How much cash can you withdraw from a bank in Canada?

Cash withdrawals are no longer as common as they used to be. The presence of cards and payment apps means you don’t necessarily need cash to pay your bills. But there are still a few times when you’ll need cash to pay for items. So, how much can you withdraw from banks in Canada?

There’s no limit on how much cash you can withdraw from a Canadian bank. But if it’s up to $10,000, the bank reports the withdrawal to FINTRAC. Banks may limit withdrawals when there’s a bank hold on the account; the branch doesn’t have the cash, you use the ATM, or you exceed the spending limit.

However, large cash withdrawals aren’t advisable unless necessary, and even in those cases, you must take necessary precautions. Here, we discuss withdrawal limits for Canadian banks.

Do Canadian Bank Have Withdrawal Limits for Cash

Canadian banks don’t have withdrawal limits for cash. There isn’t any restriction when withdrawing over the counter, but there are reporting requirements.

You can easily withdraw a few thousand dollars by simply showing the teller your identification or filling out a small document. But if you ask to withdraw $10,000 or more, the story changes. In this case, there are usually enhanced precautions.

This is due to the reporting requirements of FINTRAC, which makes it compulsory for financial institutions to report any daily transactions that are up to $10,000 or more.

The rules apply whether you’re withdrawing physically from the counter or you show a withdrawal slip asking for that amount.

When withdrawing a large amount of money, you may need to inform your bank of the purpose of your withdrawal as they need this to fill the form sent to FINTRAC.

Your previous withdrawal history can also come to play here. For example, if you’ve always been withdrawing small amounts in the past and suddenly make a large withdrawal, the bank will immediately flag it and try to know why you need that much money in cash before they help you process the transactions.

Tips For Large Withdrawals

If you’re planning to withdraw a large amount of money, these are tips you can follow to make the process seamless:

  • Cooperate with your bank
  • Disclose every necessary information that your bank may need
  • Complete all necessary forms and provide all identifications
  • Don’t withdraw large amounts in smaller volumes of less than $10,000, as this could raise suspicion of structuring and money laundering.

When can Canadian Banks Impose Withdrawal Limits?

While there are no withdrawal limits for cash, the bank may impose limits in other cases. These include

1.      Use of ATMs

Whether you have a withdrawal limit will depend on if you’re withdrawing from an ATM or over the counter. With ATMs, the withdrawal limit will differ from bank to bank.

It’s usually between a few hundred to thousands of dollars.

The limit on ATM withdrawals protects customers from identity fraud and theft. In this case, the withdrawal limit is only for 24 hours, after which you can withdraw up to the limit again.

In some cases, you can increase the limit by speaking to the bank’s representatives.

2.      Type of Account

It may also depend on the type of account you’re operating. You already know you can’t withdraw more than you have in your account.

But in some cases, the bank may have a base amount that has to be in your account for the account to be active, so you won’t be able to withdraw below that base amount.

Of course, you can always check your bank website to see if there’s a limit for your account.

3.      Debit Card Daily Spending Limits

Debit cards may also have daily spending limits, which is the maximum amount you can spend in a day when using your card for transactions.

The limit usually depends on your type of account too. For example, premium accounts may have unlimited spending while other accounts may have it in a few thousand.

Once you’ve reached the limit, every transaction with the card gets declined since you’ve maxed out.

4.      Banking Limits

Although there are usually no limits on how much you can withdraw from your bank in a day, banks themselves have limits that may make it impossible for them to give you all you ask for immediately.

Most banks don’t keep millions of dollars in their vaults at once, which means if you ask for a large amount, the money would likely have to be sent to the branch first because it’s not available.

Thus, when you’re planning to withdraw large amounts of cash, you may need to file a request with your bank first and wait for their response.

In any case, where you’re withdrawing more than $10,000, contact your branch, so you’ll know how much time it’ll take to process your request.

The most important thing is there’s no limit on how much you can withdraw in person through a bank teller. It’s possible to withdraw all your money and close your account in one visit.

5.      Bank Holds

Bank holds might make it impossible for you to withdraw from an account. It usually happens when the bank restricts withdrawal from an account even though there is money inside.

There are different criteria for holding deposits and usually happen due to a history of negative activities connected to the account or suspicions of fraud.

Safety When Making Large Withdrawals

When withdrawing a large amount of money, it’s important to consider safety.

This is basically why many people don’t withdraw large cash amounts and why your banker will advise against it. Cash can’t be tracked and is very easy to lose.

Therefore, with large withdrawals, it’s important to be very discreet and hide the money as subtly as possible before leaving the bank.

In a case where you have to pay the cash to someone, you should tell the person to meet you at the bank so you can withdraw the cash and hand it over to them immediately.

With large cash transactions, you can also get a notary public who’ll sign on any document before you sign it and give the seller cash.

In Conclusion

Whatever your reason might be, large withdrawals are inconvenient and unsafe.

So, only do it when it’s compulsory. If not, use other payments mediums such as cards, cheques, and transfers.

But if you have to withdraw a large amount, make sure you get it in the highest denomination.

This will make the size smaller and at least more discreet when you’re carrying it around. Even then, it’s always better not to withdraw a large amount of cash.

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