Fortunately, there are regulations that make it easier for consumers to access banking services. In fact, under the Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations, Canadian consumers can open a personal bank account even if they
As long as a consumer shows up in person and presents the proper identification, the bank must open the account requested by the consumer, unless
It is important to note that caisses populaires, which are provincially regulated, do not have to comply with this regulation.
To help consumers choose the banking package that best suits their needs, to inform them about the identification requirements involved when opening a personal bank account, or to get more information on what you should know about low-cost accounts offered by eight banks across the country, the FCAC offers a wide range of interactive tools and publications, all available at www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca.
In fact, by law, a bank must cash a Government of Canada cheque up to $1,500 free of charge, even if the consumer does not have an account with the bank.
To cash this type of cheque, consumers must present an original piece of identification with both a photo and signature, such as a driver's licence. For those who do not have a driver's licence, it is also possible to show two other pieces of ID mentioned within the list available on FCAC's website.
A bank can, however, refuse to cash the cheque if it has reasonable grounds to believe it is counterfeited, altered in some way, or is connected with a crime or fraud.
For more information on this topic or on how to make a complaint, see the publications Cashing your Government of Canada Cheque for Free and How to Make a Complaint, both available at no cost on FCAC's website.
When consumers apply for loans or a financial service, the bank looks at their credit history. When you apply for a job or want to sign a lease for an apartment, for example, authorized individuals may also want to look at your credit report — with your approval — to verify your reliability.
This is why it is important that all of the information on your credit report be accurate and up to date. If there are errors in the report, it is important to have them corrected.
It is a good idea to request a copy of your credit report from the two credit-reporting agencies at least once a year, not only to verify that your personal information is up to date, but also to ensure that you have not been the victim of identity fraud. Because credit information can be kept by more than one credit-reporting agency, it is important to check both credit reports carefully. The agencies are:
To see what a credit report looks like, know how to get errors corrected or understand what factors influence a consumer's credit score, see the publication Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score, available on FCAC's website at moneytools.ca.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) and the Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy (CCFL) are pleased to announce a new initiative that will deliver FCAC's life skills resource, The City, to community-based organizations serving youth across Canada. The CCFL will train staff and facilitators from organizations interested in providing financial literacy training in 10 communities across Canada to deliver the The City, and will collect feedback and evaluation from community organizations and youth participants across the country. For more information about this project, contact Caroline Munshaw at email@example.com.