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What Canadians Think About Their Banks

Last modified: 14 March 2014

Fast facts

  • 81 per cent have a favourable impression of banks in Canada, with 90 per cent having a favourable impression of their own bank.
  • 79 per cent give banks a good rating for being stable and secure.
  • When they see what has happened to banks around the world, 95 per cent feel pride in Canada’s banks.

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 debit cards and mobile payments and building secure websites for online banking – enabling banking literally around the clock and around the world. Canadians have noticed these improvements.

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

Today:

  • 81 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.
  • 76 per cent of Canadians trust banks to protect their personal information and transactions.
  • 71 per cent give banks good marks for introducing technologies that improve the convenience of banking.
  • 67 per cent believe that banks are an important source of advice for retirement planning.

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:

  • 90 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.

  • 62 per cent of Canadians understand that they can look at different account packages with their own bank to reduce their fees and 61 per cent say that they can switch banks to reduce fees if they wish.
  • 33 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 33 per cent pay $15 or less per month to do their banking.
  • 76 per cent say that they get good value from their banking service fees which is higher than for an array of other service industries tested.

Value in money for service fees

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

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

Throughout the recent global financial crisis, Canadians felt anxiety about the world economy and dismay at the challenges facing the banking system internationally. From this turmoil, they have taken increasing comfort in the fact that Canada’s banks are well run and properly regulated. Canada’s banks were rated the soundest in the world for the last six years in a row.

  • When asked to rate the performance of banks in Canada on stability and security, 79 per cent Canadians provided a favourable rating.
  • 95 per cent say that, when they see what has happened with banks around the world, it makes them proud about Canadian banks.
  • 71 per cent of Canadians say strong banks mean more jobs, better pension plan returns and a healthier economy.

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.

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