Low-cost accounts and no-cost accounts

The federal government has signed a public commitment with certain financial institutions to ensure you have access to basic banking services at low or no cost. 

Under this commitment, certain financial institutions have agreed to offer low-cost accounts to all consumers in Canada. You may also be eligible for the same services at no cost.

You can compare low-cost and no-cost accounts from different financial institutions using FCAC’s Account Selector Tool.

What is a low-cost account?

Under this commitment, low-cost accounts are accounts which cost a maximum of $4 per month. At a minimum, low-cost accounts include the following services where these services are available to the financial institution’s other retail customers: 

  • at least 12 debit transactions per month, including at least 2 in-branch transactions per month where available
  • cheque writing privileges
  • a debit card
  • unlimited deposits
  • monthly printed statements
  • pre-authorized payment forms
  • cheque image return or online cheque image viewing.

Service fees apply to all transactions you make that are over your monthly limit, contact your financial institution for details.

What is a no-cost account?

Under this commitment, a no-cost account is a low-cost account that is available for no monthly fee to eligible consumers.

Am I eligible to receive a no-cost account?

You may be eligible to receive a low-cost account for no cost if you are a:

Contact your bank or financial institution to learn more about the details of its low-cost account and to find out whether you qualify for a no-cost account.

What you should know

Under this agreement, financial institutions offering low-cost accounts will:

  • identify the features and extra service charges associated with low-cost and no-cost accounts in a manner that is clear, simple and not misleading
  • display information about the availability of low-cost and no-cost accounts, in branches and online
  • display information on how to access the FCAC Account selector tool to compare bank accounts, in branches and online.

FCAC’s role

Many financial institutions offer accounts with low or no monthly fees. FCAC offers an interactive Account Selector Tool to help you compare bank accounts and find the one that best suits your needs.

FCAC also monitors banks’ compliance with the Public Commitment for Low-cost and No-cost Accounts. If you feel that a bank is not respecting its public commitments, contact FCAC.