Quebec’s financial system

Financial considerations are a key part of a successful move. Discover the unique features of Quebec’s financial system.

Your access to the financial system: an account in a financial institution

When you arrive in Quebec City, you will definitely need to open an account in a financial institution in order to carry out your day-to-day financial transactions. Opening a bank account in Quebec is also essential if you want to rent an apartment. Your paycheque will also be deposited into this account. You can open a personal account even if you don’t have a job. Opening an account will also enable you to save money and make investments if you so desire.

All financial institutions offer a range of useful services:

  • Bank debit cards
  • Safety deposit box rental
  • Traveler’s cheques
  • Foreign currency exchange
  • Loans of all kinds
  • Money transfers
  • Various investment options
  • Direct payroll deposit
  • Certified cheques

The Caisse Desjardins de Québec is here to help!


In Quebec, there are two types of financial institutions: banks and “caisses populaires” (credit unions). There are various different banking companies, while the caisses populaires are part of the Desjardins network. The main difference between them lies in the fact that the caisses populaires are structured as cooperatives, while banks are private institutions. The Caisse Desjardins de Québec offers a range of services geared towards immigrants:

  • You can open an account prior to arriving in Quebec City.
  • Credit conditions are adapted to your personal situation.
  • Seminars geared towards new immigrants are offered on various important topics concerning Canada’s financial system.

To find out more

Building your credit history

Various forms of credit are available in Quebec, including credit cards, merchants’ instalment plans, lines of credit, etc. As an immigrant, you will have to build up your credit history in Quebec. Having a credit history is essential if you are ever looking for financing (e.g. to purchase a car or home or rent an apartment). Your credit score reflects the way in which you fulfil your financial obligations. If you don’t have a credit history, you may have to make advance payments, e.g. if you are renting an apartment.

Income taxes and other taxes

The money raised from income taxes and other taxes is used to fund social and other services. Consequently, individuals are responsible for filing a tax return.

Municipal and school taxes are imposed by cities, urban communities and school boards within their respective jurisdictions. As a general rule, they are only paid by property owners and may vary based on property values. Like income taxes, these taxes must be paid each year, although they can often be paid in various instalments.

For further information on income taxes, please consult the “Income and taxation” section.