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First Nations Bank of Canada Review

First Nations Bank of Canada (Banque des Premieres Nations du Canada) is in many ways unique in its operations, administration, and service delivery. The bank is the first Canadian chartered bank established under the Bank Act to be controlled by an indigenous owner. About 80% of the bank’s control and ownership lie in the hands of independent indigenous shareholders.

As a federally regulated bank, the First Nations Bank of Canada focuses on providing financial services and other banking products to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal individuals, governments, and corporate entities.

Since its inception into the banking industry about 25 years ago, the bank has established its impact in the Canadian financial and economic sector, operating across the Canadian provinces and territories.

About First Nations Bank of Canada

One of the visions of the founders of First Nations Bank of Canada (FNBC) was having a bank to serve the economic interest and self-sufficiency of the indigenous people throughout Canada. The bank was established by and for indigenous people and has grown to demonstrate its essence in Canada’s financial sector.

First Nations Bank of Canada was established in 1996 under the Bank Act as a federally regulated Schedule 1 bank. Though the bank’s headquarters is in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, its services and operations spread across the nooks and crannies of Canadian provinces and territories, including Québec, Ontario, Manitoba, Yukon, Alberta, Nunavut, and Northwest territories.

First Nations Bank of Canada has nine full-service branches and about eight community banking centers across Canada as of the time of writing. First Nations Bank of Canada has over $670 million total assets, with indigenous shareholders having a more significant ownership percentage (about 80% ownership). In 2012, the First Nations Bank of Canada became an independent financial institution, ending its seven-year partnership with TD Bank.

The bank’s services are typically designed to cater to indigenous commercial customers’ needs – businesses, organizations, governments, and non-indigenous businesses serving indigenous commercial interests.

First Nations Bank of Canada Products and Services

As a schedule 1 federally regulated financial institution, First Nations Bank of Canada provides commercial and personal banking products and services focused on indigenous and non-indigenous customers. These services include loans, mortgages, investments, cash management, banking accounts (personal and business), online banking, Trust services, and more.

First Nations Bank of Canada Personal Products and Services

First Nations Bank’s Personal Banking package includes banking, borrowing, investing, and consultation service.

First Nations Bank Personal Banking

FNBC Chequing Accounts

FNBC’s Personal Chequing accounts come with regular daily banking features with 24 hours access via mobile, telephone, online, and ATM. These chequing accounts are ideal for bill payments, withdrawals, deposits, and other banking-related transactions. They include:

1.      Value Chequing Account

The Value Chequing Account is suitable for limited transactions. It comes with 12 free transactions, while additional transactions attract a fee of $1.25 each. You’ll also enjoy free online statements, monthly statements, and free Interac e-Transfer Fulfill Request for money.

However, the Value Chequing Account comes with a $3.95 monthly fee, except if you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $1,500. Other applicable fees include a $2.00 monthly cheques image return fee, $1.50 Interac ATM withdrawal, etc.

2.      Value Plus Chequing Account

The Value Plus Chequing Account is ideal for customers with frequent account usage. The account comes with a $10.95 monthly fee. If you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $2,500, you’ll qualify for a waiver on the monthly fee. Account-holders are permitted to have 25 transactions, while additional transactions attract $1.25 each.

3.      Affinity Chequing Account

The Affinity Chequing Account comes with unlimited transactions for active accounts, including two free Interac e-Transfers. Unless you maintain a minimum balance of $3,500, you’re expected to part with a $14.95 monthly fee on your account.

4.      Select Chequing Account

The Select Chequing Account is FNBC’s premium account with unlimited transactions, unlimited Interac and Cirrus ATM withdrawals and free Interac e-Transfers. There’s a $29.95 monthly fee if you don’t maintain a minimum balance of $5,000 or more. Additional benefits include:

  • Free personal cheques
  • No-fee drafts
  • Free small safety deposit box
  • Free borderless plan with US Dollar account
  • Free borderless plan with US Dollar account
  • Free monthly statements, etc.

5.      Elders Chequing Account

The Elders chequing account is ideal for Seniors. The account is designed for Canadians of age 60 and above. The account comes with unlimited transactions, free services and discounts. Other features include: 

  • Free monthly fees.
  • Free personalized cheques.
  • No-fee drafts.
  • Canadian and US dollar
  • $5.00 discount on the small safety deposit box
  • Free paperless, online, and monthly statements.

FNBC Personal Savings Account

One of the personal banking products of the First Nations Bank of Canada is the savings plan. These savings accounts are designed for complementing the chequing accounts and suitable for all kinds of savings.

1.      First Nations Savings Account

The First Nations Savings Account is designed for customers who require limited access to their savings. Account-holders enjoy a competitive interest rate, calculated daily and paid monthly. There’s also a $5.00 fee for each transaction. However, you can qualify for a waiver of the transaction fee if you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $25,000.

Other features of the First Nations Savings Account include:

  • Free paperless statements.
  • A $2.00 monthly statement fee.
  • Interac e-Transfers, Interac ATM withdrawal, and Cirrus ATM withdrawals. These transactions come with applicable fees.

2.      Everyday Savings Account

The everyday savings account is suitable for customers who want frequent access to their savings. The account comes with free transfers to FNBC dollar chequing or savings account in the same customer’s name. The everyday savings account also comes with free debit transactions per month such as transfers, cheques, bill payments, Interac debit purchases, etc. 

3.      High-Interest Savings Account (HISA)

The High-Interest Savings Account is ideal for customers who require competitive interest rates to grow their savings. The account comes with free debit transactions such as withdrawals, cheques, bill payments, and transfers. As an account holder, you’ll need to maintain a minimum monthly balance of $25,000 to waive the $5.00 monthly fee.

4.      Youth Savings Account

The youth savings account comes with free daily interest earnings for people under the age of 19. The account is equipped with unlimited monthly transactions and competitive interest rates.

5.      Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)

The FNBC TFSA helps you grow your savings faster while paying no tax on your investment income and withdrawals. The tax-free high-interest TFSA comes with no fee for debit transactions and an annual contribution limit of up to $5,500.

FNBC Personal US Dollar Accounts

The personal US dollar accounts are suitable for frequent travellers to the US and intending investors in the US dollars.

1.      US Borderless Dollar Account

This dollar account is ideal for frequent travellers to the United States. The account comes with unlimited transactions. If you maintain a minimum monthly balance of USD 3,000, you can qualify for a waiver on the $4.95 monthly fee. This account also comes with no-fee US dollar drafts, free personalized basic cheques, USD 2.00 monthly statement fee, etc.

2.      US Dollar Interest Dollar Account

The US dollar interest dollar account is designed for investors and travellers to the United States. The account is suitable for funds management and daily interest earnings. There’s a USD 1.25 fee per transaction. Account-holders with a USD 1,000 minimum monthly balance can waive the debit transaction fees.

First Nations Bank Personal Borrowing

Customers of First Nations Bank of Canada can take advantage of the Personal Borrowing products and service offers. These are

1.      Mortgages

With FNBC mortgage products, you can achieve your dream home via the various mortgage options available, including:

  • Open Fixed Rate and Open Variable Rate
  • Closed Fixed Rate and Closed Variable Rate

2.      Line Of Credit and Overdraft

First Nations Bank of Canada provides a line of credit and overdraft protection for emergency financial situations by providing funds for your immediate needs.

3.      Personal Loans

FNBC provides personal loan services for every unique situation and needs, including the home renovation or vacation. FNBC Personal Loan products include:

  • Auto Loan
  • Home Reno Loan
  • Consolidation Loan

4.      Credit Cards

FNBC offers low interest on its Personal Credit Cards. The credit cards come with unique perks such as fraud protection, trip cancellation, etc. there are four different personal credit card offers from First Nations Bank of Canada: 

  • US Dollar Visa Card
  • Travel Rewards Visa Gold Card
  • Visa Classic Card
  • Cash Back Visa Card

First Nations Bank Personal Investing

Personal investing services and products from First Nations Bank of Canada are designed to give investors value for their money. They include:

1.      Term Deposits

First Nations Bank of Canada offers term deposits for personal account holders. With guaranteed returns on your investment, you can choose between long-term and short-term deposits. FNBC term deposit investments include:

  • First Nations Non-Redeemable
  • Long term Non-Redeemable
  • Long Term Redeemable and Short Term Redeemable
  • Wait and See Redeemable

2.      Registered Products

First Nations Bank of Canada designed the registered investment products to assist with your retirement plans. These are:

  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Tax-Free Savings Plan (TFSA)

First Nations Bank Business Products and Services

One of the First Nations Bank of Canada’s core values is to provide services focused on indigenous (and non-indigenous) commercial customers or businesses and corporations. FNBC business products include banking, borrowing, investing, and business-related advice.

First Nations Bank Business Banking

FNBC Business Chequing Accounts

The Business Chequing Accounts from First Nations Bank of Canada offer the comprehensive benefit of banking services regardless of how often you transact. Account-holders enjoy access to multiple deposit options such as in-branch, ATMs, telephone, online banking, and night depository services. You can also integrate the account to your business debit and credit card payments, point of sale terminals, business line of credit, and more. The business chequing accounts include:

1.      Business Chequing Plans

The business chequing service plans are available in Canadian and US dollars, with monthly transactions ranging between 5 and 250. You can choose from five different options of Basic ($9.95 monthly fee), Plan A ($19.95 monthly fee), Plan B ($39.95 monthly fee), Plan C ($69.95 monthly fee), and Plan D ($124.95 monthly fee).

2.      Community and Not For Profit

As an avid supporter of NGOs, First Nations Bank of Canada offers two business chequing plans for not-for-profit organizations: Community Plan (5 monthly transactions) and Community Plan Plus (30 monthly transactions).

FNBC Business Savings Account

The business savings account offers tiered interest rates on your balances, with free-of-charge intra-transfers to your FNBC accounts. Account-holders pay $5.00 per withdrawals and $1.25 per deposit.

FNBC US Dollar Business Chequing Account

The US Dollar Chequing Account is designed for customers who transact in USD and wish to deposit US dollars. Account-holders enjoy tiered daily interest on their US dollar account balances.

First Nations Bank Business Borrowing

The First Nations Bank of Canada’s business borrowing products is designed for small businesses and commercial entities. Regardless of your business credit product needs, you can access the business borrowing products of FNBC, including:

  • Credit Products
  • Credit Card

First Nations Bank Business Investing

You can choose from a wide range of investment options of Term Deposits for your business investment needs. The FNBC business investment products include:

  • Long Term Non-Redeemable
  • Long Term Redeemable
  • Short Term Redeemable
  • Wait and See Redeemable

First Nations Bank of Canada Credit Cards

First Nations Bank of Canada offers credit card services for personal and business account holders.

Personal Cards

1.      Cash Back Visa Card

The Cash Back Visa card earns you Cash Rewards for everyday purchases on gas, groceries, entertainment, etc. features of the card include:

  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on gas purchases.
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on entertainment purchases.
  • Earn 0.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Zero annual fees.
  • The annual interest rate on purchases is 19.99%

2.      Visa Classic Card

The Visa Classic card is a no-fee low-interest credit card for simple and smart savings.

Features:

  • Zero annual fees.
  • Insurance and other Visa benefits
  • The annual interest rate on purchases is 12.99%

3.      Travel Rewards Visa Gold Card

The Travel Rewards Visa Gold Card comes with a wide range of coverage benefits for your travels and hotel bookings. With every card usage, you’ll earn Reward points that are redeemable for hotel stays, flight bookings, and cruises.

Features

  • Earn Reward points.
  • Annual fee = $99.00
  • The annual interest rate on purchases is 19.99%
  • Travel and flight coverage

4.      US Dollar Visa Card

For your next trip to the US or online shopping at a US company, the US dollar Visa card earns you Reward points for every purchase.

Features

  • The annual fee is USD 50.00
  • Earn 1 point for every USD 2.00 spent 
  • Redeem points for gift cards, charity donations, rental, hotel accommodation, merchandise, etc.
  • The annual interest rate on purchases is 19.99%

Business Cards

1.      No Fee Cash Back Visa Business Card

For every purchase that your business makes, the no-fee Cash Back Visa business card earns you Cash Back Rewards.

Features

  • Earn 0.5 points per $1 spent.
  • Zero annual fees.
  • The annual interest rate on purchases is 19.99%
  • Visa benefits and protection

First Nations Bank Tools and Other Services

First Nations Bank of Canada also provides other banking-related services and tools, including:

  • Trustee Services
  • Retirement Planner
  • Mortgage Calculator
  • Loan Calculator
  • Small Business Planner and Tools

First Nations Bank of Canada Operations

First Nations Bank of Canada has simplified banking operations for its numerous customers. You can access banking services anywhere using the bank’s provided channels. For in-branch banking access, First Nations Bank of Canada has nine full-service branches and eight community banking centers across Canada, including Ontario, Manitoba, Yukon, Québec, etc.

You can also use any of the following channels to access your account and other banking services:

  • Online Banking
  • Telephone Banking
  • Mobile Banking
  • ATM Access

Regulations and Membership

First Nations Bank of Canada is a Schedule 1 Bank and a federally regulated financial institution in Canada. The bank is a registered member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), ensuring that customers’ funds and deposits are protected.

First Nations Bank of Canada is also a member of several reputable institutions such as:

  • THE EXCHANGE Network
  • Canada mortgage and housing corporation
  • Interac
  • Visa Inc.
  • Payments Canada
  • Canadian bankers association

First Nations Bank Mobile App

For secure on-the-go banking, you can download the FNBC mobile app for easy navigation and account management. The mobile app is compatible and available for iPhone and Android devices.

First Nations Bank Customer Service

For questions, feedback and account opening enquiries, you can contact the customer service unit of First Nations Bank of Canada via:

On-Screen Feedback Form

Email: FNBC.Service@fnbc.ca

Telephone: 1-888-454-3622

Head office: 

300 – 224, 4th Ave

South Saskatoon, SK

S7K M5M

Saskatchewan.

Editor’s Review

First Nations Bank of Canada is a private-owned financial institution licensed to provide general banking services in Canada. From its core values, it’s evident that the bank takes a particular interest in providing specialized services to indigenous individuals and businesses and non-indigenous businesses.

The bank makes it easier for its customers to access its operations through various in-branch locations and e-channels.

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