Understanding deposit insurance

Have you ever wondered what would happen to your money if your financial institution failed? In Canada, there is a deposit insurance system financed by the institutions themselves.

Your eligible deposits are generally insured up to $100,000 per person, per institution.

In Canada, all institutions that take deposits from the public must be registered in a deposit insurance program.

If your financial institution has a federal charter (most banks do), it is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.

In Quebec, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) manages the deposit insurance fund.

There are 4 types of AMF members authorized to take deposits:

  • financial services cooperatives
  • trust companies
  • savings companies
  • insurers

Deposits guaranteed by the AMF

  • deposits in 1 or more chequing accounts
  • deposits in 1 or more savings accounts
  • term deposits such as deposit certificates and guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) with a term of 5 years or less

Deposits not guaranteed by the AMF

  • deposits with a term of more than 5 years, unless they're repayable, at any time, on demand by the depositor, after 5 years from the date of the deposit
  • deposits made or payable in a currency other than Canadian currency
  • deposits held outside Quebec or only payable outside Quebec
  • shares in a financial services cooperative
  • shares in a mutual fund
  • equity shares and mortgage securities
  • bonds and debentures
  • Treasury bills

Separate deposits guaranteed by the AMF

  • joint deposits
  • trust deposits
  • deposits in registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs)
  • deposits in Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs)
  • deposits in registered retirement income funds (RRIFs)

Caution: Only eligible deposits are insured. Mutual funds contained in your RRSP are not guaranteed.



Type of deposit or investment Amount Amount guaranteed
Martin Chequing account $10,000 $10,000
  Savings account $18,000 $18,000
  RRSP (3-year guaranteed investment certificate) $25,000 $25,000
  RRSP (mutual fund) $34,000 0
  TFSA (10-year term deposit) $15,000 0
  Total $102,000 $63,000
Julie Chequing account $8,000 $8,000
  Savings account $15,000 $15,000
  RRSP (bonds) $10,000 0
  RRSP (stocks) $12,000 0
  TFSA (5-year term deposit) $12,000 $12,000
  Total $57,000 $35,000
Julie and Martin Joint savings account $18,000 $18,000

Reminder: The total amount guaranteed is $100,000 per person, per financial institution. So, if you hold $80,000 in insurable deposits in a cooperative and $50,000 in insurable deposits in a trust company, you have a guaranteed total of $130,000.

Elsewhere in Canada

The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation and provincial deposit insurance agencies generally apply the same rules as the AMF.

Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada

Your securities held in a financial institution are not guaranteed by deposit insurance.

However, the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) protects your assets if you purchased them from an investment dealer registered with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

Your stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc., are guaranteed up to $1 million. Registered funds (RRSP, RRIF, and RESP) are guaranteed separately in the same amount.

The CIPF protects your equity shares not only if a member becomes insolvent but also in the case of fraud.

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