Other financial institutions

Banks are not the only financial institutions that finance business. Some of the main sources of alternative financing for businesses include:

Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB)

ATB Financial is a full-service financial institution based in Edmonton, Alberta. It provides a wide range of financial services covering personal, business, energy, commercial and investor needs.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are financially based cooperatives which provide a range of services. They are owned and controlled by their members.

Alberta credit unions
Credit Union Central Alberta provides information about the services credit unions offer, how to become a member of a credit union and where to find a credit union close to you.
Registered credit unions in Alberta
Search Alberta Finance and Enterprise’s list of credit unions registered to operate in Alberta.

Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are primarily in the business of insuring risk. Some companies offer financial services in addition to insurance.

Registered insurance companies in Alberta
Search Alberta Finance and Enterprise’s list of insurance companies registered to operate in Alberta.

Investment Dealers

Generally, an investment dealer is a securities firm that provides services for a fee. Investment dealers work with a wide range of investment products, such as GICs, stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)
The IIROC provides detailed information about the securities industry and related legislation. The list of regulated firms includes investment dealers from across Canada.

Loan and Trust Companies

Trust companies are similar to banks. Because of its fiduciary role, a trust company can administer estates, trusts, pension plans and agency contracts, which banks cannot do.

Registered loan and trust companies in Alberta
Search Alberta Finance and Enterprise’s list of loan and trust companies registered to operate in Alberta.

Merchant Banks

Merchant banks do not generally provide services to the general public, but engage in larger deals, negotiating mergers and acquisitions, buyouts and strategic alliances. They are also active providers of mezzanine financing (a hybrid of debt and equity financing).

Financing resources

Canada Small Business Financing Program
The Canada Small Business Financing Program works with financial institutions to encourage financing for small businesses.
Financial institutions and markets
The Canadian Department of Finance provides information about financial institutions in Canada as well as market information.
Financing your new business
Canada Business provides information about the many types of government and private sector financing available.
General financing information
The Business Link provides a collection of resources and advice for many types of financing.
Steps to Growth Capital
Canada Business provides a guide to help you develop the plan and materials to seek the equity financing you need.