Banking Information

Using Your Bank Card 

Before leaving your home country, ask your bank if you can use your bank card (debit card) to withdraw money in Canada. If a PLUS, Cirrus or Maestro symbol appears on the back of your card, you may withdraw money from bank machines (ATMs) with the same symbol(s). ATMs are convenient but keep in mind that you will be charged a transaction fee each time you withdraw money.

Choosing a Bank

When choosing a bank in London, we recommend that you: 

  • Ask your home bank if they have connections with any Canadian banks
  • Choose a bank that accepts money transfers from your bank at home
  • Find a bank that offers student rates

After you choose a bank, you can find the branch nearest to you. To see which banks are close to Western, view the Banks Close to Campus section below.

Opening a Bank Account

There are three basic types of bank accounts:

  • Chequing: Pays little or no interest; may have small charges for services; provides monthly statements; has debit privileges; is a useful and convenient method for paying rent, fees, bills, etc.
  • Savings: Provides better interest rate; has no chequing privileges; allows personal withdrawals only. 
  • Chequing/Savings: Combines the privileges of both a chequing and savings account.

Tips: You may want to open an account that provides you with cheques to pay for things like rent. If you do not have a chequing account, you can ask your landlord if he/she accepts email transfers (e-transfer) instead.

You need to bring two pieces of identification to open a bank account; bring your passport and another piece of photo identification, such as your WesternOne Student card.

Transferring Money to Canada

In order to transfer money from your home country, you must first open a bank account in Canada. You may want to bring bank drafts from home to allow you to open a bank account when you arrive in London. A bank may accept bank drafts, cheques or letters of credit. However, money will not be transferred until it is cleared by your home bank. This process may take a few days or a few months.


1.  Determine what you need your bank account to do and ensure the bank you choose provides these services:

  • Save money?
  • Write cheques?
  • Pay bills?
  • Receive foreign cash transfers?
  • Take out money from bank machines (ATMs)?

2. Ask upper-year international students about their banking experiences. Which bank do they use? Are they happy with the service? How quickly does their bank transfer funds?

3. Ask the bank the following questions:

  • Is there a lower service charge for me as a Western student?
  • Can I use my bank card to get money if I am out of town?
  • Do you have Visa debit cards? (These can be used internationally where Visa is accepted.)
  • Will I receive a monthly bank statement? Does this cost extra?
  • How quickly will I receive my foreign cash transfers?
  • How do I access banking online?
  • Are there any extra costs/fees I should know about?

4. Visit the branch closest to you and ask to speak to someone who can suggest the right kind of account for you as an international student.

5. Make your needs clear.

6. Ask for the business card of your account manager or someone else who you can call if you have questions about your account.

Banks Close to Campus

For a complete list of all the banks in London look under the "Banks" section of the Yellow Pages in the London Telephone Directory or on their website

Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) on Campus

  • TD Canada Trust: UCC main floor (near Bento Sushi)
  • CIBC: UCC lower level (by the Tim Horton’s)
  • Bank of Montreal: UCC lower level
  • Royal Bank of Canada: UCC lower level (by the Tim Horton's)
  • Scotiabank: UCC lower level, Huron University College food court
  • Residences with ATMs: Perth Hall, Essex Hall, Delaware Hall, Sydenham Hall, Elgin Hall and Saugeen Maitland Hall.
  • Food Service Areas with ATMs: Althouse College, Spencer Engineering Building, Law School, Somerville House, Talbot College, Medical Sciences, Natural Sciences (Nucleus), UCC Centre Spot, Thompson Recreation Centre and the Social Sciences Building.