Author Topic: Canadian living overseas forced by BMO to close out RRSPs  (Read 3045 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Canadian living overseas forced by BMO to close out RRSPs
« on: July 01, 2016, 11:00:52 AM »
Canadians leaving Canada on becoming non-residents will be forced to close out their RRSPs if their accounts are with BMO Investorline and if their resident country is not going to be Barbados, France, HK, Israel, Taiwan or the UK. BMO has decided not to service other countries.

This information is not made public on BMO’s website to alert account holders who are planning to live overseas so they can switch to TD Waterhouse, for example, before they leave Canada.

I know for a fact that TD Waterhouse allows non-residents to continue to trade their accounts including RRSPs.

I am a Canadian citizen and a long-term customer of BMO with 3 trading accounts (1 non-RRSP, 2 RRSPs) established years ago.

In April 2015, BMO locked my accounts to liquidation mode on the basis that I am a non-resident and not living in one of the countries listed above.

BMO’s action was devastating to me as my RRSPs are sizable and I need to be able to trade to protect my portfolios. Withdrawing is not an option given lump sum withdrawal has serious adverse tax implications.

I asked BMO to facilitate transferring my trading accounts to TD, which was the only institution that would open non-resident accounts I could find at the time. BMO procrastinated and advised me in Oct-15 that TD has changed their policy and I could no longer open accounts with them. Ms Barker-Merz (President of BMO Investorline) told me I have no option but to withdraw.

My 3 accounts have sustained losses as high as $36K in early 2016 but have since recovered to $20k loss.

It is really troubling that BMO is able to unilaterally make policy that has far-reaching effects without providing real options to the affected accounts. Years of careful retirement planning went up in smoke in view of the losses sustained and in view of the tax liability associated with lump sum withdrawal.

Given that RRSP is a scheme set up by the Canadian Government for the very specific purpose of promoting retirement savings. If BMO is forcing Canadians to withdraw their RRSPs, are they not frustrating the Government’s efforts then, are they not overstepping their authority? Is what they are doing even legal?

I have been writing to their president seeking for compensation for the losses sustained and for the additional adverse impacts if I am forced to withdraw.

I will continue to write until the issue is resolved to my satisfaction.


  • Handlebar Stache
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  • Posts: 1471
Re: Canadian living overseas forced by BMO to close out RRSPs
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2016, 11:38:33 AM »
Have you set up a TD account and had TD transfer your BMO out?  Thats how it works.  BMO doesnt have a choice, nor should they be telling you what TD will and wont do for you.


Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!