Financial institutions – Information for consumers

Help topics related to financial institutions, including contact information for inquiries and complaints.

Financial institutions registered in Alberta

Corporate Registry system (CORES)

All credit unions, loan and trust corporations, securities and mutual fund agencies registered in Alberta are listed in the Corporate Registry System (CORES).

CORES also contains information on the type of company, its status, its method and date of registration, its registered and records address, its by-laws, its directors and its financial statements.

Contact Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction for more information about CORES.

Lists of credit unions and loan and trust corporations

The following lists are for your convenience only and while an effort is made to ensure their accuracy, they are not the official register. Anyone wishing to view the official register should contact a Registry Office in Alberta.

Credit unions, loan and trust corporations that are not listed are not regulated by our department. Transactions with companies that are not listed may fall outside the Loan and Trust Corporations Act or Credit Union Act and consequently fall outside of our jurisdiction. If so, our resources and legislation may be unable to assist you in the event of any difficulties you may have with that financial institution. This is applicable to all financial institutions whether they are operating over the Internet or not.

Other regulatory bodies

See Financial institutions – About financial institutions in Alberta, news and links for links to other regulatory bodies. These are provided for your convenience in the event that the financial institution is regulated in another Canadian jurisdiction.

Please note: the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) supervises and regulates federally regulated financial institutions to determine whether they are in sound financial condition. See the list of who is regulated by OSFI.

There is no affiliation between the Alberta Superintendent of Financial Institutions and the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) ensures federally regulated financial institutions comply with federal consumer protection measures. See information about making a complaint against a federally regulated financial institution. Also, see the list of who is regulated by OSFI.

Fees, rates, service and accounts

Fees and rates

Financial institutions determine their own policies with respect to their day-to-day operations, including the level of fees for their services.

Financial institutions are required to disclose their service fees at the time an account is opened or loan documentation prepared and to advise customers about new service charges or changes to existing service charges.

Consumers should compare the services and related fees of various financial institutions, and choose the institution that best suits their needs.

What to do if a financial institution refuses service

Related to cashing a cheque

Financial institutions have the right to decide whether they will cash any cheque, including a cheque issued by the government. They also have the right to determine what proof of identification is required from a customer to cash a cheque or conduct other transactions.

Should the institution decide to cash a government cheque, it is prohibited from charging a service fee for doing so.

Related to opening an account, granting or renewing a loan or mortgage

Financial institutions determine their own policies and guidelines regarding operating, business and credit decisions. You may wish to consult further with the financial institution to discuss your options.

While we do not have the authority to reverse such decisions, we can ask the financial institution to review your file to ensure the institution's established procedures were followed.

Unauthorized withdrawal from your account

Contact your financial institution to inform them of the withdrawal and to get a copy of the documents supporting the withdrawal.

You may wish to put a stop order on the account to prevent any further withdrawals until such time as the issue is resolved.

Information required by your financial institution

A financial institution needs certain information for identification of an individual to ensure that the request is from an authorized person and in order to assess whether to sell, and under what terms, a financial product to you.

Some information is also required to facilitate the transfer of information with other agencies. For example, where interest income may be generated, Canada Revenue Agency will require your social insurance number; other information may be required by the financial institution to obtain third party verification of your credit information from a credit bureau.

It is up to you to determine what, if any, information to provide; however, withholding some information may impact your ability to access a product.

In the event that you are asked for information that you do not wish to give, ask the financial institution whether the information is imperative to gaining access to the product and whether or not there is some other means for them to get the level of confidence they require.

Rules surrounding the use or misuse of any information filed with the financial institution are contained in legislation or industry guidelines, depending on the financial sector. If you require further assistance, contact the Alberta Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

Requirements related to licensing

See below for information on whether the person you are dealing with should be licensed, and if not, what requirements they must meet.

Making a deposit

  • The person is not licensed, but they must be an employee of a deposit taking institution registered in Alberta or a bank.
  • Deposit brokers operating in Alberta can arrange for the deposit to be made, but they are not allowed to take the deposit in their name. As such, they are not required to be licensed.

Administration of an estate

  • The person is not licensed, but they must be an employee of a trust corporation registered in Alberta or services must be done in a personal capacity as pursuant to the Trustee Act.

Lending of funds

  • A loan's agent at a regulated financial institution is not licensed, but action can be taken against the financial institution registered in Alberta or the bank.
  • A mortgage broker is licensed through the Real Estate Council of Alberta.
  • A loan broker is not licensed; however certain sections of the Consumer Protection Act apply specifically to them.
  • Other lenders are not licensed, but their actions are still subject to the general provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.

Sale of equity type investments

Sale of insurance

  • Travel or credit insurance – the person need not be licensed if they are an employee of a financial institution registered in Alberta. Otherwise, the person must be licensed under the Insurance Act.
  • All other insurance – the person must be licensed under the Insurance Act (see information from the Alberta Superintendent of Insurance).

Is your deposit safe?

In general, regulation creates a climate that minimizes the risk of loss to depositors in the event of the failure of their financial institution. However, should this situation arise, the following deposit coverage applies:

  • loan and trust companies registered to take deposits in Alberta are subject to the deposit coverage provided by Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CUDGC)
  • credit unions registered in Alberta are subject to the deposit coverage provided by CUDGC – under the Credit Union Act, the Government of Alberta shall ensure that the deposit obligations of CUDGC under the Credit Union Act are carried out
  • ATB Financial (formerly Alberta Treasury Branches) is subject to the deposit coverage provided by the Government of Alberta

Not all financial products are covered by compensation plans. Contact the financial institution or the deposit guarantor before purchasing a financial product for clarification regarding what, if any, protection is afforded to the purchaser and the terms, conditions or restrictions surrounding that protection.

Is something a good investment?

Regulation is not a guarantee of success for a financial institution. In general, financial institutions operate to generate a profit for their shareholders. Like all businesses, they take business risks, which, in some cases, may lead to financial difficulties and even to failure.

Deposit guarantees may afford you some protection for your deposits, but may not provide protection for all types of investments offered by the company.

Prior to making a financial decision, investors are encouraged to obtain information on the financial condition of the company and, where appropriate, seek independent professional advice. Financial institutions operating in Alberta are required to file copies of their financial statements and these are available through Registry Offices in Alberta.

The role of the Office of the Alberta Superintendent of Financial Institutions in maintaining an efficient and fair regulatory environment prevents us from discussing the details of the financial condition of individual financial institutions with you and from advising whether a particular investment opportunity is right for you.

Credit information

About credit bureaus

These agencies maintain records on anyone who has borrowed money or obtained credit. These records will show how much was borrowed, how much is outstanding and whether bills were paid on time. They are regulated under the Consumer Protection Act of Alberta and, as such, the nature of the information they can maintain is restricted.

A credit bureau does not make the decision on whether to extend credit, however a financial institution will often contact a credit bureau to review the borrower's credit history to determine whether he/she is creditworthy and whether the loan is likely to be paid back. The Consumer Protection Act sets out the circumstances under which someone can get access to the credit report maintained by credit bureaus.

About credit reports

Credit reporting agencies must make sure the information in your file is correct and based on the most reliable evidence available. The Consumer Protection Act and the Credit and Personal Reports Regulation identify what can be included in and released from your credit file.

An individual has a right to know what is contained in their credit record and a free copy of your credit report must be provided by the credit bureau on demand once a year. The requestor must provide proof of their identity which usually consists of their full name, date of birth, current and possibly past addresses, social insurance number and possibly a daytime telephone number, together with proof of identity (usually a copy of 2 pieces of signed identification).

Should the report contain any errors, an individual may file a protest with the credit bureau. On receipt, the bureau must take steps to verify the correction and advise any recent recipients of the report of the error. An individual may also have an explanation added to their file providing information regarding the circumstances surrounding an item in their file.

For more information, refer to this tip sheet: Your Credit Report.

What creditors can do if you don't pay

When you use credit to make purchases or pay for services and fail to make payments:

Winding up an estate

Inquire about money on deposit with, or a share certificate issued by, a financial institution

If the deposit was held with or the share was issued by a credit union, loan or trust corporation, contact the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and we will direct you to the head office of the company, or give you the new name of the amalgamated company or the liquidator as appropriate.

In the case of outstanding deposits with a credit union, the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation (CUDGC) also maintains a list of deposits that have been unclaimed for more than 10 years. Visit the CUDGC website for more information.

Information regarding the existence of other companies can be obtained from:

If the company is still operating, then you will need to contact the transfer agent for that company who will be able to tell you what your options are.

Inquiries and complaints

Credit unions and loan and trust corporations

The Office of the Alberta Superintendent of Financial Institutions can offer guidance, assist consumers in resolving complaints about financial institutions operating in Alberta, and respond to general inquiries about laws or practices governing financial institutions.

If you require information regarding the directors of the company, this information is also available for:

  • Alberta registered corporations (through authorized registry agents)
  • non-Alberta registered corporations (from the appropriate regulatory body)

As our department does not regulate all types of financial institutions, we can only take action against companies and individuals who have violated provisions of the Credit Union Act or Loan and Trust Corporations Act.

Complaints outside of the Credit Union Act or Loan and Trust Corporations Act

We may be able to direct you to an agency that may be able to help you. At your request, we will forward any information you have filed with us to that agency. However, any subsequent correspondence related to that matter should be routed directly to their attention.

Complaints under the Credit Union Act or Loan and Trust Corporations Act

We ask that you first try to resolve it directly with the financial institution. The first person to contact would be the branch manager. If you were not satisfied with the response, the next step would be to contact someone in the company's complaint resolution center or head office. If you are unable to do so or need assistance in contacting the appropriate person, we can provide you with a contact name and telephone number.

Should the complaint still not be resolved to your satisfaction, a formal complaint can be filed at the Office of the Alberta Superintendent of Financial Institutions. No special forms are required, just mail, email or fax a letter to us identifying the financial institution(s) about which you have the complaint, explaining the nature of your problem and what resolution you are seeking. Do not forget to give us your name, address, and a telephone number where you can be reached during the day.

Complaints are kept confidential, but we must be able to contact you for verification of details or more information. We may also request that you provide additional documentation (such as letters, cancelled cheques, or other documents) to give more detail to your complaint, if necessary. Therefore, we do not take action on complaints that are made anonymously.

When we receive your written complaint, we will research your complaint and contact the financial institution for their explanation of what happened. If you do not want your identity disclosed to the financial institution, it may be difficult to resolve your problem, but we will make every effort to assist you. We will notify you after the financial institution responds.

Where the complaint stems from factual or contract disputes between the financial institution and the customer, we may suggest that you seek legal counsel. Only a court of law can award damages. Please note that if you have already proceeded with litigation against the company and/or agent we will not be able to assist you until the litigation has been completed and the court has found misconduct on the part of these parties.

We do not disclose your information to anyone outside the Office of the Alberta Superintendent of Financial Institutions, except where compelled by law or in connection with a criminal investigation (as explained below) or unless you are making an inquiry or request or filing a complaint that warrants supervisory or other attention. If you file a complaint, some or all of your information may need to be shared with others such as our examiners and our attorneys; other federal or provincial agencies responsible for administering, enforcing or investigating known or suspected violations of laws or rules; and the affected financial institution to address your concern.

Inquiries related to Principal Group and Associated Investors of Canada Ltd. (AIC) / First Investors Corp. (FIC)

Inquiries regarding any amounts outstanding and whether you are entitled to any monies, should be directed to:

Phone: 780-441-6700
Toll free: 1-877-878-7155

ATB Financial

In the event that you remain dissatisfied with the outcome, you may call the Office of the Ombudsman for an independent review:

Federally registered banks, loan, trust and insurance companies

Gift cards

Insurance companies registered in Alberta

Loan brokers

Contact the Consumer Contact Centre of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction:

Email: [email protected]
Phone:  780-427-4088
Toll free: 310-0000 before the number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-9106 or 403-297-4270


North Field Services   
3rd Floor, Commerce Place
10155 102 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4L4

South Field Services
3rd Floor, Centre 70301
7015 MacLeod Trail South
Calgary, Alberta T2H 2K6

Mortgage brokers

Contact the Real Estate Council of Alberta:

Phone: 403-228-2954
Toll free: 1-888-425-2754
Email: [email protected] 
Fax: 403-228-3065

Real Estate Council of Alberta
#340, 2424 4th Street SW
Calgary, Alberta T2S 2T4

Payday lending

Private sector pension plans registered in Alberta


Securities issued by credit unions, deposits or Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) of loan and trust corporations, and segregated funds

All other securities

Contact the Alberta Securities Commission:

Email: [email protected] 
Phone: 780-297-6454
Toll free: 310-0000 before the number (in Alberta)
Toll free: 1-877-355-0585 (outside Alberta)
Fax: 403-297-6156

Alberta Securities Commission
4th Floor, 300 5th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 3C4


Connect with the Office of the Alberta Superintendent of Financial Institutions:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-5064
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-644-7771
Email: [email protected]

Alberta Superintendent of Financial Institutions
Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
302, Terrace Building
9515 107 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T5K 2C1