Bridgewater Bank Smart eSavings Account rate down from 2.50% to 2.35% | Bridgewater Bank | Discussion forum

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Bridgewater Bank Smart eSavings Account rate down from 2.50% to 2.35%
May 24, 2019
4:50 pm
Peter
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I just noticed that the Bridgewater Bank Smart eSavings Account interest rate is now at 2.35%, down from 2.50%. It had previously increased from 1.75% to 2.50% back in November 2018.

Its rate is now in the middle of the pack on the comparison chart.

May 24, 2019
5:37 pm
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
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Thanks, Peter. Technically, it's the middle of the pack, but with their overly arcane, paper-based processes, including account linking, and lack of online banking, I'd argue that puts them near the bottom, only slightly ahead of Canadian Tire Bank. Sure, the rate is higher, but it's at a cost of lack of access and, by extension, de facto liquidity. 🙂

Additionally, another "knock" against them is they have some of the worst customer service in the industry. They treat their customers, or at least their potential/inquiring customers, like absolute dirt and like they don't matter. Moreover, their Media Relations team would not release to me either AMA's or Bridgewater Bank's audited financial statements. Yes, it's true they're not a publicly-traded company, but being owned by a non-profit association akin to a credit union or a mutual insurance company, all of which do release their financials, this lack of financial transparency is both concerning and disturbing. For me, this bank is a strong avoid.

Cheers,
Doug

July 21, 2019
4:07 am
Loonie
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Good points, Doug. I just got around to reading this.
I presume that if you were a member of the the AAA, they'd have to show you the books of at least the AAA.
Perhaps a forum member who does belong would be interested in pursuing this?

July 21, 2019
4:45 pm
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
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Loonie said
Good points, Doug. I just got around to reading this.
I presume that if you were a member of the the AAA, they'd have to show you the books of at least the AAA.
Perhaps a forum member who does belong would be interested in pursuing this?  

Yes, they said they'd let me see the financials, if I made a trip to their head office in Edmonton (possibly a regional office in Calgary), and only in paper form. When I visit my sister in Calgary next spring/summer when I'm done this program, I might have to plan a visit with my sister, who is an AMA member. I may have to exchange one of the buttons on her blouse with a hidden camera button, to which I'd have to practice my button sewing skills, in the event I'm denied entry into the private room with my sister to view their financials! That may be going overboard, a bit, though.

At the end of the day, though, while they don't have to disclose their financials online, to members or even the public, as a non-profit organization that receives significant government payments for the provision of registry services under contract to the Alberta provincial government, one would think they'd see the larger public interest in being transparent. After all, Alterna Savings and Credit Union and Meridian Credit Union could decide not to publish their financials for their Alterna Bank and Motus Bank subsidiaries, but thankfully, they see the public interest reason for doing so in the case of the former and, in the case of the latter, Meridian's CFO confirmed to me at their 2019 AGM that'll publish Motus' financials on Motus' website each year.

Cheers,
Doug

July 22, 2019
1:09 am
Loonie
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Perhaps you can use this towards your next career - as an investigative reporter for Marketplace or whatever. sf-wink You can never have too many skills!

Charities are required by law to disclose but I think non-profits are governed provincially.

Get your mom to teach you some basic sewing skills before it's too late. In the navy, every guy had to learn this. You'll save money on basic repairs when she isn't available.

I'm sure the info is all on computer. They just don't want to make it easy for anyone to see it. You'd better book your spot in the viewing station in advance! You could be introduced as her secretary... Be sure to bring your quill pen, bottle of ink, a ream of paper, blotter, and a flashlight - or did they promise free lighting?sf-laugh

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