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Can a financial institution refuse to open a personal bank account for me?
Under Canadian law — subject to certain conditions — everyone has the right to open a personal bank account.
A bank cannot refuse to open a bank account for you because you are unemployed, or do not make a minimum deposit right away, or because you have previously been bankrupt — as long as you have the proper identification. For a list of acceptable identification, click on the link in the Resources section below.
However, you should note that a bank does not have to open a personal account for you if:
If a financial institution refuses to open a personal bank account for you, it must notify you of its refusal in writing. The bank must also tell you how to contact FCAC. If you are unable to resolve your dispute with the financial institution, you should contact us.
You can also make a complaint to the financial institution. Federal financial consumer protection legislation requires all federally regulated financial institutions to have a complaint-handling process in place to help resolve disputes between consumers and their financial institutions. This process includes a third-party dispute-resolution body.
FCAC publishes the complaint-handling process for all federally regulated financial institutions on its Web site. To find the complaint-handling process for your financial institution, click here . If you are having difficulty finding this information, call our Consumer Contact Centre at 1-866-461-3222 (toll-free).