The first Continental Bank had its origins in 1925 when the Industrial Acceptance Corporation was founded. It became IAC, a financing company, in 1970. Continental Bank of Canada was chartered in 1977 when IAC decided to expand the scope of operations, and began business in June 1979. It had its head office at 130 Adelaide St. West, Toronto. In 1981, it was Canada's ninth-largest bank with 70 branches across the country, and assests at June 30 of $1.6 billion. Also in that year, Continental Bank absorbed its parent company, IAC. 
In 1985, after a loss of depositor confidence and a run on deposits that affected several small banks, the bank received a line of Credit from the Bank of Canada. The bank and its remaining 55 branches were then acquired by Lloyds Bank Plc of the United Kingdom and became "Lloyds Bank Canada" in 1986. Continental Bank continued to exist as a chartered bank until 1996 because of a dispute with Revenue Canada. Lloyds Bank sold its Canadian operations to HongKong Bank of Canada in 1990, which became HSBC Bank Canada.
In 2013 a new bank named "Continental Bank of Canada" was chartered. Before being chartered, the company had been operating as Continental Currency Exchange. It continues to operate under that name and focus on providing foreign exchange services through 17 branches in Ontario.