No, the Canadian banking system is not closing


A bank closure in Canada?

A video posted on Facebook warns: “BANKS AND DEBIT CARDS ARE CLOSED”.

“It’s happening in Canada right now,” a man says to the camera. “Debit cards refuse to work, accounts are shut down. The entire banking system in Canada, as we speak, as I make this video, is shutting down.”

A service outage from industry giant Rogers Communications lasted most of July 8 and affected some banking operations. But this assertion of a bank closure goes too far.

The video appears to be from TikTok, but it’s unclear when. By the time it reached Facebook on July 15, the shortage was resolved. The Facebook post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Learn more about our partnership with facebook.)

This video could have been filmed during the outage, which reached more than 10 million users.

Reuters reported that the close lasted 7 p.m., ending late July 8, and cell phone and internet connections were affected. (Reports on the precise duration of the stop varied; CBC News reported that some customers were affected for days.)

Rogers blamed the outage on a coding error during a network update. The Canadian government is demanding answers of the telecom giant. Rogers said its network is now “fully operational”.

The statement that “the entire banking system in Canada is shutting down” is not accurate.

“The whole system does not shut down”, Michael Geistlaw professor at the University of Ottawa, told PolitiFact.

Geist, who testified on the outage during a July 25 House of Commons committee hearing, said in an email that the widely used Canadian electronic payment system, known as Interac, was down during the outage, which , according to him, lasted almost 24 hours. Interac declared that its debit and electronic payment transactions were affected.

Banks reported that debit cards, funds transfer systems, online banking, ATMs and other businesses were affected, according to Bloomberg News.

Other parts of the financial system, like the Canadian stock market, weren’t affected, said Andreas Park, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

Our judgment

A Facebook post claimed that the entire Canadian banking system was shutting down.

Rogers Communications, a major telecommunications service provider, experienced an outage that lasted much of the day. Some banking activities were affected.

The post does not say the outage is over and says the banking system is shutting down, which is not accurate.

We rate this claim as false.


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