Canadian Bank account in Euros?

So I’ve got some Euros in my PayPal now, and I want to move them to a Canadian bank account. But I don’t want to lose anything in the conversion from Euros to Canadian dollars, so I want a Canadian bank account with the balance held in Euros. Here’s what I’ve learned after sending email to the major Canadian banks:

  • Bank of Montreal: “Regrettably, our accounts are provided exclusively in Canadian and U.S. currency.”
  • Citizens Bank of Canada: “Citizens Bank of Canada does not offer foreign currency accounts except for US dollar chequings/savings accounts.”
  • Bank of Nova Scotia: “We advise that we currently do not currently offer accounts for Euros.”
  • Royal Bank of Canada: “We offer accounts in Canadian or US dollars only at this time.”
  • National Bank of Canada: “This message informs you that the e-mail you sent has not reached its destination because the domain “sibn.ca” is not valid. Please resend your message with the corrected domain.”
  • CIBC: No response received.

The only positive response I received from from TD Canada Trust, which emailed back:

I am pleased to advise that TD Canada Trust does offer foreign currency accounts. However, you can only access our foreign currency accounts directly at your TD Canada Trust branch in Canada. They cannot be accessed via bank machines, EasyLine or EasyWeb.
Foreign currency accounts allow you to maintain your deposit without the need to exchange to Canadian Dollars, which may assist you if you are looking for an account to hold a large amount of another currency. In addition to being non-chequing, our foreign currency accounts:
  • are non-interest-bearing accounts
  • carry no service charges
  • do not allow overdrafts
  • are not eligible for coverage through the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation

All of which makes their option even less attractive than PayPal. So that’s where my Euros are staying for now.

Comments

HSBC's picture
HSBC on October 15, 2007 - 17:05

Try HSBC Canada

Gene's picture
Gene on October 24, 2007 - 21:06

This brings up an interesting idea. Paypal as a global internet bank. Not a totally crazy idea.

God knows the banking industry could use a kick in the ass.

Charlie's picture
Charlie on October 27, 2007 - 09:31

OVER 1000 EUR? You can also try a credit union, like Desjardins. Don’t expect to have online access, nor the convenience of withdrawing EUR from one of their ABMs (we live in Canada, right?). Like TD’s offer, you’ll earn no interest, but there’s also no monthly fee if you keep over 1000EUR in your account. The advantage is that EUR purchases as a client of Desjardins are quite cheaper there than what TD will usually charge.

OVER 10000 EUR? Get an offshore account with HSBC — HANDS DOWN! They’ll give you online access, and maybe throw in some checks and debit cards in foreign currencies. If you got less than 10000 EUR (or its equiv) be prepared to pay 40$ / month (NOOOOOOOOT Worth it!)

Ed's picture
Ed on November 20, 2009 - 18:08

HSBC and now Scotia bank will allow you to open accounts in euro’s
Scotia is free if you have > E$200 every month, otherwise they charge like E$1 / month
HSBC is free for any amount and pays like 0.05% interest so it’s a better deal all along !!

Baharak's picture
Baharak on December 29, 2011 - 23:38

I asked CIBC and they said they have a free euro account just to hold euros
i guess similar to TD
But I asked HSBC, said its free to have an account but they charge every time you do a withdrawal :/

Philip Alford's picture
Philip Alford on November 26, 2013 - 05:39

HSBC would not allow me to open an account in euros as a US resident, despite my preparedness to provide a substantial deposit and have a small automatic euro deposit from a pension. Worse still, I was told that I could have a euro account if I first opened a US$ account, but when I did that they then told me I could not have the euro account and charged me to close the dollar account. I hardly recommend them.

I’m really in a bind, because the large euro amount is now in an offshore account with Lloyds TSB, which has provided substandard service, and always converts money at a rate of about four points below the prevailing internet rate, and they are unable to receive the automated pension payment, which now goes to a local bank in the European country from which the pension originates, but that bank won’t exchange the money for me and send it to me in dollars. If Lloyds sends money in euros, it goes to their correspondent bank in the US (New York Mellon), which refuses to tell me even an approximation of their euro/dollar exchange rate because I don’t have an account with them. And to open one they want a minimum million dollar deposit. And when I did have money sent in euros some years ago, I not only got a terrible exchange rate, but it went through a series of banks, each of which took a bite out of it, so I’m not really inclined to do that again, anyway.

So now I’m stuck with two bank accounts in euros, both of which are screwing me around, and the US won’t let me have a euro account here. What a joke. The goddam bankers control everything.

Any suggested solution will be most welcome.

Thanks,

P A

Philip Alford's picture
Philip Alford on November 26, 2013 - 22:02

Just spoke with Desjardins in Vancouver BC, and they don’t offer accounts other than in C$ and US$, and had no suggestion regarding a solution.

Tatiana's picture
Tatiana on December 28, 2014 - 16:58

Re: TD - well, also not a good option as I've read somewhere else that they first transfer the amount into Ca$ and then back to Euros which means you might lose even more with the conversion. It sucks that it is so hard to open a non-CAD account in a Canadian bank.

Julia's picture
Julia on January 23, 2015 - 11:00

Desjardins and CIC (French Bank) have an agreement that is possibly your best option in Canada https://www.cic.fr/bt/en/index.html the closest service you can find for expats.
Also the EU has very recently approved a direct debit scheme to facilitate transactions from one EU country to another

George's picture
George on July 18, 2016 - 17:37

Julia you are wrong. Desjardins and CIC (French Bank ) have an agreement but they don't offer new accounts in Euros here in Canada. Desjardins doesn't provide this (Euro) service here.

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