Banks hitting you with more fees

March 19 2007 by Ellen Roseman

The Canadian Bankers Association defends high service charges. But many readers don’t. They loved my columns about bank fees and credit card fees, but some had strong feelings about customers who don’t pay attention to fees or don’t do their best to minimize them. What do you think? Are banks taking advantage of us? Or are we being complacent?

22 comments

  1. jr!

    Apr 11 2007

    As so many of you have said, people bitching about bank fees should do some research, it’s YOUR money you want to save, YOU are expected to do some legwork to save it.
    I’m with Citizens Bank and haven’t paid a service charge in 10 years. I have their high interest savings account (better interest rate than ING Direct and PC Financial) and actually make about $30 a month in interest.

  2. Tartine

    Apr 14 2007

    I have to agree with the people saying that it is possible to avoid paying banking fees – it is what I’ve been doing for years. But it requires attention to details (not to let a change slip by unoticed), and also leaving a certain amount on your account AT ALL TIMES, which is not always easy for people on a tight budget. And for those who say that the canadian banks are giving better service than most other countries, I can only tell that they are REALLY bad compared to swiss banks (yes, I’m from Switzerland). Never before was I asked to wait five buisness days to be able to use money I deposited on my own account using wire transfer from one bank to the other – I’m not even speaking about a cheque!! Canadian banks are also the only ones I have ever seen asking for a fee to RECEIVE money. My swiss bank asks me for a fee to send money out (half the price of what my canadian bank is asking, by the way), but definitely NOT for receiving it. Canada is also the only place where I have seen a bank refusing to let me get more than 1000 CAD out of my account, saying that I could only do that at my own branch. I happened to have opened my account in Toronto, but to live in Montreal now, so no chance I could just pass by my branch… What is the point to have branches all over the country, if each time you ask for something more than the basic service you are told that it is impossible because this is not your own branch? And the withdrawal of my own cash was only one example of the many times I was give this excuse – the same holds true for certified cheques, etc. To justify that, I was told that it was because they could not check the authenticity of my signature by comparison with the card I signed when opening the account, so they could not be sure it was me. This is plain stupidity: nothing can be more easily imitated that a signature. On the other hand, I could show them at least three picture IDs, on top of being able to enter my PIN and tell them the history of my accounts with them… if there is any logic in this, I could not see it!

  3. Dylan

    Jan 7 2008

    Forget voting. The real way to change this world and its problems, such as greedy banks, is to spend and invest your hard-earned cash elsewhere. I’m switching to President’s Choice tomorrow and will be recommending to everyone I know to do the same.

    I refuse to pay fees. My bank charged me for logging in online and moving some money between two of my own accounts! Also, if you get a better interest rate with a different bank, move your cash and tell your bank why.

    ICICI offers 4.25% at the moment, so that is where my savings are going!

  4. funoosh

    Aug 9 2008

    The banking industry will remain on top. It’s the only industry to stay afloat in recession. That’s coz we forsee the future better and plan ahead.

    Most customers of the big banks leave their future and headaches to us. Should we not be charging our customers for the services that we provide?

    We have personnel who invest their time and money on our customers to enhance shareholder value. Then why crib…become a shareholder !!!!

  5. venom

    Mar 23 2009

    The banking industry should not charge fees at all, considering the fact that all western countries are using what’s called a “Fractional Reserve Monetary System”.

    What this means is that for every dollar they lend, they only need to have a fraction of it “on reserve” in their “vaults”. So, when you “borrow” $5,000, the teller types a couple keys on a keyboard and poof, $5,000 magically appears out of thin air and is credited to you with interest owed on top of it to boot.

    If I lend someone $5,000, I actually have to have it in my hand. If I try to make my own magic money making machine, I would be charged with fraud. So why should a corporation be allowed to do this?

    IMO, they should pick one or the other:
    1) no fees and fraud
    or
    2) 1:1 reserve and honest fees

    But nothing will change until Canadians start changing MPs who do nothing but facilitate this system, while pretending to actually do something and giving us lip service about petty issues that have a microscopic effect on our daily lives compared to a nation’s monetary policy.

  6. mike

    Dec 24 2009

    I have just signed up for a President’s Choice no-fee bank account. I hope there are not any fees at all.

    I just use my Interac card for odd things here and there, pay some bills, shopping and and sometimes Internet shopping. I would love it if I didn’t have to pay any service charges. I will keep a minimum balance of $1,000 all the time.

    I think these service charges from the banks are a total ripoff. We get less services at the banks now then we ever had and they are charging us to use our money. I want to go to the way it was from the beginning, cash for everything period.