CIBC now offering FSHA for clients

The bank is the last of the Big Six to offer the program

CIBC now offering FSHA for clients

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) has made the First Home Savings Account available to clients, becoming the last of Canada’s Big Six banks to offer the program.

The FHSA has been available through Canadian banks since April 1. National Bank and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) were the first of the country’s largest banks to offer the program later that month.

Scotiabank and TD Bank opened their FHSA offerings in August, while BMO launched access to the program in early November.

The FHSA was designed to help Canadians aged 18 to 40 save up for the down payment on their first homes through a deposit of $8,000 annually, with a lifetime contribution of $40,000.

The uptake of the FHSA this year has been much stronger than anticipated, according to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Clients have already opened “tens of thousands” of accounts to date, with RBC estimating recently that more than 25% of such accounts have already reached their maximum annual amount.

“What [home buyers] really were saying is this is a crisis, and this is an intergenerational crisis, and I really recognize that,” Freeland said. “I really believe that it is important for us at the federal level, the provincial level, the municipal level, to put forward all the tools we can to resolve this crisis.”

At the same time, Freeland said that the FHSA should just be one in an array of policy tools tailored to ensure better affordability and help more Canadians enter into home ownership.

“It is not going to solve all of their problems, I am not claiming that, but it’s a little bit of help,” Freeland said.