Understanding bank fees

It’s the beginning of the month and odds are your bank fees have just been taken out from your business bank account. How much did you pay? Are there fees on top of your plan fee? What are they for?


Often when we open a bank account, we choose a plan and then forget about what that plan includes, but these fees can creep up if we aren’t paying attention, and it can cost WAY more than we expected or should be paying.


Take a peek at your fees this month. Did you go over what your plan includes? Are you taking advantage of all your plan offers? Do you even know what your plan includes?


Knowing what kinds of transactions you are doing is the first step to understanding the kind of plan you should have:

·         Do you mostly use online banking or the bank machine? Or would you rather interact with a person in the branch?

·         Do you write cheques or send e-transfers or both?

·         Do you have daily merchant deposits into your account or are you making lump sum deposits into your account?

·         Do you carry a high balance?

·         Do you do the same number of transactions each month, or does it vary considerably?


Once you have a sense of the kinds and volume of transactions that go through your account, it’s time to evaluate your plan. You can do this on your own, by looking at your bank’s website, or visit a branch and talk to an advisor.


To get you started, here are the links to the business account information for some of the financial institutions that offer business banking:

·         RBC

·         TD Canada Trust

·         CIBC

·         Bank of Montreal

·         Scotiabank


This is a great exercise to go through at least once a year – because as your business grows, your banking needs will change. If it pains you to go through this yourself, talk to your bookkeeper on how you can keep tabs on your fees and when to consider changes.