Essential facts newcomers need to know about financial institutions in Manitoba

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Financial institutions in Manitoba

Financial institutions:

  1. They provide services to help you handle your money.
  2. You need them:
    • to keep your money safe
    • when you get a job. Your employer will ask for a bank account to deposit your salary
    • for savings, investment or loans in the future
    • to send money to your family in your home country


  1. Canada has a national banking system.
    • The five largest banks are in the 10 provinces.
    • You get similar products or services at the same price.
  2. Banks are well-managed, well-regulated and secure.
  3. They are members of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation.
  4. Deposits are insured up to $100,000.
  5. Anyone can open an account. You will need to show an ID.

Read: Financial rights and responsibilities (Your rights and responsibilities when dealing with financial institutions) to know more.

How to choose a bank account:

  1. Banks offer around 100 types of accounts.
  2. Know your needs to choose the right account for you.
  3. Think how many times you need to withdraw and deposit each month.
  4. Compare:
    • transaction fees
    • interest rates
    • taxes
  5. Ask about accounts for newcomers to Canada.
  6. Some newcomer accounts do not have transaction fees for six months or more.

Credit Unions

  1. They are cooperatives.
  2. They are owned by members (the people who use their services).
  3. They are not-for-profit.
  4. Earnings are owned by the members who all own shares.
  5. Caisses populaire, is the French version of a credit union.
  6. They are regulated.
  7. All deposits are guaranteed without limit by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba.

Services and facilities:

  1. Credit unions offer:
    • savings accounts
    • chequing accounts
    • investments
    • loans
    • insurance
    • trust services
  2. Facilities:
    • internet banking
    • mobile banking
    • ATM
    • telephone banking
  3. Not all credit unions have the same requirements to join.
  4. Contact the nearest branch for the requirements.
  5. Use this map to look for a branch near you.

Before becoming a member:

  • Think of your needs and your transactions.
  • Compare fees, taxes, interests and other benefits.
  • Compare with bank products.
  • Look for the nearest branches and ABM sites.

Remittance Centers

  1. Ways to send money abroad:
    • wire transfer through a bank
    • remittance centres like Western Union or MoneyGram
    • Postal Money Order
    • Online or mobile (e-transfers)
  2. What you need to find out:
    • Compare the fees and speed of delivery for each service.
    • Check websites for information.
    • If you are sending money through a bank:
      • your recipient may need to have a bank account
      • know what kind of identification is required to claim the money
    • Look for special offers for newcomers.
    • Some banks offer free money transfer services for clients.
    • Beware of money transfer scams.
    • Read about scams and how to avoid them from the Government of Canada site.

Fringe financial institutions

  1. They cash checks and offer payday loans.
  2. Some sell money orders and collect bill payments.
  3. Those without bank or credit union accounts use their services.
  4. People like them because of the fast service, convenient locations and extended hours of operation.
  5. They are not regulated (supervised by any institution).

What you need to know:

  1. Fringe institutions are the last choice.
  2. They charge higher transaction fees and interests compared to banks.
  3. If you need their service, know the exact charges and interest rates.
  4. Check for hidden charges.
  5. Ask questions if something is not clear to you.

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