Eight Canadian financial institutions have recently renewed their public commitment to offer low-cost accounts for their customers. These financial institutions have committed to offer accounts that meet guidelines set out by the Government in February 2001 to ensure that all Canadians have access to affordable banking services. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) monitors if financial institutions respect their public commitments.
The low-cost account guidelines include:
- no charge for deposits;
- the use of a debit card;
- cheque-writing privileges;
- free updated account statement or passbook record;
- 8 to 15 debit transactions per month, at least two of which can be done in-branch; and
- a maximum monthly fee of $4, reflecting the number of in-branch and the total number of debit transactions allowed.