Thursday, April 19, 2007

Canadian Banks don't care about the poor

Getting tired of all the bank fees? I switched to Coast Capital Savings (credit union) a couple of years ago and I've never regretted it. Banks have made huge profits, often over the backs of the poor:

OTTAWA — Canada's big banks threw up a wall of silence today around their costs of providing automated teller machines and their profit margins on controversial ATM fees.

Whenever members of the Commons committee probing ATM fees tried to peer inside the world of banking, they were met for the most part with blank expressions or no comments.

"We won't comment on that," said the Royal Bank's Jim Westlake, group Head, Canadian Banking, when asked about profit margins on the ATM fees.

Representatives for the Royal, CIBC, Toronto Dominion, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal and even the central agency for credit unions strongly objected to any suggestion that the government regulate bank charges, which hit the poor and working poor particularly hard

Switch to a Credit Union, "and save YOUR money".

Toronto Star


eugene plawiuk said...

Or to ING

eugene plawiuk said...

Did you notice this item mentions that the Credit Union Central supports the banks opposition to changes in bank charges.

Erik Abbink said...

Hi Eugene,

I've got both those accounts; ING (those orange/dutch commercials make me feel soooo proud!) and Coast Capital Savings (CCS).

Yes, I did notice the Credit Union Central position. I don't know the reasoning for it though; do you? Unfortunately the Star doesn't give any clues either, only that they seem to be surprised by it too. Will Jack! make it an issue again?

I have to admit, I think most banks stink. I talked a few weeks to an investment/insurance broker at CCS; I felt I was buying a car! This guy was maybe a bit more advanced, but, by golly, the way he tried to sell me greed (read mutual funds) was not any different than at any normal bank.

But CCS's accounts are free; that's why I'm still there. The "lesser evil", I guess.

PS Did I ever tell you how much I enjoy your blog?

eugene plawiuk said...

The Credit Unions are subject to the same management style as banks. The reality is that while they are owned by us, they are controled by the MBA's and the like. They are not unionized, except in rare cases, even when begun or started by unions. And as we can see in the case of the unionized CU on strike in Ontario, First Ontario I think, they management can be as ruthless as bosses anywhere towards their workers even if they are hired by elected directors.

The CU movement has consolidated itself as a national body, with the most advanced use of the internet etc and virtual banking. However doing so puts them in with the Banks when it comes to bank fees.

They love service charges, ATM fees, etc. and so they subject us to them to add to their profit margins.

Until the NDP and the banking committee force changes on service charges that is where banks and CU's will continue to make their money off us. Not by using our money to make money, but to use our money and charge us for using their so called 'services'.

And thanks for the compliment about my blog.

Erik Abbink said...

Thanks for explaining. Just one more thing.

When I was still living in Holland ATM fees (when using the ATM of another bank) were 25 cents (about 20 cents Canadian).

Wouldn't 20 or 25 cents be a nice compromise?

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