TORONTO – CIBC has become the final major Canadian bank to offer the First Home Savings Account (FHSA), a program designed to help individuals save for their first home purchase. The FHSA initiative, introduced by the Canadian government to address housing affordability, combines features of Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) and Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) to assist potential homeowners with accumulating their down payment.
The FHSA market has seen significant interest since its inception, with National Bank and RBC leading the way in April when they first provided FHSAs. Their early adoption signaled confidence in the program’s potential to alleviate some of the financial challenges faced by first-time homebuyers amid soaring real estate prices.
Throughout August, other financial institutions such as Scotiabank, TD Bank, Equitable Bank, and Wealthsimple also began offering FHSAs. RBC reported a substantial increase in account openings, particularly among clients under 45 years of age. National Bank witnessed an unexpectedly high demand from individuals in their 30s. Wealthsimple entered the summer with a sizable waitlist for the new account type, underscoring the strong interest from prospective homeowners.
Earlier this month, BMO announced its own FHSA offering, emphasizing its commitment to making home purchases more accessible. CIBC’s announcement follows suit, rounding out the availability of this savings instrument across Canada’s major banking institutions. The collective efforts of these banks reflect a broader strategy to support Canadians in overcoming the financial barriers to entering the housing market.
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