Canadian banks target newcomers for growth

Canadian banks target newcomers as key source of client growth


Canadian banks target newcomers for growth

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continues to aggressively execute immigration plans to help Canada recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of thousands of newcomers are landed each by IRCC. Canada is on track to land 432,000 permanent residents this year, rising to 451,000 by 2024.

See also Canada announced dramatic increases to Canada’s immigration levels.


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And as Canada is banking on newcomers to help the economy recover, Canadian banks themselves are aggressively competing for newcomers to grow their client accounts. See Canadian banks are competing for Canada newcomer banking services.

According to Abhishek Sinha, banking transformation leader at EY Canada, “We’re seeing it as a big focus across all categories of banks, not just the big banks.”  


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You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

“Whether you talk to the Big Five or you talk to the next tier after that, or even the credit union segment, newcomers and penetrating that market segment is super important.”

Canada newcomer banking services


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The “Big Five” refers to the five largest banks in Canada. Each has its own unique competitive Canada newcomer banking services.

These Canada newcomer banking services specifically cater to new PRs and international students. Some 432,000 newcomers would land in 2022, while international students population is expected to top 2021 figure of 622,000. These are huge addressable markets for Canadian banks.

Getting a financial start is one of the challenges newcomers face when they first move to Canada. Banking in Canada may be different from what they were used to. And the new requirements and procedures could be overwhelming.

As a newcomer, it’s important to start building a Canadian credit history. A credit card is an essential part of life in Canada. A credit history helps newcomers with employment, mortgages, loans and insurance.

Many Canadian banks now offer newcomer credit cards without a need for credit history, which is a major challenge for many newcomers.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

The RBC Newcomer Advantage offers everything you need for a great financial start in Canada: banking, credit and investment solutions created specifically with newcomers in mind. You also get $100 cash when you open an RBC No Limit Banking account and no monthly fees for 12 months. Conditions apply.   

International Students may get $60 cash when they open an RBC student bank account

RBC recently announced a partnership with ICICI Bank, India’s largest bank, to bring integrated banking solutions to newcomers moving to Canada. According to Neil McLaughlin, Group Head, Personal & Commercial Banking, RBC:

“From opening a bank account, to accessing a credit card, to applying for a mortgage, this collaboration will help ensure newcomers have access to the products and advice they need in order to thrive in Canada”

See RBC and ICICI Bank Canada collaborate to create a seamless banking experience for newcomers to Canada.

RBC has also created hubs near cultural centres and on campuses where newcomers can get answers to questions beyond banking, including getting a drivers’ licence or daycare.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)

TD’s New to Canada banking package includes a $150 cash gift if you open a TD Unlimited Chequing Account. An unsecured  TD Credit Card can help you build your Canadian credit. TD may give you a credit limit of up to $5,000, even if you have no credit history.

You also get Special welcome offer on the TD Cash Back Card or the TD Rewards Visa Card with no annual fee for newcomers to Canada.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

CIBC Smart™ Account for Newcomers include:

  • Chequing account with no monthly fee for one year and $300 cash
  • CIBC Dividend Platinum® Visa Card with first-year annual fee rebate
  • Newcomer to Canada Program Mortgage with no Canadian credit history
  • Car loan with no Canadian credit history
  • Send money globally with a $0 transfer fee

CIBC is well established at Canadian airports to be a first point of contact for newcomers banking needs.

Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

Scotiabank’s StartRight® Program offers special newcomer banking solutions that include:

  • Zero monthly account fees for one year – a value of $203.40
  • Unsecured credit card with a limit of up to $5,000
  • Unsecured credit card for international students with a limit of up to $1,000
  • No-fee international money transfers
  • Specialized mortgage for newcomers to Canada, and also
  • New vehicle loan with only 10% down

Bank of Montreal (BMO)

BMO’s NewStart Program includes special offers on accounts and services to help newcomers save money and, also, establish your financial future. The package includes:

  • Performance Plan chequing account online with no monthly fees
  • BMO CashBack Mastercard credit card
  • Special “no credit history” mortgage for newcomers

Canadian Fintechs and credit unions are also rolling out the carpet to welcome newcomers with attractive offers. Fintechs are using innovative ways help use newcomers solve the credit history challenge. For example, by using more global financial data and international bank information, not just newcomers’ Canadian credit history.

VanCity, a credit union, offers financial literacy courses to help newcomers. It also provides loans for newcomers to help them upgrade or accredit their foreign credentials to Canada levels. Partnerships between Vancity and social enterprises like DIVERSEcity are helping many newcomers with microloans. Vancity’s With These Hands loan provides funds for newcomers to obtain training and education to enter a trade. See GABVMigrants.


You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.