2014 Low-Cost Account Guidelines
The objective of these Guidelines is to ensure Canadians have access to basic banking services at a nominal cost through a low-cost account and that youths, students, Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) recipient seniors and Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) beneficiaries have these same services at no cost through a no-cost account. The Guidelines represent the minimum service level for low-cost and no-cost banking services.
- A minimum of 12 debit transactions per month, at least two of which can be done in-branch;
- Cheque writing privileges;
- No extra charge for deposits; debit card; pre-authorized payment forms; monthly printed statements; and cheque image return or on-line cheque image viewing; and
- Other services are available for a reasonable fee.
- Low-cost account – $4.00 per month; and
- No-cost account – youths, students, GIS recipient seniors and any RDSP beneficiaries are eligible for a low-cost account at no-cost.
- Use of clear and simple language to identify the features and costs of a low-cost and no-cost account, including services included and excluded from the monthly fee that adheres to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) clear language guidelines and does not mislead consumers;
- Display of information about the availability of low-cost and no-cost accounts in-branch and on-line; and
- Display of information in-branch and on-line informing consumers how to access the FCAC Account Selector Tool to compare bank accounts. Banks will provide the FCAC with up-to-date information on low-cost and no-cost accounts.
The Guidelines are indeterminate and as low-cost and no-cost banking needs change, banks will expand services to meet the needs of consumers.
Banks bring the Guidelines into force by January 15, 2015.
Separate from this low-cost account and no-cost account commitment, banks commit to provide free monthly printed credit card statements.
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