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Whether you’re a newcomer to Canada or you’re thinking of purchasing a home and will need to apply for a mortgage, it’s important to choose the right bank for your needs. While there are ‘big’ or more well-known Canadian banks—which include CIBC, TD, RBC, BMO, and Scotiabank—other smaller banks like Tangerine, Wealthsimple, and Simplii also offer competitive advantages. 

So how do you decide on a Canadian bank? Here are a few tips.

Consider physical locations

While the majority of banking can be conveniently done online nowadays—whether via mobile banking or an app—there are instances when it’s helpful to have a physical branch location close by. For example, when you’re putting an offer on a home and require a deposit quickly, it’s helpful to be able to walk into a branch. 

When in doubt, visit the bank

If you’re considering a few different options for banks, the choice can come down to customer service. Visit a branch or call the bank for more information and gauge your comfort level. Service offered in different languages can also be a deciding factor.

Look at mortgage rates

If you’ll be looking to buy a home in the next few years, it’s worthwhile checking out mortgage rates at each bank. When it is time to apply for a mortgage, you absolutely do not have to get a mortgage with your bank—you’ll be looking at the best rates across a variety of lenders. However, some banks offer incentives for bundling your mortgage with other products, and it could be convenient to have all your finances with one institution. 

Check the fees closely 

No one likes to pay fees for opening or keeping their money in a bank account, and hidden fees can be extra annoying. Take a look at the various fees for basic and investment accounts across different banks to help you decide which account might work for your needs. But keep in mind the various perks offered—such as a cash bonus for opening an account, rewards programs, or waived credit card fees.

Try a comparison tool

If you’re looking for a specific type of bank account, this handy account comparison tool will help narrow down your choices based on factors like your location, monthly account fees, and interest rates.

Found the right bank for your mortgage and ready to start your home search? Contact our team of experts today to get started.