Our Hold Funds Policy

Our Hold Funds Policy



Personal Accounts

We may hold some or all of your deposits

When you deposit a cheque, draft, money order or other monetary instrument (“Cheque”) to your personal account, either at a branch, through the automated teller machine (ATM) or other method, up to the first $100 is available immediately. We may hold some or all of the remaining amount. This means you may not be able to access the funds you deposited right away. You cannot withdraw the funds we hold and we will not use those funds to pay cheques or pre-authorized debits until the hold period ends.

The amount we hold for each customer is different

When deciding how much to hold for each customer, we consider factors such as how long you have been our customer, your credit rating and the amount of funds you have in your HSBC accounts. We also decide based on the type of Cheque you’re depositing and where it is coming from. We will review and may adjust your deposit hold limits from time to time.

Releasing your funds

We release the funds you deposit as soon as we reasonably can. We release your funds according to the hold periods in the table below, as long as the Cheque you deposit to your account meets the following requirements:

  • The Cheque is in Canadian dollars and is drawn on a financial institution's branch in Canada.
  • Our systems can read the Cheque, meaning it is paper-based, encoded with magnetic ink, and is not damaged or mutilated.
  • You deposit to an account where there are no reasonable grounds for us to believe that there may be illegal or fraudulent activity in relation to the account or other indicators of a suspicious transaction, including those we must report under the law.
  • You deposit to an account that has been open for more than 90 days.
  • The Cheque is payable to the account owner and has not been endorsed more than once.
  • The Cheque is deposited within six months of the issue date.

The maximum hold periods in this table apply to deposits to your personal accounts.

Deposit Method Deposit Amount Maximum Hold Period* First $100 Available
In person with an HSBC employee at a branch Any Amount 4 business days Immediately
ATM or other method Any Amount 4 business days Immediately**

*The maximum hold period does not include the day you make the deposit. Deposits made after 6:00 PM PT / 9:00 PM ET may have a deposit date of the next business day. Business days do not include Saturday, Sunday or statutory holidays.

**If you have more than one deposit item at an ATM and want to access the first $100 from each, you must complete each deposit transaction separately.

Please note the following important information about our personal account hold funds policy:

  • ATM deposits are treated the same whether they are cash, cheque or other type of payment. All deposits at an ATM follow our hold funds policy.
  • We hold Cheques that do not meet the requirements above for a maximum of 30 business days. We may hold these Cheques longer than the initial maximum hold period if we don’t receive payment from the financial institution on which the Cheque has been drawn.
  • We hold funds longer than the hold periods in the table above if we need to investigate a Cheque.
  • In situations beyond our control, such as system outages, system connection errors or natural catastrophe, we may not be able to provide immediate access to the first $100 of a Cheque and/or may hold deposited funds longer than the hold periods in the table above.

Commercial Accounts

We may hold some or all of your deposits

When you make a deposit to your account, at a branch or through an HSBC ATM or other method we may hold some or all of the amount. If your deposit is subject to a hold, the full amount of the deposit will be reflected in your account balance right away. However your ability to access these funds will be restricted. You cannot withdraw the funds we hold, and we will not use those funds to pay cheques or pre-authorized debits until the hold period ends. Our hold funds policy is applied on a customer by customer basis.

Releasing your funds

We release the holds on funds you deposit as soon as we reasonably can. We release your funds according to the hold periods in the table below, as long as what you deposit to your account meets these requirements:

  • Paper-based; magnetically encoded Canadian dollar cheque or instruments that can be read by our operational systems (i.e. not damaged or mutilated); and are drawn on a financial institution's branch located in Canada.
  • Deposited to an account where there is no evidence for us to believe that there may be illegal or fraudulent activity in relation to the account, or other indicators of a suspicious transaction, including those that we are required by law to report;
  • Deposited to an account open for more than 90 days.
  • The cheque is payable to the account owner and has not been endorsed more than once.
  • The cheque must be deposited within six months of the issue date.
  • The account does not has an escalating overdraft balance that is not being reduced by deposits received.
  • There is no negative change in the credit score or other behaviour scores that may impact the credit risk of the enterprise.
  • No unexplained change in the history of cheques or other instruments deposited to the account.
  • There is not a high number of cheques or other instruments deposited that are returned as dishonoured items from other institutions that may impact the available balance in the account.
  • No notice of bankruptcy or of creditor action against the enterprise.

The maximum hold periods in this table apply to deposits to commercial accounts that are subject to our Hold Funds Policy:

Deposit Type Deposit Method Deposit Amount Maximum Hold Period*
Cheques or instruments issued in Canadian dollars and drawn on a financial institution’s branch in Canada In-branch with an HSBC employee or HSBC ATM or other method Any amount 4 business days
Cheques or instruments issued in US dollars or other foreign currency (whether drawn on a financial institution’s branch in Canada or outside Canada) In-branch with an HSBC employee or HSBC ATM or other method Any amount 30 business days (to allow for clearing and international settlement)

* If the deposit is made on a business day before 6:00 PM PT / 9:00 PM ET, then the maximum hold period commences on that day. If the deposit is made on a business day after 6:00 PM PT / 9:00 PM ET or on a non-business day, then the maximum hold period commences on the next business day. Business days do not include Saturday, Sunday or statutory holidays. The maximum hold period is based on the item being deposited meeting HSBC’s criteria, and may be extended if such criteria are not met, if we need to investigate a cheque, or due to situations beyond our control such as a system outage or natural catastrophe.

After the expiry of the hold period, you may access the funds. However, our release of the funds to you does not mean that the cheque or other instrument cannot be returned for another reason. If it is returned after the hold period, we may charge the amount of the cheque or other instrument to your account.

ATM deposits are treated the same whether they are cash, cheques or other types of payment. All deposits at an ATM follow our hold funds policy.

Please note the following concerning our Commercial Account hold funds policy:

  • We hold cheques that do not meet the requirements above for 30 business days.
  • The hold periods in the table above are estimates that apply if we credit the funds to your account. We may hold your deposits longer if we don’t receive payment for them within 30 business days.

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