $15 plus a $5-$10 communication fee (ask us for further details)
If an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is not provided for a wire payment going to countries that use IBANs
Add $25

TD Wire Transfer Fees:
Outgoing Wire Transfers
- $10,000 or less – $30.00
- $10,000.01 to $50,000 – $50.00
- over $50,000 – $80.00
Incoming Wire Transfers – $10.00
Wire Investigation Fee for Non-bank Errors
- per hour $40.00
- minimum $25.00

BMO Wire Transfer Fees:
Wire payments
Incoming (3rd party bank charges are the responsibility of the sender)
Outgoing (of wire value)
Minimum charge – $15.00
Maximum charge – $125.00
Plus: Communication charge – $10.00

CIBC Wire Transfer Fees:
Outgoing Wire Payments
$10,000 or less – $30.00 per payment
$10,000.01 – $50,000 – $50.00 per payment
Greater than $50,000 – $80.00 per payment
Outgoing wire fees will be charged in Canadian currency. For wires from foreign currency accounts (including U.S. accounts), the equivalent fee will be charged in the same currency as the account using an exchange rate set by CIBC on a date determined by CIBC.

Scotiabank Wire Transfer Fees
Scotiabank offers Western Union transfers for sending money.
Pay only $9 + 1% of the amount you are sending through online or by mobile – no matter the country

Filed in Compare Canadian Banks, Fees, Send Money • Tags:

BMO Bank Fees for Sending Money to Others

BMO Banks Fees to Send Money to Others
Here is a sample of Canadian bank fees to send money to others(Fees published on BMO website as of Sept 2012)

INTERAC®* e-transfer – $1.50
INTERAC®* e-transfer (Smart Saver Account) – $5.00
Money orders (Canadian, U.S. and Pound Sterling)7,8,9 – $7.50
Drafts (all available currencies)7,8,9 – $7.50
Official cheque – $5.00
American Express Gift Cheques –
Commission on total purchase 3.00%
Wire payments
Incoming (3rd party bank charges are the responsibility of the sender) – $14.00
Outgoing (of wire value) – 0.20%
Minimum charge – $15.00
Maximum charge – $125.00
Plus: Communication charge – $10.00

7 -Additional fees may be charged by BMO and/or other financial institutions for refunds or replacements of lost or stolen money orders or drafts.
8 – The receiving financial institution may charge associated fees.
9 – U.S. Dollar money orders and drafts are available at no cost when purchased through a U.S. dollar personal account.

Filed in Fees, Send Money

How do I wire money to a bank account?

To wire money to a bank account, you will require some basic information about you and the recipient including the full name, address and account number of both you and the recipient (also called a beneficiary) of the wire payment. Most banks in Canada will charge a Bank Wire Trasfer fee of approximately $25. For example RBC has a wire transfer fee starting at $15 plus a $5-$10 communication fee for outgoing payments within Canada or to other countries for most currencies. Here is a link describing the RBC Wire Transfer service. Typically there are fees to receive incoming wire transfers too (RBC charges a $15 fee for incoming wire transfers greater than $50). Compare Canadian Bank Wire Transfer Fees.

Another alternative to sending money online is by using Western Union. You can now transfer money directly from your bank account (by linking your bank account to your Western Union profile) and have the money sent to a person for pick up at a Western Union location of your choice which may in fact be a bank like Scotiabank which is offers Western Union transfer services. There are fees for using Western Union which can by higher than those of wire transfers depending on the amount being transferred.

Filed in FAQs, Info, Send Money • Tags:

Canadian Bank Holidays 2013

Banks in Canada Holiday Schedule 2013
Day, Holiday, Federal/Provincial

January 1, Tuesday, New Year’s Day, Federal – National
January 2, Wednesday, Traditional Holiday, Provincial – Quebec
February 18, Monday, Family Day, Provincial – Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario
February 18, Monday, Louis Riel Day, Provincial – Manitoba
March 29, Friday, Good Friday, Federal – National
April 1, Monday, Easter Monday, Federal
May 20, Monday, Victoria Day, Federal – National
June 24, Monday, National Holiday, Provincial – Quebec
June 24, Monday, Discovery Day, Provincial – Newfoundland & Labrador
July 1, Monday, Canada Day (July 1st), Federal – National
July 9, Tuesday, Nunavut Day, Territories – Nunavut
August 6, Monday, Civic Holiday, Provincial – Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan
August 19, Monday, Gold Cup Parade, Provincial – PEI
September 2, Monday, Labour Day, Federal – National
October 14, Monday, Thanksgiving Day, Federal – National
November 11, Monday, Remembrance Day, Federal – National
December 25, Wednesday, Christmas Day, Federal – National
December 26, Thursday, Boxing Day, Federal – National

Banks in Canada are closed in recognition of national and provincial holidays in Canada. Canadian Bank ATM’s and telephone banking at Canadian banks are still available and continue to operate on these public holidays. TD Bank, RBC, Scotiabank, CIBC and BMO (the big 5 banks) along with the other Canadian retail banks would be closed during these holidays.

Filed in Bank Holidays

Send Money Bank to Bank

In Canada there are several ways to send money bank to bank.

Here are some of the popular, convenient and easiest ways to send money bank to bank:

1 – Transfer funds via Interac e-Transfer. The Interac service, is an online banking service, which allows you to transfer money between the various banks in Canada 24/7. You can send money to anyone with an email address or mobile phone number and a bank account in Canada — without sharing any personal or financial information. All the big 5 banks offer Interac e-Transfer. It’s very convenient because you can do this via the internet if you have subscribed to online banking with your Canadian bank. Interac e-Transfer is limited to bank to bank transfers in Canada.

2 – Bank Wire Transfers. All the major banks allow you to transfer funds via Wire Transfer Payments. Banks in Canada use the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized and reliable environment. To send a wire payment, you will be asked to provide the full name, address and account number of both you and the recipient (also called a beneficiary) of the wire payment. Most banks in Canada will charge a Bank Wire Trasfer fee of approximately $25. For example RBC charges a wire transfer fee starting at $15 plus a $5-$10 communication fee for outgoing payments within Canada or to other countries for most currencies. Here is a link describing the RBC Wire Transfer service. Typically there are fees to receive incoming wire transfers too (RBC charges a $15 fee for incoming wire transfers greater than $50).

3 – Bank Drafts and Certified Cheques. Banks in Canada can issue a bank draft or certified cheques. These type of transactions to send money are slower than new online methods. Usually there is a fee associated to generate a draft or certified cheque. It also requires a physcial delivery which costs money and takes time. Some options for delivering the draft or cheque include delivery by hand, courier, post, express post, air mail, etc..

4 – Western Union Money Transfer. Some banks are set up as agents of Western Union Company like Scotiabank. The Western Union Company is an industry leader in global money transfer with approximately 510,000 Agent locations in 200 countries and territories.

All you need is a Scotiabank account or Scotiacard. Pay only $9 + 1% of the amount you are sending through online or by mobile – no matter the country.

Here is the direct link to information about Scotiabank’s Western Union Money Transfer Service.

5 – Send money via Paypal. PayPal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ebay, is a global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made online through the Internet. Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to paying with traditional paper methods like cheques or drafts. It is free for sender and recipient in Canada when you send using your bank account or PayPal balance. To use the Paypal service to transfer money you will need to set up a Paypal account and link your bank account. Transferring money is very easy because all it requires is the recipients email address or mobile phone number. Here is a direct link to Paypal

Frequently asked sending money questions:
Find out how to send money online from Canada to anywhere in the world
How do I wire money to a bank account?

Filed in Online Banking, Send Money, Services • Tags:

UK Banks in Canada

HSBC is the only UK bank with retail services and branches in Canada. HSBC coined “the World’s Local Bank” can service you whether you are live and work in Canada and or are moving to Canada.

If you are a British Expat transferring money between the UK and Canada it’s easy with the ability to transfer funds between HSBC Canadian accounts and HSBC UK accounts without having to incur expensive foreign exchange transfer fees that you might have to pay if you were wiring money, using MoneyGram, Western Union or some other money transfer or foreign exchange company.

As an expat you’re quite likely to have a local bank account in at least two countries. Customers of HSBC can view all of their HSBC accounts they have around the world using HSBC’s Global View, a unique service of HSBC’s Internet Banking service.
As a HSBC customer you can make Global Transfers allowing you to transfer money between your eligible accounts in Global View. This service is offered free to their HSBC Premier customers. HSBC Advance customers are charged a small fee for each transfer done.

The main branch is located at:

HSBC Bank Canada
885 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3E9
(604) 685-1000

Barclays Bank is another UK Bank which has investment bank operations in Canada. They maintain investment bank offices in Toronto and Calgary.
Barclays Bank does not offer retail services in Canada but does offer International banking, Investment banking and Wealth and Investment Management.

International banking
They provide individuals, corporates and intermediaries with banking, investment solutions and international trading, in multiple currencies, offered in well-regulated and secure locations.

Investment bank
They offer large corporate, government and institutional clients with a broad choice of solutions to their strategic advisory, financing and risk management needs.

Wealth and investment management
They provide international private banking, wealth planning, trust and fiduciary services, investment management, brokerage services and research to clients across the globe.

Barclays offices in Canada:

Sunlife Plaza, North Tower, Suite 1700, 140 4th Avenue SW, Calgary AB, T2P 3N3, Canada
Telephone: +1 403 592 7450
Fax: +1 403 592 7513

Bay Adelaide Centre, 333 Bay Street, Suite 4910 Toronto ON, M5H 2R2, Canada
Telephone: + 416 863 8902
Fax: + 647 260 5076

Filed in Banks, Foreign Exchange • Tags:

BMO Shrink Your Mortgage One-day Event

On Saturday September 22nd, 2012 BMO is offering a 2.99% APR (Annual Percentage Rate) on their 5 year fixed mortgage. This offer is available at select branches. To find out which branches are participating in this promotion you can visit BMO has taken out full page ads across the country advertising this special low rate mortgage opportunity.

Filed in Special Bank Promotions and Offers