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FirstOntario & COVID-19

  • Covid-19

COVID-19: Message from our CEO, Lloyd Smith

For more than 80 years, FirstOntario has been helping Members get through the good times and the bad and now, we’re facing the challenges of COVID-19.

As the situation continues to evolve, FirstOntario is responding and adapting. We’re going to get through this together.

We're here to help

If you need extra support during these uncertain times, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

More financial help is available to small businesses through the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund (CUSBRF). The CUSBRF was established to help Canadian small businesses across different sectors and industries offset the cost of expenses related to the recovery efforts of COVID-19, including expenses related to reopening safely or adopting digital technologies to move more of their business online. Grants of up to $5,000 are available.

Applications are now being accepted online from small businesses across all provinces for expenses incurred no earlier than March 15, 2020.

To learn more about the CUSBRF visit the Program Application Guidelines, Pre-Application Checklist and review the FAQs. Additional questions about CUSBRF can be sent directly to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce at cusbrf@occ.ca.

Status of Branches

All of our branches are open Monday to Friday to serve our Members, with the exception of the following:


  • Lime Ridge Mall - 999 Upper Wentworth Steet, Hamilton

  • Niagara Street - 148 Niagara Street, St. Catharines

  • Niagara Health System - 1200 Fourth Avenue, St. Catharines
  • Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital - 3001 Hospital Gate, Oakville

COVID-19 FAQs

​What is FirstOntario doing to protect against COVID-19?

FirstOntario is actively following developments of COVID-19 by closely monitoring updates from public health and government agencies. We've taken numerous precautions to keep our Members and employees safe, including deeper cleanings and additional sanitizer stations available at every branch. Branch hours have been reduced and some branches are closed temporarily. 

​What role do Members play?

Members play a role in helping us keep our operations healthy and safe. Here’s what you can do to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19:

  • If you’re not feeling well, are experiencing any symptoms or if you have recently travelled internationally, please avoid coming into a branch.
  • Make use of online and mobile banking services and our Member Solutions Centre at 1-800-616-8878.
  • If it is essential that you visit a branch, please be sure to use hand sanitizing stations, maintain good hygiene practices and keep a safe distance away from others.

​Where can I get the latest news regarding COVID-19 and FirstOntario?

Please stay tuned to our website for the most up-to-date news and information. You can also find updates on TwitterFacebook and Linkedin.

​What if branches close, how can I get my banking done?

Our Member Solutions Centre at 1-800-616-8878, ​Personal Assisted Teller (PAT) and ATM machines are open for business. PAT machines offer virtual service representatives through extended hours and give you access to the same transactions and services you would receive in branches.  

You can also take advantage of our online and mobile banking services – available 24/7 – to bank from the comfort of home. Check account balances and transaction history, send money, pay bills, deposit cheques and more. Download our mobile app now or contact our Member Solutions Centre at 1-800-616-8878 during regular business hours to set up online banking.

Visit Ways to Bank for more details.

​I am worried about how COVID-19 will affect me financially, what can I do?

We understand some of our Members may experience financial impacts as a result of COVID-19. We’re here for you and ask that you contact your local branch or our Member Solutions Centre at 1-800-616-8878 as soon as possible so we can discuss your situation and the possible ways we can assist you. 

You can also visit our website to confirm the type of financial support you need by completing and submitting a form to begin the process:

​Does my FirstOntario Visa card have trip cancellation insurance?

FirstOntario Travel, U.S. Dollar and Infinite Visa cards have travel insurance if you used the card to pay for your travel. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of your agreement for details. If you have more questions, please contact Collabria at 1-855-341-4643 or email info@collabriacreditcards.ca.

​Why isn’t FirstOntario closing all branches to fight the spread of COVID-19?

The health and safety of our Members and employees is a top priority. We are monitoring advice from public health officials very closely, and are responding with extra caution. We will continue to monitor our day-to-day operations and will always consider safety first. We have a responsibility to serve our Members and support their financial needs the best way we can. If and when changes are needed, we will do what is best for our staff and our Members.

​Is my money safe with FirstOntario?

FirstOntario is strong and stable and your money is protected. Your eligible deposits – up to $250,000 – are automatically insured by the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO) if they are held outside a registered plan. That’s $150,000 more than the banks offer. Coverage is unlimited if the investment is registered (RRSP, RRIF, RESP or TFSA). 

​Is it wise for me to withdraw a large amount of cash in case of emergencies?

Having a large amount of cash with you or at your home exposes you to greater risk. Your protection is important to us. At FirstOntario, your eligible deposits up to $250,000 are automatically insured by the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO) if they are held outside a registered plan. That’s $150,000 more than the banks offer. Coverage is unlimited if the investment is registered (RRSP, RRIF, RESP or TFSA). 

FirstOntario offers Members many ways to access your money when you need it, while keeping it safe. In addition to our other branches, you can access your money when using ATMs and our Personal Assisted Teller (PAT) machines, your FirstOntario debit card and Visa card.  

Trusted COVID-19 Information Sources

Covers general updates and recommendations for protecting your heath.

Provides updates from the federal government, preparation and prevention advice, as well as the latest travel advisories. 

A new site from the Ontario government offering updates, information and tips for Ontarians.

Ways to Bank

We're here to accommodate your needs.