Are you interested in learning more about bank accounts (opening them, sharing the balance of a joint account, etc.) or debit card fraud? You may be interested in the following information.

To help you make an informed choice when opening a bank account, refer to the website of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. Among other things, you will find information about:

  • your rights and responsibilities;
  • the pieces of identification required to open an account;
  • the financial institution’s obligations;
  • the types of fees that may apply to your account.

The rules about opening an account with a credit union are different. You can refer to the Desjardins website on this subject.

If you have a joint account with your spouse or a former spouse, or if you open such an account, you can declare the share of the account balance each of you would receive in the event of the other’s death.

Are you opening or do you already have a demand deposit account (e.g., a chequing or savings account) with your spouse or a former spouse?

Declaring each person’s share

In the event of the death of your spouse or former spouse, you would by default be entitled to half of the balance, and vice versa. If this is not what you want, you have the option of declaring your respective shares of the account balance to your financial institution.

Before opening the account, your financial institution must notify you in writing that you can jointly declare the portion of the account balance you would each receive. For example, one could receive 70% and the other 30%.

For an existing account, you can contact your financial institution at any time to declare each of your respective shares.

You can jointly change these shares at any time (during the lifetime of both account holders) by contacting your financial institution.

Liquidity in the event of death

In the event of the death of your spouse or former spouse, the financial institution must, upon request:

  • give you your share;
  • give the other share to the liquidator of your spouse’s or former spouse’s succession.

This will provide you with quick access to liquidities.

The Office de la protection du consommateur cannot help you if your debit card (ABM card or bank card) is the subject of fraud.

Potential solutions in cases of fraud

In cases of fraud with your debit card, you can:

  • contact your financial institution and your police service;
  • check your contract for the use of the card. You are sure to find relevant information.

Have your contacts with your financial institution not yielded results? Have you lost money? You can turn to your financial institution’s complaints processing system.

If you do business with a bank and your complaint was not processed to your satisfaction, you can file a complaint with the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments. If you do business with Desjardins, the Desjardins Group Ombudsman can help you.

Additional information

For more information about the procedures to undertake in cases of fraud and on how to protect yourself, refer to the website of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

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Last update : February 28, 2023

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.