What Canadians Think About Their Banks
- 86 per cent of Canadians have a favourable impression of banks in Canada, with 94 per cent having a favourable impression of their own bank.
- 87 per cent of Canadians give banks a good performance rating when it comes to being stable and secure.
- 82 per cent of Canadians believe that a profitable banking sector is a healthy thing for the economy as a whole.
The bottom line
Canadians have a very intricate relationship with their banks. They trust banks to protect their money and provide sound financial advice. And they also value the new technologies and services that make banking more convenient and accessible. At the same time, they see the importance of a strong and profitable banking sector and how it benefits communities across the country and the Canadian economy as a whole.1
Of all the companies that consumers have relationships with, few are more intricate than the relationship they have with their bank. Canadians turn to their banks to safeguard their money, buy a home, manage their investments and plan for retirement. Given the nature of this relationship, trust and confidence are vitally important.
But trust and confidence are only part of it; equally as important are customer service and the value that customers feel they get from their bank. Banks have worked hard to make banking more convenient and accessible to customers by extending branch hours, enhancing online and mobile banking and listening to customers to help better meet their needs. This level of customer service and trust has contributed to Canadians’ favourable impression of banks:
- 86 per cent of Canadians have a favourable impression of banks in Canada, up from only 59 per cent in 2001.
- These approval ratings grow when it comes to their own bank: 94 per cent of respondents have a favourable impression of the bank they do most of their business with.
- 83 per cent of Canadians trust banks to protect their personal information and transactions.
- 76 per cent of those surveyed rate the performance of banks in Canada as good when it comes to introducing technologies that improve the convenience of banking.
Favourable bank impressions grow
Throughout the recent global financial crisis, Canadians felt anxiety about the world economy and dismay at the challenges facing the banking system internationally. In the midst of this turmoil, they have taken increasing comfort in the fact that Canada’s banks are well run and well regulated, there were no bank failures in this country, and 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, 87% Canadians provided a favourable rating.
Part of the stability in our banking system comes from profitability. Companies that are healthy and profitable pay more taxes, hire more people and buy more supplies than unhealthy companies. And they create helpful economic activity in their communities and for the country as a whole. When it comes to banks, this profitability also allows them to lend to individuals and businesses to further drive economic growth.
- 92 per cent of Canadians believe that it is good to have banks that are consistently sound and profitable to protect depositors’ money and lend to consumers and businesses.
- Nine-in-ten (89 per cent) of Canadians believe that a strong banking sector that is able to compete on the international stage and support Canadian businesses is important.
When it comes to profitable Canadian banks:
- 82 per cent of Canadians agree that this is a healthy thing for the Canadian economy.
- 71 per cent agree that pension plans benefit.
- 69 per cent agree that Canadian companies and entrepreneurs will find it easier to access the capital they need to grow.
Canadians benefit from a high degree of competition and choice in the financial services marketplace. More than seventy 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 those surveyed said:
- 89 per cent of Canadians believe that there is enough choice when it comes to companies in the Canadian banking sector.
- However, when they are told that there are about 70 banks in Canada as well as credit unions, 92 per cent agree that there is good choice for consumers when it comes to financial services.