2014 Low-Cost Account Guidelines

The objective of these Guidelines is to ensure Canadians have access to basic banking services at a nominal cost through a low-cost account and that youths, students, Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) recipient seniors and Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) beneficiaries have these same services at no cost through a no-cost account. The Guidelines represent the minimum service level for low-cost and no-cost banking services.

Minimum Features:

  • A minimum of 12 debit transactions per month, at least two of which can be done in-branch[1];
  • Cheque writing privileges[2];
  • No extra charge for deposits; debit card; pre-authorized payment forms; monthly printed statements; and cheque image return or on-line cheque image viewing[3]; and
  • Other services are available for a reasonable fee[4].


  • Low-cost account – $4.00 per month; and
  • No-cost account – youths, students, GIS recipient seniors and any RDSP beneficiaries are eligible for a low-cost account at no-cost.


  • Use of clear and simple language to identify the features and costs of a low-cost and no-cost account, including services included and excluded from the monthly fee that adheres to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) clear language guidelines and does not mislead consumers;
  • Display of information about the availability of low-cost and no-cost accounts in-branch and on-line; and
  • Display of information in-branch and on-line informing consumers how to access the FCAC Account Selector Tool to compare bank accounts.  Banks will provide the FCAC with up-to-date information on low-cost and no-cost accounts.


The Guidelines are indeterminate and as low-cost and no-cost banking needs change, banks will expand services to meet the needs of consumers.


Banks bring the Guidelines into force by January 15, 2015.

Free Credit Card Printed Statements:

Separate from this low-cost account and no-cost account commitment, banks commit to provide free monthly printed credit card statements.

[1], [2], [3], [4] Where these services are available to other retail customers.