News Release Article from  Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

The right banking choices can lower your costs

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New FCAC tip sheets help Canadians save on fees

OTTAWA, January 19, 2012 – Canadian consumers who are looking for ways to save money can find tips on choosing the right banking accounts and keeping service fees low in two new tip sheets from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC). Choosing the Right Savings Account and Choosing the Right Chequing Account and Banking Package provide easy-to-understand information and guide consumers to valuable resources.

“Before choosing bank accounts, consumers need to determine what kind of account will provide them with the services they need at the lowest cost,” said Ursula Menke, FCAC Commissioner. “By asking the right questions, consumers can find ways to minimize their fees.”

Here are a few things to consider when shopping for:

A savings account

  • interest rate
  • the way the institution calculates interest
  • fees
  • access to your money—how you can withdraw or use it, and
  • protection such as deposit insurance.

A chequing account

  • How many cheques do you write every month?
  • How frequently do you use an automated banking machine (ABM)?
  • How many debit card transactions do you make every month?
  • Do you need a safety deposit box or personalized cheques?
  • Could you benefit from special packages for seniors, youths, students or newcomers to Canada?
  • Would a low-cost account provide the services and features that you need?

FCAC interactive selector tools

Both new tip sheets direct consumers to FCAC’s interactive selector tools, which help consumers shop for chequing and savings accounts. The Banking Package and Savings Accounts selector tools list most of the chequing and savings accounts available from financial institutions in Canada, and compare their interest rates, service fees, accessibility and other features.

More information on how to open a new account is available in Opening a Personal Bank Account: Understanding Your Rights.

Consumers can read or download the tip sheets from FCAC’s website, at fcac.gc.ca.

About FCAC

With educational materials and interactive tools, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) provides objective information about financial products and services to help Canadians increase their financial knowledge and confidence in managing their personal finances. FCAC informs consumers about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with banks and federally regulated trust, loan and insurance companies. FCAC also makes sure that federally regulated financial institutions, payment card network operators and external complaints bodies comply with legislation and industry commitments intended to protect consumers.

You can reach us through the FCAC Consumer Services Centre by calling toll-free 1-866-461-3222 (TTY: 613-947-7771 or 1-866-914-6097) or by visiting our website: fcac.gc.ca.

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