Banks and other financial institutions such as credit unions and caisses populaires are safe places to keep your money.

A bank account lets you:

  • write cheques
  • use automated banking machines (ABMs)
  • get paid through direct deposit
  • use a debit or credit card for purchases

You can access many of these services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at an ABM, or through telephone or Internet banking.

Opening a bank account

Protect your Personal Identification Number or you may find transactions in your account statement that you did not make.

  • Contact your bank right away and tell them the amount and date of the unauthorized transaction. If the transaction is fraudulent, the bank will be able to tell you what to do next.
  • Contact the institution that gave you your credit card right away and report the unauthorized transaction. You can also file a report with the local police.

You can open an account even if you:

  • don’t have a job
  • don’t have money to put in the account right away
  • have been bankrupt

To open an account, you usually have to:

  • go in person to a financial institution and
  • provide an acceptable form of identification

Contact the financial institution to find out if there are other ways to open an account. Financial institutions that operate only online may require that you have an existing account with another financial institution before opening an account for you. Learn more about:

Protect yourself from fraud

A legitimate company or financial institution would never contact you and ask you to give your PIN or password over the telephone or online. Your bank will never tell you of a problem with your account through an unsolicited email, and they will never ask you to send or confirm personal or financial information by email. Do not respond if you get an email asking you to enter or verify personal information. Even if the email looks like it comes from your bank or financial institution, it is probably an attempt to steal your money or your personal information.

You may get telephone calls from people who are trying to sell you something. Never give out any personal or financial information to anyone over the telephone unless you have made the call yourself. If you are not sure about the caller, just hang up.


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