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Trying to open a bank account - now !

Trying to open a bank account - now !

Old Dec 20th 2006, 8:28 pm
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Default Trying to open a bank account - now !

Hi guys

We're over in Calgary at the moment - but only for a couple more days - have done the landing bit - hurrah - all stamped up and no problems.

Can't seem to open a bank account - without a Canadian address - full stop! Being thwarted in our attempts. Is this standard now ?

Why can't we use our UK address? - money laundering is being mentioned (I wish!) - but a bit fed up - and this is a Catch 22. How can I bring my pennies over here to buy a house, if I don't have an account to put them in? And until I buy said house, I do not have the address required.

Some people have mentioned opening HSBC account in UK, then 'transferring or opening' an account in Canada. Has that worked? A friend out here has no good experience of them - but that might just be a one off.

We have no relatives in Canada - and only a passing acquaintance based here - so I do not feel at liberty to ask if I could use their address - even if that would work - the banks want 'my permanent address' ....

Help !!

Plus I am keen to take advantage of the decent exchange rates at the moment - the foreign exchange companies are happy to hold on to our newly converted canadian dollars (of course they are!) until we have a canadian bank - but I want to bring it here and put it in an interest bearing account asap.
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Old Dec 20th 2006, 9:03 pm
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

Originally Posted by ann m
Hi guys

We're over in Calgary at the moment - but only for a couple more days - have done the landing bit - hurrah - all stamped up and no problems.

Can't seem to open a bank account - without a Canadian address - full stop! Being thwarted in our attempts. Is this standard now ?

Why can't we use our UK address? - money laundering is being mentioned (I wish!) - but a bit fed up - and this is a Catch 22. How can I bring my pennies over here to buy a house, if I don't have an account to put them in? And until I buy said house, I do not have the address required.

Some people have mentioned opening HSBC account in UK, then 'transferring or opening' an account in Canada. Has that worked? A friend out here has no good experience of them - but that might just be a one off.

We have no relatives in Canada - and only a passing acquaintance based here - so I do not feel at liberty to ask if I could use their address - even if that would work - the banks want 'my permanent address' ....

Help !!

Plus I am keen to take advantage of the decent exchange rates at the moment - the foreign exchange companies are happy to hold on to our newly converted canadian dollars (of course they are!) until we have a canadian bank - but I want to bring it here and put it in an interest bearing account asap.
It shouldn't be.

I opened our accounts from the UK and transferred money over before I had attended the bank in person. I was not able to withdraw any funds before I had presented myself in person and they had verified my ID details.

I used TD Canada Trust for this and the branch was in Millrise.

If you are happy to use them and you are anywhere near this let me know an I will PM you a contact's details. I am sure that she will also be able to provide you with a contact of branch nearer to you if Millrise is no good for you
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Old Dec 20th 2006, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

Originally Posted by ann m
Hi guys

We're over in Calgary at the moment - but only for a couple more days - have done the landing bit - hurrah - all stamped up and no problems.

Can't seem to open a bank account - without a Canadian address - full stop! Being thwarted in our attempts. Is this standard now ?

Why can't we use our UK address? - money laundering is being mentioned (I wish!) - but a bit fed up - and this is a Catch 22. How can I bring my pennies over here to buy a house, if I don't have an account to put them in? And until I buy said house, I do not have the address required.

Some people have mentioned opening HSBC account in UK, then 'transferring or opening' an account in Canada. Has that worked? A friend out here has no good experience of them - but that might just be a one off.

We have no relatives in Canada - and only a passing acquaintance based here - so I do not feel at liberty to ask if I could use their address - even if that would work - the banks want 'my permanent address' ....

Help !!

Plus I am keen to take advantage of the decent exchange rates at the moment - the foreign exchange companies are happy to hold on to our newly converted canadian dollars (of course they are!) until we have a canadian bank - but I want to bring it here and put it in an interest bearing account asap.
Try the following link:

http://www.settlement.org/sys/faqs_d...faq_id=4000068

The following is pasted directly from that website.

Do I have the right to a bank account?
Did you know that as a new Canadian you have a right to a bank account?

Banks have to open a bank account for you except for five reasons set out in new federal law that began at the end of September 2003.

You don't need a job. You don't have to put money in the account right away. You don't need a permanent address. And you cannot even be refused an account if you are bankrupt, or declared bankruptcy in the past.

All you have to do is show acceptable identification and agree to let the bank check it out. You can get the list of acceptable identification at any bank if you ask for it.

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Old Dec 20th 2006, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

When I visited Prince Albert in SK some weeks back to see my new employer, I also visited TD trust and no problems opening bank account with a UK address only. Cash point cards given at the time whilst in the bank, We have just received your first statement, at my UK address
Can not see why you cant get an account opened.
If you are having problems please PM me and i will give you my bank mangers e-mail and hopefully he can give you a contact in Calgary.
The networking is the way to go

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Old Dec 20th 2006, 10:14 pm
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

Originally Posted by ann m
Hi guys

Some people have mentioned opening HSBC account in UK, then 'transferring or opening' an account in Canada. Has that worked? A friend out here has no good experience of them - but that might just be a one off.
Hmmm, HSBC. Everytime you ring you are told something completely different. Went to NS in 2004. Branch in Halifax told me to get the UK to open it for me. Go back to UK...no, if you are in Canada open it there its much easier and quicker. Last time I was in HSBC in St John, NB. A very, very helpful lady in there tried to sort it out but she told me no way would they open an account until I 1...had a visa, 2....had an address in Canada. So I said I want to buy a holiday home which means 1...I won't have or need a visa, 2...I won't have an address until I have the money in Canada to buy it. As you say catch 22!

I also tried CanadaTrust, they were very helpful I think I'll open one with them when I get around to it.

Argh you've got me started on HSBC now. Have I had problems......recently when my card was rejected and I called to find out why, they said, and I quote, "your card is being used in Finland and you've never been to Finland before so the security software picked out this transaction and stopped it"

Erm, lets see. 1... I've been to Finland dozens of times as I used to be employed by a Finnish Plc and 2...I've used the same credit card to pay my hotel bill EVERY time.
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Old Dec 21st 2006, 2:59 am
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

We had the same problems when we were over in October, although we had not landed at that point, so had not activited our work permits. We were told that new money laundering regs were in force so we could open an account and transfer money over but could not access it until we had moved over and had the proper paperwork. So not much help when we were buying a house before we moved over! In the end we decided to leave it and open an account when we actually arrived here a couple of weeks back. With the benefit of hindsight, what we should have done is open the account when we were over, but leave it with just a small amount of money that we would not be able to access and transfer money later. But what we did when we got back to the UK was open a HiFX account, transferred the money to buy the house to our attorney into his trust account so that was all sorted, then when we arrived we opened a bank account and then arranged the balance of the money in HiFX to be put into our Canadian account - that took about 4 days to arrive and clear, so we were hammering our credit card! We did get a decent rate though HiFX - I can't fault them. Buying the house turned out to be the easiest thing we did, opening a bank account took ages (a good hour and a half and even then they got my husband's name wrong despite having all the right paperwork and a Canadian address!!). Getting a car and a cell phone, well that's another story, but they turned out to be the hardest of all!!

HTH and good luck!
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Old Dec 21st 2006, 7:47 am
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

Hi Ann,

We opened an account with HSBC when we were over in October without any problems (took about 20 minutes, left with cards there & then). We do all our banking with HSBC here in the UK, so it made sense to go with them in Canada.

We are lucky in that we could give them my cousins address (not that it was needed) - we have had a statement from them posted to our home here in the UK (cousin has a couple of 'welcome' letters sent to him for us at his home).

Not sure if this helps at all.

Hope you get it sorted,

Arris
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Old Dec 21st 2006, 7:58 am
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

Try Scotiabank. Okotoks branch did it for us in October with a UK address, no problem at all.
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Old Dec 21st 2006, 4:46 pm
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

Thank you everybody for your replies - your all stars!!

This networking lark is the way to go - yesterday we were given the name of someone to contact at Scotiabank, left a message for them, and they did call us back. We now have an appointment at 11am tomorrow morning and hopefully we can get this all sorted out (this was after being told the first available appointment would be on the 27th Dec).

Thank you also for the link, snowgoose - helpful stuff.

I'll keep you posted !
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Old Dec 21st 2006, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

Originally Posted by ann m
Thank you everybody for your replies - your all stars!!

This networking lark is the way to go - yesterday we were given the name of someone to contact at Scotiabank, left a message for them, and they did call us back. We now have an appointment at 11am tomorrow morning and hopefully we can get this all sorted out (this was after being told the first available appointment would be on the 27th Dec).

Thank you also for the link, snowgoose - helpful stuff.

I'll keep you posted !
That is exactly what happened to us. Friend of a friend gave us a name and contact number at the branch, and two hours later we walked out with our banking cards and cheques.

Compare that to the hassles of trying to open an HSBC account from the UK (despite being a customer for 12 years) - two months of chasing and a demand to deposit £3,000 into the account just to open it! Not surprisingly they lost our business!
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Old Dec 21st 2006, 8:49 pm
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

Originally Posted by chinnybloke
Argh you've got me started on HSBC now. Have I had problems......recently when my card was rejected and I called to find out why, they said, and I quote, "your card is being used in Finland and you've never been to Finland before so the security software picked out this transaction and stopped it"

Erm, lets see. 1... I've been to Finland dozens of times as I used to be employed by a Finnish Plc and 2...I've used the same credit card to pay my hotel bill EVERY time.
I had the same problems with Barclays in the UK - my card got stopped whilst using it in Canada. They said exactly the same thing - I explained that I lived in Canada, and that Barclays had my permanent home address as Canada. They said I should call them to let them know if I was going to use my card in Canada again, to prevent the same issue occuring - it was a 'security feature'.

I don't bank with Barclays anymore
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Old Dec 22nd 2006, 8:55 am
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

We went into a branch of the RBC before we got PR, they were very helpful and they used the branch address for our home address. They gave us access to online banking and after a month of having the account we phoned customer services from the UK and changed the address to our UK address. We now receive statements, bank cards etc at our UK address.
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Old Dec 22nd 2006, 10:26 am
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

Originally Posted by R I C H
I don't bank with Barclays anymore
Yay! My "whiff of excrement" theory about Barclays gets yet more substantiation. How do they stay in business, let alone remain the largest UK bank?

K.
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Old Dec 22nd 2006, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

Originally Posted by R I C H
I had the same problems with Barclays in the UK - my card got stopped whilst using it in Canada. They said exactly the same thing - I explained that I lived in Canada, and that Barclays had my permanent home address as Canada. They said I should call them to let them know if I was going to use my card in Canada again, to prevent the same issue occuring - it was a 'security feature'.

I don't bank with Barclays anymore
We bank with Barlcays and have had them ring my sister who is staying in our house in UK to ask about our card as it was being used in Canada. SIster told them that we are staying in canada for a while. Didnt change our address as we were not sure if we could still keep bank account in we were not in uk. They said that they would attach a note to our account to say that we are using card in canada as we are in canada!
Husbands barclaycard was declined though (on internet for flights to uk from canada) husband called them and they said it was security reasons. Husband answereed a few questions and card is back up and running.
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Old Dec 24th 2006, 2:06 pm
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Default Re: Trying to open a bank account - now !

Can I just say thanks again to everyone who replied and to the PM's with very kind and helpful comments/suggestions.

We are now the proud 'owners' of a new Sociabank checking account and savings account, plus debit cards, pin numbers, checks/cheques, internet access, etc.
The lady we spoke to was truly helpful and professional and the whole procedure was quite painless in the end. And for the record, we used our friend's address as they happily offered it to us ! So after three attempts, the deed is now done and it was easy to do. I would even go so far as saying it was way more simple than trying to open an account in the UK (!)

Let's hope my opinion of my new banking facilities remain positive - who knows - after what I've read on this site, most opinions are not too complimentary !! another case of wait and see ...

Thanks again everyone
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