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Contest: help build a Canadian financial institution survey
March 11, 2012
7:05 pm
Peter
Admin
Forum Posts: 1158
Member Since:
May 15, 2007
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Following up on 88kanaka's suggestion from January, I'd like to build a survey asking people to rate and comment financial institutions on various aspects. To help build this survey, I ask you: what questions should be asked about a financial institution? In other words, what qualities are important to you when choosing a financial institution?

I will award a $100 prize to a response that is posted in this thread before 11:59 PM Pacific time on Sunday, March 18.

March 11, 2012
7:57 pm
Melissa
Guest
Guests

The first question I always ask is whether there are service fees and if so, how much are they and what are they for. Second would be how easy it is to take out cash from the accounts (i.e. how conveniently located their abms are). Third would be whether the bank offers high-interest accounts.

March 11, 2012
8:40 pm
moneysaver
Ontario
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December 22, 2011
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What's important to me when choosing my bank:

1.) No Fees for withdrawals or bill payments.
2.) Has a history of offering the highest interest rates for daily savings, GIC's, RRSP's, etc.
3.) Has a history of offering the lowest interest rates for loans, mortgages, line of credit, etc.
4.) Easy access to my funds (i.e. ABM's or cash back by using your debit card at the supermarket)
5.) Online banking with the ability to "link" other external bank accounts for transfers.
6.) Some notice of interest rates changing (i.e. like Hubert Financial does by email)
7.) No "Teaser" rates. Especially on the TFSA.

March 11, 2012
9:50 pm
natalie
Hamilton, ON
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March 11, 2012
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For me, the qualities I want in my bank are pretty simple. I want the lowest fees, and the highest interest rates on my savings. Bonuses for me are good mobile banking capabilities and helpful financial advisors at my local branch.

If I were going to be reading some feedback from others on their banks, I would like to know some of the following:
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Overall, how satisfied are you with your bank, on a scale of 1 to 10?

How long have you been a customer with your bank?

If you have changed banks recently (in the last year) what was the most significant factor in your choice to switch? (i.e. higher interest rate, free chequing account, other product offering, convenience, dissatisfaction with previous bank)

If you have not changed banks recently, do you feel that your bank's offerings have gotten better, worse, or stayed the same in the past 3 years? If so, how?

Do you plan on switching banks in the next 6 months? If so, why?

What competitive advantages do you feel your bank has over other financial institutions?

In what areas do you think there is room for improvement at your bank?

Rate each of the following on a scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied), or NA if you do not use this service or it is not available:
1. Branch location
2. Online banking
3. Telephone banking
4. Mobile banking apps

Expand on or explain your ratings:

Have you developed any positive relationships with staff at your bank?

If you have taken advantage of financial advisor services at your bank, how beneficial were they? Would you recommend them to a friend?

Do you feel that your bank gives you enough options to easily access your funds on a daily basis?

What are the interest rates you currently receive at your bank (chequing accounts, savings accounts, GICs, etc.)?

What are the fees you currently pay to your bank and what are they for?

Do you receive any special offers from your bank (i.e. student or senior discounts)?

Do you also have a credit card with the same financial institution? If so, how satisfied are you with the card? Please include any rates and fees.

March 12, 2012
5:09 pm
cmore
Guest
Guests

Yes, Great Rates, Access to Funds, No Gimmicks & Hassle-Free Service are all important attributes, however, let's not forget the FIs ability to consistently offer these long term through stable financial performance and a strong guarantee.

The only concern I have with these type of surveys is how general they are. For me, I may have certain needs for day-to-day banking (i.e. no fee chequing, with convenient branch locations and a secure online banking functionality), which may differ from my savings needs (Great rates offered consistently with a full deposit guarantee) and differ again from my mortgage needs (Lowest rate for a fully open mortgage that has no pre-payment penalties).

March 12, 2012
6:13 pm
Bob
Guest
Guests

Simple. I just want them to stop screwing their customers. The bank must be honest and forthright, and be the little bank that it should be.

March 12, 2012
9:32 pm
Julia H
Guest
Guests

Great suggestions already!

How much do you spend in bank fees per month?

How would you rate the interactions you have had with the bank: scale, excellent, satisfactory, neutral, negative, incompentent

March 13, 2012
9:11 pm
Jim
Guest
Guests

Other things to ask:

Speed of money transfers.
Length of holds on your transferred money.
Linking to external accounts: convenient test deposits or old-fashioned mail in a void cheque?
Chequing privileges on accounts?
Statement options.
ATM cards.

March 18, 2012
5:25 am
Leah
Guest
Guests

A couple of additional topics of interest, mainly focused on customers with internationl transactions:

Ease of transfer in and out of account to international accounts
Abilitiy to link to self-directed trading accounts
Minimum balances required in order to take advantage of reduced fees, extra services
Additional services to consolidate loans, mortgages, etc.
Holds on drafts/money orders/cheques from international banks
Fees to use debit cards internationally

March 18, 2012
11:56 am
pebbles
Member
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August 19, 2011
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On Line Banking

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the Most Important and 1 being Least Important, how would you rate the following when choosing an on line bank:

1. Ease of application
2. How long did it take from initial application to being able to access account
3. When a deposit is made into your account, is there a “freeze” on the funds for a set period of time
4. Is there a maximum daily withdrawal at an ABM
5. Is it possible to speak with an agent to authorize a larger maximum daily withdrawal at an ATM – One time only
6. Ease of being able to speak to a real person by telephone
7. Hours of customer service operation
8. Lowest fees
9. Competitive interest rate
10. Monthly or annual Bonus for maintaining a set minimum daily balance
11. Preferred service for high balance holders
12. Member of CDIC or comparable organization for Credit Unions
13. Speed of transfer funds to another financial institution
14. Option to get e-statement or paper statement
15. Message box for all announcements that can be checked when accessing account
16. How secure it the site and account information
17. Is there a “Bricks and Mortar” location and can they assist with on-line banking issues
18. Are other financial products offered ie GIC’s, TFSA’s
19. Are GIC’s & TFSA Offered at competitive rates
20. Can GIC’s and TFSA’s be set up without having to speak with an agent.
21. Direct transfer in a GIC or TFSA from another financial institution
22. Reputation
23. Offer direct payroll deposit and systematic withdrawals

Identify any problems with your current on line bank?

What would it take for you to switch to a new on line bank?

If you have had a problem with your current bank was it resolved to your satisfaction?

If you were looking for a new Financial Institution for a High Interest Savings Account where would you look?

Bricks and Mortar Locations

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the Most Important and 1 being Least Important, how would you rate the following when choosing a “Bricks and Mortar” Bank:

1. Convenient location
2. Convenient hours
3. Ability to assist with on line banking
4. Banking officer available to deal with Estate Banking issues
5. Other banking services offered, Lines of Credit, Bank Credit Card, Loans and Mortgages, Safety Deposit box, money orders, travellers cheques
6. Availability of a Financial Planner
7. Is the Financial Planner able to broker other GIC rates outside their own bank’s inventory
8. Preferred service or rates for high balance holders
9. Ability to have a U.S. Funds bank account
10. Ability to bundle a number of accounts together (chequing, savings, US Fund Account) for a reduced or no fee.
11. Member CDIC or equivalent for Credit Unions
12. Competitive fee packages
13. Competitive interest rates
14. Importance of being able to go to one location to take care of multiple services
15. Option to receive paper or e-statement
16. Easy to read statements
17. Do they have an online Discount Broker for other Investments
18. Separate window for business/corporate accounts
19. Air Miles or other loyalty points program
20. Telephone Banking
21. Reputation

Identify any problems with your current on line bank?

If you have had a problem with your current bank was it resolved to your satisfaction?

What would it take for you to switch to a new on line bank?

If you were looking for a new Financial Institution where would you look?

Discount Brokerage
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the Most Important and 1 being Least Important, how would you rate the following when choosing a Discount Brokerage:

1. Reputation
2. Trading Fees
3. Account Administration Fees
4. Ease of Application
5. Ease of being able to talk to a real person when there is a problem
6. Real Time quotes
7. Access to Comprehensive Research
8. High Interest Cash accounts
9. Option to receive paper or e-statements.
10. Easy trading
11. Tools
12. Member CIPF
13. Full range of account types and investment products
14. Ease of transferring in accounts from other financial institutions
15. Promotions and bonuses that actually work
16. Message Box with daily updates of news, analyst changes
17. Features for high net worth clients – lower fees, more services
18. Bonuses for opening or transferring in new accounts
19. One line trading training

Identify any problems with your discount brokerage?

If you have had a problem with your current discount brokerage was it resolved to your satisfaction?

What would it take for you to switch to a new on discount brokerage?

If you were looking for a new Financial Institution for a Discount Brokerage where would you look?

March 25, 2012
9:02 am
Peter
Admin
Forum Posts: 1158
Member Since:
May 15, 2007
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Thanks to everybody for participating! The quality of answers is quite high! Now to start building surveys…

As for the contest, the random number picker chose "cmore" as the winner. However, I have not received an e-mail response from him / her yet. If you see this message, you can e-mail me at peter AT keung DOT biz to claim your $100 prize. If I do not receive a response by 11:59pm Pacific time on Monday March 26, I will re-draw the prize.

Update: prize has been re-drawn and awarded to "moneysaver"

Please write your comments in the forum.