Rights & Money

Bank Refuses to Accept Coins

A man discovered recently that his bank doesn’t want his $800—not if it’s in loonies and toonies


By Jennifer Hughes


Given that the Royal Canadian Mint is still producing them, you’d think that a bank would accept Canadian coins as legal tender. But when a Montreal man tried to deposit $800 worth of loonies and toonies at a branch of Laurentian Bank in mid-September, he was told to take his coins elsewhere—perhaps to the corner store.

Julien Perrotte had collected a large amount change over the past year and was shocked when his bank wouldn’t accept the money. Perrotte, an independent insurance claims adjuster, was told that as a matter of policy, Laurentian Bank no longer accepts coins. A bank employee helpfully suggested that he might try exchanging his coins at a local corner store, grocery store, or pharmacy. “Like I’m gonna go to a restaurant and pay with my $50 worth of coins,” Perrotte told CTV News Montreal.

According to a statement from Laurentian Bank, the financial institution’s new “100% Advice model” excludes accepting coins; while the policy will no doubt help to cut the bank’s costs, it could also result in a lot of unhappy customers. “It’s a nice bank, but at the end of the day, if they don’t want to take my money, I’ll change banks,” Perrotte told CBC News.

As more and more banks decide to cut costs and go digital, we might soon see an end to coins. The Mint may be minting them, but it has no power over how coins are exchanged. “Canadian businesses are free to determine what forms of legal tender they will accept as payments or deposits,” Royal Canadian Mint spokesperson Alex Reeves told CBC News.

Photo: iStock/peterspiro.