This post is in response to a recent CBC article on TD Bank. While TD is the focus it applies to all of the Canadian Banks and how we, the Canadian Customers, have been and continue to be screwed by these institution.
The article reminded me of my past experience with TD. A number of years back I had, what I though at the time, a significant amount of money deposited in a TD account. This amount generated approximately $2.00/mth. in interest however TD was charging me $7.00/mth. to maintain the account. When I approached the bank manager to discuss options that would a) pay me interest and b) eliminate my fees she looked at me like I had two heads. I told her that it was more cost effective for me to keep my money in a sock and to drop off $2.00/mth. at the bank then to maintain the status quo. So this is why I was not surprised at the article.
Here are the highlights….
Canada’s big banks earned $35B profits in 2015 (Surprised?)
TD has more branches in the U.S. than in Canada (Expansion paid for with Canadian fees!)
TD has no plans to increase fees in the U.S. (Canadians continually subsidize U’S. consumers; oil, electricity, etc.)
TD says if you don’t like the fees you can close your account “without cost or penalty” (Saved best for last!)
So what is the Canadian consumer going to do? Suck it up as usual, complain a little, mumble and then continue to reach into our pockets. What should we do? Cut these high cost, high profit institutions loose. How? We are fortunate to have a number of options available to us. One that I would recommend are the low or no fee Checking Accounts at places like Presidents Choice Financial or Tangerine. Look at your local Credit Unions, many offer no fee or low fee accounts based on membership or a minimum balance. Check out some of the new players like Zenbanx that features the ability to maintain balances in multiple currencies.
Maybe if we start pulling our money out of the “Big Banks” they will start treating us like customers rather than cash cows.