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Proud warmonger
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone

Could someone please give me a brief summary of all the major banks available in Canada and which one you believe is the best one?

I ask because during my next holiday to Canada in January i am looking to open a bank account there (am i allowed to do that as a tourist?) so that when i do apply for residency or the working holiday visa in the future, it would make everything much easier for me and I will be able to transfer money easily from Australia before i get there

Thanks
 

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I would think the best thing would be to open an HSBC account in Australia.. as they have branches all over the world. I imagine you could withdraw cash from the HSBC machines here.
I bank at the Royal, and have been very pleased with it. Never did like CIBC, however.
 

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Proud warmonger
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
But could i actually open a canadian bank account as a tourist?

I already have too many bank accounts in Australia, don't need another one :)
 

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天豆
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I would say the top 3 banks are very clearly TD Bank, RBC and Scotiabank.

RBC is the largest Canadian bank in almost every category. TD Bank is next with huge total assets. Scotiabank is now third largest with the most international banking network of Canada's major banks.

After the top three: BMO and CIBC.

They are all very stable and less leveraged than international peers. I don't know if you can open a bank account. I think an HSBC account would be a good idea, although there are very few HSBC branches relative to Canadian banks here, it would be much more difficult to withdraw any cash (without paying a huge service charge) since it's hard to find an HSBC atm machine. Of course you are also be able to withdraw cash from any worldwide account with any machine via VISA or the "diamond plus" after paying an exchange rate penalty and another service charge.
 

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Proud warmonger
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
^^ so out of all those canadian banks you mentioned, which one of them has savings accounts with no annual fees? That's all i am looking forward to opening when i get there
 

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I bank at BMO [Bank of Montreal] and have been incredibly happy with my business there. I used to be at Scotiabank but left (what a horror that bank is! Their customer service is just dreadful in my experience). Honestly, I'm not sure how much variation there really is between the top 5 banks. PC Financial, which is part of CIBC, has a savings account and a chequing account that is totally free of charge.

What it really boils down to is, which colour do you prefer? Blue, Gold, Green, Red, or Burgundy? :)
 

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Hmmmm.... again you will have to do some research. I advise sending one of the banks an email with all of your questions. As for HBSC, there aren't as many branches as the other banks, but they are at strategic locations around downtown. I see them fairly often. HBSC is all over the world, so it is handy, and I think your withdrawal fee is less if the machine belongs to the bank you have an account with. I withdrew money from my Royal account in St Lucia.
You have to be one of the only people I know who not only loves cold weather, but actually plans to come to Canada in the winter! :)
 

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After 911 it became really difficult for foreigners to open U.S. bank accounts -without SSNs or letters from Educational Institutions. Not sure if this also applies to Canada.
 

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I bank at the Royal, and have been very pleased with it. Never did like CIBC, however.
I'm the opposite. I used to bank at Royal for a long time but got fed up with mysterious charges that showed up from time to time. I changed to CIBC.
 

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In mourning
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Really? I've been dealing with Royal Bank for a long time and never notice there is any hidden charge,may be I should start to pay more attention to it.
 

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^^ I think it was before no-fee accounts or something, not sure how RBC is now. :)

Once thing with "no-fee" accounts I don't like is that they charge you first then refund you. Sometimes they don't refund me, meaning that I've exceeded my monthly transaction (withdrawals) limit, so I always have to watch out.
 

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After rebates, my mom pays more money to RBC than the Canadian and Ontario governments. Apparently, 4 dollars a month and the privilege of only using a debit card once per month and being charged for each subsequent use is the best they can do for disabled people on fixed incomes. :|

Basically, unless you're making lots of money, don't bother having a bank account here. Go to a credit union instead. They offer better service and knowing you, would be more in-line with your political beliefs.
 

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Proud warmonger
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I bank at BMO [Bank of Montreal] and have been incredibly happy with my business there. I used to be at Scotiabank but left (what a horror that bank is! Their customer service is just dreadful in my experience). Honestly, I'm not sure how much variation there really is between the top 5 banks. PC Financial, which is part of CIBC, has a savings account and a chequing account that is totally free of charge.

What it really boils down to is, which colour do you prefer? Blue, Gold, Green, Red, or Burgundy? :)
Your avatar looks so cute! what is it? :)
 

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Your avatar looks so cute! what is it? :)
Ha! Thanks! It's a purple Care Bear wearing the mask that V wears in V for Vendetta. I feel like it's a pretty good representation of myself. :lol:
 
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