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What Canadians Think About Their Banks

Last modified: 26 March 2015

Fast facts

  • 87 per cent have a favourable impression of banks in Canada, significantly higher than other service providers.
  • 75 per cent give banks a good rating for being stable and secure.
  • 79 per cent of Canadians get good value for their service fees.

The bottom line

Canadians …

  • Take pride in the strength and stability of their banking system, a Canadian success story recognized worldwide.
  • Trust banks to protect their money and provide sound financial advice.
  • Believe that banks offer good value for money in part because new technologies make banking convenient and secure.
  • Recognize that a profitable banking sector benefits communities across the country and the Canadian economy as a whole.1

Canadians trust and value their banks

Of all the companies that consumers have relationships with, few are more personal and sensitive than the relationship with their bank. Canadians look to their banks to safeguard their money, help finance a home or business, manage their savings and investments, and plan their retirement.

Naturally, trust and confidence are vital. And as Canadians have witnessed challenges in banking in other parts of the world, they appreciate the reliability, prudence and stability of Canada’s banks all the more.

But no less important is satisfaction in the value that customers feel they get from their bank. Banks have worked hard to make banking more convenient – extending branch hours, introducing mobile banking and payments, and enhancing online banking – enabling banking literally around the clock and around the world. Canadians have noticed and value these improvements.

90 per cent of respondents have a favourable impression of the bank they do most of their business with.

Today:

  • 87 per cent have a favourable impression of banks in Canada, up from 59 per cent in 2001.
  • These approval ratings grow when it comes to their own bank: 90 per cent of respondents have a favourable impression of the bank they do most of their business with.
  • 74 per cent of Canadians trust banks to protect their privacy.
  • 70 per cent give banks good marks for introducing technologies that improve the convenience of banking.
  • 68 per cent believe that banks do a good job of helping Canadians achieve their financial goals.

Good choice, competition and value

Canadians benefit from plenty of competition and choice in the financial services marketplace.

More than 80 domestic and foreign banks compete for customers’ business not only with each other, but also with a variety of other financial services providers, including trust companies, life insurance companies, finance companies, credit unions and caisses populaires and an array of federal and provincial financial agencies. When asked what they think about competition in banking, here is what Canadians said:

  • 89 per cent believe that there is enough choice to meet their needs.

Consumers know that they are in control and can shop around for the banking arrangements that best meets their needs and at a cost that they are comfortable with.

  • 59 per cent of Canadians switched accounts at their bank to reduce their fees and 39 per cent have switched banks to reduce fees.
  • 27 per cent pay no banking service fees at all because they take advantage of no-fee packages for seniors, students, youth and newcomers to Canada, maintain a minimum monthly account balance or choose a no-fee electronic banking package. Another 48 per cent pay $15 or less per month to do their banking.

Value in money for service fees

79 per cent say that they get good value from their banking service fees, which is nearly 10 percentage points higher than other service industries.

Q: When you think about the fees you pay for the service you receive, please tell me if you feel you get excellent, good, poor, or very poor value in each of the following areas:

Value in money for service fees

A stable and successful banking system is important to Canadians

67 per cent of Canadians say strong banks mean more jobs, better pension plan returns and a healthier economy.

Canadians have strong, positive feelings about their banks, driven by the belief that they receive value for money and that strong banks are good for the economy and can help Canadians meet their financial goals.

  • When asked to rate the performance of banks in Canada on stability and security, 75 per cent Canadians provided a favourable rating.
  • The World Economic Forum has ranked Canada’s banks the strongest in the world for seven consecutive years2.

Canadians know that stability in our banking system is linked to profitability. Companies that are healthy pay more taxes, hire more people, return better dividends to pension plans and other investors, and buy more goods and services from other Canadians. Bank profitability also enables lending that helps spur economic growth.

All data from public opinion research conducted on behalf of the Canadian Bankers Association by Abacus Data.

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