Dr. Evil

Bank fee outcry unites consumers and even politicians

Like the cable and phone companies, Canadian banks are often accused of trying to gouge customers with service fees.

The justification from Canada’s Big Five financial institutions is that they face increasing revenue pressures as a result of low interest rates and the sagging price of oil.

But the government’s decision this week to back an opposition motion to rein in banking fees suggests anti-bank sentiment is so strong right now that it even crosses party lines.

  • SDMatt

    The big banks, Robbers, Bhell, etc are beholden to their investors: all have to show increased profits each quarter otherwise investors will go elsewhere. It is an untenable proposition – having run out of ideas, the big firms gouge their customers as a means of increasing profits.

    • Frances

      Am willing to bet that the Canada Pension Plan has bank stocks as part of their portfolio, which would mean we are all investors and want those nice earnings and associated dividends to enhance our involuntary investment. On the other hand, my clients and I face daily serious incompetence at the branch level and in higher departments (have suspected internal politics as part of the problem). It wastes a lot of our time, and there is no recourse.

      One client almost lost a business opportunity a few years back when the loans manager with whom he was “working” insisted on handling the deal herself even though the value was higher than she was authorized to handle. Her final solution was to approve a loan lower than required, but only if client’s parents moved all their dealings to her bank (including investment portfolios) and allowed a lien on their house. Needless to say, client went elsewhere, but only after his father balked at the requirements and pointed out that – under those conditions – it made more sense for the family to finance the son and collect the interest. Later heard the woman was let go, but small consolation as opportunity came very close to being lost and much time wasted on client’s side.

      I could give many more examples of incompetence by banks, and they never compensate anyone for lost time or opportunities. Maybe this bill should have an addendum: mandatory compensation for screw-ups, and that more than a grudging reversal of fees.

      • Exile1981

        I’ve had similar experiences where banks approved a loan and then weeks later still had not released funds and then came back and wanted to change the terms of the loan. I pointed out they had offered in writing certain terms and then tried to change them.
        Our local bank has an employee with is very anti-man and increasingly hard to deal with.

  • The Butterfly

    I’m certain that this will be the one time a price control will work without adverse consequences.

  • Denis Morin

    Gas is $1.19 per litre today. Sagging?????

    • bverwey

      Exactly my first though when reading that $1.14 here yesterday ticking up a cent of two every few days for a while now. The foucking summer gouge at the pumps is in full swing.

      • Censored_EG

        The Saudis need to fund radical mosques throughout Canada and the rest of the western world somehow.