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EQ Bank savings accounts, TFSA, and RRSP rates dropping to 1.25%
May 27, 2021
11:30 am
annie
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Don't worry~ I feel that there will be a better interest rate after 3 months.. Currently doing GIC 2.3% is the best choicesf-smile

May 27, 2021
11:40 am
LK
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I just spoke to a CSR at EQ Bank. According to that CSR, here is the update regarding registered GICs (TFSA / RRSP).

~ the current 2.3% rate for a 3 month registered GIC will be in place for everyone until June 2, 2021.
~ after June 2, 2021, the 3 month registered GICs will be 1.25%.
~ the 6 month registered GICs is now 1.30%.

So, if you purchased a second 3-month TFSA GIC in early April, it will mature in early July, and you will not be able to have an extension -- the 2.3% 3 month GIC rate (when purchasing a new GIC) ends on June 2.

Alexandra: I think there was an error above in July 2 being mentioned.

May 27, 2021
11:55 am
LK
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I think that for those of us who do not have a GIC maturing on or before June 2, 2021, there is no opportunity to lock-in. My TFSA GIC matures on July 2, and it was confirmed today when I spoke to the CSR that the extension to June 2 would not apply to me because I'm locked in past June 2. Of course, I still have 2.3% until July 2! 🙂

Those who have funds in the EQ TSFA HISA account will have the ability to purchase a 3-month TFSA GIC until June 2 at 2.3%.

I did not receive an email.

June 2, 2021
12:00 am
Adam1
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Today is the last day to lock in TFSA GIC at 2.3% for 3 months, if you can.

The deadline extension from May 25 to June 2 for the 2.3% TFSA GIC was beneficial: you could add more to the GIC because of the end of month interest paid from the TFSA savings account, if you had funds in there.

Adam

June 2, 2021
2:24 am
smayer97
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Thx for the reminder to use paid interest.

June 2, 2021
8:20 pm
Bud
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Remember EQ is a high yield lender

June 29, 2021
9:10 pm
HermanH
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The ordeal has come to a conclusion. It began here: https://www.highinterestsavings.ca/forum/eq-bank/eq-bank-savings-accounts-tfsa-and-rrsp-rates-dropping-to-1-25/page-4/#p62343

To re-cap, I was helping my mother transfer her TFSA from Bank of Nova Scotia to EQ in order to take advantage of the 2.3% 3-month promotional GIC offer.

May 12: After several more failures and transfer terminations, I finally learned from a BNS employee that the requests were denied because BNS was demanding a Guaranteed Signature stamp. This required her to sign the transfer request in front of a bank employee, who would then authenticate and witness the event.

I called EQ back and told them of this shortcoming and the representative told me that it was a technicality, since they were an e-bank and there was no personal contact. However, BNS did not consider it a technicality and were holding firm to their demand. Discussions were ongoing between EQ and BNS to resolve the obstacle. EQ offered no idea on how to resolve this impediment. Meanwhile, time was running out on the promo period.

I finally called my BNS branch asst. manager, who was in the process of promotion/transfer to branch manager at a different location. She told me that I could come in and sign the document in front of her and she would use the Guaranteed Signature stamp. I grabbed the next available time slot for Saturday, May 15.

May 15: Listed all the particulars for the Asst. Mgr. and specified an exact withdrawal amount. (The Asst. Mgr. said that the previous requests had also been denied because they asked for the entire balance and there was both cash and an immature GIC in the account. Another BNS Investment rep. had specifically told me that it should not have made any difference but, obviously, it did. An exact amount was to make sure that there could be absolutely no confusion with the non-matured GIC that was also in the account.)

Printed the EQ transfer request document and took it to BNS, where my mother signed it and had the Signature stamp affixed. The Asst. Mgr. said that they would send it directly internally. I also took a copy and sent it electronically to EQ as yet another transfer request. I was trying to cover all the angles, with duplicate requests. With any luck whatsover, my mother might be able to still get in under the promo period dealine.

May 26: Sure enough, another request termination notice from EQ bank. At this point, I got anxious and frantically phoned every single BNS officer at the branch. I did not know if the Asst. Mgr. was already gone or not. I also did not know which transfer request had been denied; my direct electronic submission or the BNS request.

The Asst. Mgr. got back to me. (I thought that she might have been a bit miffed by all the hassle I was creating.) She did not leave for another week and assured me that she had sent the request directly to their Transfer department without incident. I kept my fingers crossed, in hopes of making it under the June 2 deadline.

May 28: I called EQ and told them that the cheque was, literally, 'In The Mail', and if they could put in a placeholder rate for its arrival. The rep said that a note would be entered, but it would most likely be ignored. Some chance would be better than none.

June 2
: The 2.3% promo period expires

June 3: Internal EQ note (revealed later) -- "Your TFSA transfer has been completed by Scotiabank and on June 2, 2021 we received a cheque in the amount off $#####.## and funds were deposited into your EQ Bank TFSA account on June 3, 2021"

The EQ dashboard / statement notes the Transfer In on 04 June, 2021

Week of June 6: Series of five phone calls to EQ requesting contact with ombudsman or Customer Care supervisor. (Same calls went to BNS, Office of the President. BNS did not return a single call.)

June 23: e-mail response including:

"I lead the Complaints team at EQ Bank Customer Care team. I understand that you had contacted our Ombudsman in regards to a couple of issues. Your complaint was forwarded to me for investigation as it has not been through Step 2 of our Customer Complaint Handling Procedures (CCHP)."

She deposited a $50 GoodWill Gesture (GWG) to the SAV account.

"Please accept our sincere apologies, and a $50 good will gesture to compensate you for the inconvenience and frustration this situation has caused you."

June 24: I contacted the Care mgr. and told her, in part:

Thank you for your investigation into this matter and for the $50 as compensation. The problems related to this TFSA transfer and its eventual resolution between BNS and EQ are understood. However, the underlying root of the problem has not been resolved.

Numerous TFSA transfer request were submitted to EQ bank and all were subsequently closed without any explanation. A generic answer telling us to 'initiate the process with BNS' was finally received after a long time, but the rationale for termination of the applications was never revealed despite several phone contacts with EQ representatives.

We only learned of the missing Guaranteed Signature Requirement from a BNS employee. Had EQ bank informed us of the problem, a more favourable resolution might have been possible. BNS actions played a significant role in the disruption, but EQ inaction also had a part.

The TFSA transfer was initiated on 2021 April 8 to take advantage of the 2.3% promotional rate offered by EQ bank. During this turmoil, virtually no interest was earned from BNS. The TFSA account has lost an opportunity for approximately $250 during this period. The $50 offered as compensation is kind, but far short of the actual losses.

As well, once the TFSA was transfered to EQ, the rate given was only 1.25%; the differential of 1.05% means an ongoing loss of $2.06 daily. We tried to request a placeholder for the 2.3% with an EQ representative because the cheque was (literally) in the mail, but were denied. The cheque arrived and was processed by EQ two days after the promotional period ended.

Not only has the TFSA not earned the $250, the future contribution limit has also been reduced from its potential maximum. The long-term consequences are significant.

June 28: After further discussions with her management team and recalculation, EQ responded with an additional $250 GWG.

To make my mother whole, I asked for this to be placed in the TFSA account, so that her future contribution level could be maximized. However, EQ said that this was not possible. So, it was just a regular SAV deposit.

In summary, to their credit, EQ did take action and made sincere efforts to address the problem. For this, I will continue to use their services. (We will be moving our TFSA funds out of EQ (1.25%) to CTire (1.55%), once they mature.) But I will be willing to leave regular funds or return TFSA funds to EQ, in the future.

No response was received from BNS.

June 29, 2021
9:40 pm
MG
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@HermanH,

Wow, just wow. How frustrating. So glad you stuck to your guns and got partial resolution. I agree that some folks like the assistant manager were helpful but shame on both EQ Bank and BNS for their shenanigans and lack of response.

June 30, 2021
7:19 am
Norman1
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EQ Bank deserves most of the blame for the situation. They should stop hiding behind that we-are-an-e-bank excuse.

It is not unusual for a signature guarantee to be required for transactions. When a stock certificate needs to be deposited to a brokerage account, the transfer agent will insist that the signature on the certificate be guaranteed.

It is not a technicality. There are reasons for having the signature guaranteed.

No, one does not need the signature to be witnessed to be guaranteed. The financial institution guaranteeing the signature, EQ Bank, can just compare signature with the person's signature on record.

July 6, 2021
2:29 pm
HermanH
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... and, just as I thought the ordeal over [cue music from Jaws]

My mother tried to move her TFSA from the EQ rate of 1.25% to Canadian Tire for a better 1.55% rate.

June 10: Transfer request form to CTire submitted

July 06: Denial received from EQ bank

On July 5,2021, we received your transfer request submission from Canadian Tire. Unfortunately, your request has been declined for the following reason(s):

Form is missing signature guarantee stamp.

Called CTire bank and told them how BNS had pulled the same denial stunt when we tried to transfer the TFSA to EQ and how it was resolved.

Now, EQ is doing the same to thing to CTire and there is no way to walk in to a branch and sign the document, since both banks are online only. CTire said that they only started seeing this with EQ the last couple of months and suggested calling EQ and asking for a work-around solution. CTire offered to send them a fax directly to verify the authenticity of the transfer request, but had no other suggestion and said that no other institution was causing CTire the same problem. CTire could not understand the problem, either, since both were online banks.

CTire did note that a problem could arise if there was a discrepancy in account names between institutions. i.e. Anthony Fox in bank #1 vs. Tony Fox at bank #2

I assured CTire that this was not the case.

EQ bank is the gift that keeps on giving. I cannot help but laugh, the same way I did for the original comedic serials. Join us next week for another episode of I Love Lucy or the Mary Tyler Moore show!

July 6, 2021
2:49 pm
Norman1
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Canadian Tire Bank can't compare mother's signature with her signature on record and guarantee the signature on the TFSA transfer form?

July 6, 2021
3:19 pm
HermanH
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I do not believe CTire has a traditional 'signature' card. As far as I remember, the CT enrolment process only required a cheque transfer/deposit from an existing account to establish a link. Of course, the cheque was signed, but I do not think that it qualifies as a signature document for establishment of a baseline or 'record'.

The fact that she must call CTire and authenticate her identity in order to request the TFSA Transfer document in the first place 'should' be sufficient to confirm her identity. IMO, the Guaranteed Signature stamp should be replaced by a 'Guaranteed Identity' stamp or facsimile. She has established her identity to the satisfaction of CTire and CTire should be able to relate that comfort to EQ, in whatever shape or form both banks are comfortable.

CTire has offered to send a confirmation fax to EQ, if it were deemed acceptable. Of course, if we call EQ, there is no one there who can actually say 'send it'; all you get is the generic rep. who is clueless and has no way to accept a direct fax. I do not even need to call EQ with the CTire suggestion to know that it is another waste of time and effort.

July 6, 2021
4:19 pm
Bobbyjet11
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I spoke with an EQ rep today about a transfer out of a TFSA from EQ and she made it quite clear that there is no flexibility in their posted rates.

July 7, 2021
7:59 am
Norman1
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HermanH said

The fact that she must call CTire and authenticate her identity in order to request the TFSA Transfer document in the first place 'should' be sufficient to confirm her identity. IMO, the Guaranteed Signature stamp should be replaced by a 'Guaranteed Identity' stamp or facsimile. She has established her identity to the satisfaction of CTire and CTire should be able to relate that comfort to EQ, in whatever shape or form both banks are comfortable.

CTire has offered to send a confirmation fax to EQ, if it were deemed acceptable.…

If she had, then Canadian Tire Bank would have no hesitation in stamping "Signature Guaranteed" and having an authorized person sign the stamp. That stamp has special legal meaning. The bank legally guarantees that

  1. the signature was genuine;
  2. the signer was an appropriate person to endorse; and
  3. the signer had legal capacity to sign.

A confirmation fax does not have the same meaning.

Not sure what is going on. It is suspicious when the receiving financial institution will not guarantee the account holder's signature on the form that is requesting the transfer.

Her signature does not have to be guaranteed by Canadian Tire Bank. The signature can be guaranteed by any other bank or by a Medallion program participant.

July 7, 2021
8:12 am
pooreva
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WOW. So much trouble to get few cents more.
JUST wait for December, take money out, deposit where you want in January, end of story.
Transferring registered products are major PITA.

July 7, 2021
8:57 am
Alexandra
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I agree with pooreva there for sure. It's not like you pay income tax on interest earned in a TFSA when cashed. I wouldn't put myself through it. I would either cash the TFSA in and transfer to another institutions HISA, or when a TFSA GIC matured I would put it into the same institutions TFSA HISA until end of December then cash in and re-purchase with another institution in January. Also, there is always a better than average chance that interest rates will be better in Jan/Feb than in July. Transferring RRIF's or RRSP's is enough to go through.

July 7, 2021
11:01 am
Bill
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Was thinking the same all along, lots of work for a few bucks. Don't think I'd ever transfer TFSA funds, just take money out and put it into a TFSA the following year, do other fun things with the time saved.

July 7, 2021
7:02 pm
Loonie
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The only reason these transfers are such a PITA is because certain financial institutions have decided to make them difficult or a low priority or both. If you let their inertia influence your decisions, they win as they get to keep your money longer, and you lose some money.

Some FIs are efficient and cooperative. If you choose them, transfers are not normally particularly difficult or time-consuming. I've had good experiences with Oaken, Hubert and Peoples in that regard - and none of them charges a transfer fee.

July 7, 2021
11:35 pm
HermanH
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Norman1 said
If she had, then Canadian Tire Bank would have no hesitation in stamping "Signature Guaranteed" and having an authorized person sign the stamp. That stamp has special legal meaning. The bank legally guarantees that

  1. the signature was genuine;
  2. the signer was an appropriate person to endorse; and
  3. the signer had legal capacity to sign.

A confirmation fax does not have the same meaning.

Thanks for the elaboration.

pooreva said
WOW. So much trouble to get few cents more.

Bill said
Was thinking the same all along, lots of work for a few bucks.

All very true. I share the same sentiments and would not normally bother except:

1) BNS TFSA rate was only 0.01% and EQ promo rate for 90-day was 2.30%

She would have lost out on approximately $4.50 / day * 90 = $405
Therefore, it was reasonable to transfer and eat the $100 BNS penalty fee.

2) The long-term tax-shielded compound interest consequences on the TFSA limits. They may only be a few dollars, but they can be a little more significant over time.

3) The second transfer from EQ (1.25%) rate to CTire (1.55%) is a difference of 0.3%

They can certainly change, but if both last an entire year, the difference would be $215; certainly not a huge amount, but every little increase to the contribution limit compounds.

4) I am also considering the same transfer from EQ to CTire. Doing it for my mother first allows me to see the potential obstacles for my own transfer.

5) Normally, if a transfer fee is involved, any additional interest benefits from a transfer are nullified. However, in the case of EQ, there are no fees, so it is worthwhile to transfer the account.

If rates fall at CTire, it is likely not worthwhile to leave CTire via the transfer account process (since there is a penalty fee involved.) Instead, we would revert to the manual withdrawal / re-deposit at the end of the calendar year.

.
.
.

I contacted the same manager who previously intervened and she assigned a subordinate, who gave a very quick response:

We have worked with Canadian Tire Bank in the past about the signature guarantee stamp. I will be sending an email to the Canadian Tire Bank back office team to advise what it required to complete this transfer.

If there is no endorsement stamp, in lieu of the stamp, we can accept a letter attached to the transfer form confirming :

1) Canadian Tire does not have a signature guarantee stamp; and
2) The transfer authorization is coming from the customer

The Canadian Tire representative must include their name, and sign the letter.

How odd it is that EQ says they have dealt with this very same issue before and even specified CTire, yet they still sent an e-mail message that the transfer was declined.

I called CT and they acknowledged receipt of the same e-mail contents and said that they would continue to work towards completing the transfer. I asked if the original transfer request was sufficient / still valid or would my mother need to submit another transfer request due to the original being declined. They did not know, so I asked for one just in case. Hopefully, they will be able to append the confirmation letter and finish the original transfer.

July 8, 2021
7:14 am
pooreva
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HermanH said
2) The long-term tax-shielded compound interest consequences on the TFSA limits. They may only be a few dollars, but they can be a little more significant over time.

Interesting point... So how this works then: lets say you have 12500 in TFSA (2x6000+2 years interest). If you withdraw all 12500 in December, can you deposit all 12500+6000 (for current year) in January or you will be restricted by your default limit of 3x6000?

Please write your comments in the forum.