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Meridian: Advance notice of rate changes
May 3, 2019
4:02 am
Loonie
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You can now get 24 to 72 hours advance notice of rate changes at Meridian.
https://www.meridiancu.ca/About-Meridian/Rate-Scoop.aspx?utm_campaign=2019SpringNewsletter&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=landing%20page&spMailingID=3342002&spUserID=NDQzMDM2MDExNzES1&spJobID=780057226&spReportId=NzgwMDU3MjI2S0

I put forward a formal request/complaint last winter asking them to do this, since it was clear they do know about these changes in advance. Could it actually be that someone took this request seriously?sf-surprised

Good move, Meridian!sf-smile
Now, all we need is some great rates again!

May 3, 2019
5:34 am
gicjunkie
Ontario
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Thanks Loonie. I probably opted out of their marketing updates and won't get the notifications. I will have to rethink this.

May 3, 2019
6:16 am
Leafs1967
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looks like they also dropped their savings rate to 1.30% !

May 3, 2019
7:59 am
Doug
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Leafs1967 said
looks like they also dropped their savings rate to 1.30% !  

Uh oh, even without a change to defining what is "competitive," on that basis, I think the Good to Grow Savings Account needs to be removed from the "comparison chart". We removed Tangerine and Simplii Financial from the chart, which I fully supported and where consensus was obtained, at 1.30%.

They can still have a "profile" page and a "forum" and be included in any "promos," of course, but in terms of being a "high interest savings account" with their regular, posted rate, they're now uncompetitive.

Cheers,
Doug

May 3, 2019
8:01 am
Doug
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Thanks, Loonie, for the update, though. I wonder if they opted to make the change on your suggestion alone, or if others had complained, too? Nice to see they're listening, though. That's encouraging. sf-cool

Oh well...you're soon to be a full Motus customer, once your accounts are activated, so you can benefit from Motus likely offering premium rates to Meridian.

Cheers,
Doug

May 3, 2019
8:04 am
Doug
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Sorry for the additional reply (I get nagged over at RFD for this), but the "saving grace," I guess, is that this forum doesn't have a multi-quote feature. Wonder if a future Simple::Press software update will? Does Simple::Press release updates often, Peter?

Anyway, just noticed Peter's already removed Meridian from the chart, so just wanted to give him a shout out and a word of thanks for removing them with their drop to the current, albeit loosely interpreted, territory of now being "uncompetitive". +1 to Peter

Cheers,
Doug

May 3, 2019
8:22 am
Peter
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By "multi-quote" you can click the "Quote" button on multiple posts for the same reply, if that's what you mean.

May 3, 2019
9:15 am
Doug
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Peter said
By "multi-quote" you can click the "Quote" button on multiple posts for the same reply, if that's what you mean.  

Oh, wow, learn something knew every day! I assumed if I clicked on "quote" more than once it'd wipe out my existing "reply" dialog box. Didn't realize that. Here I've been manually copying + pasting other form users' posts and manually adding in blockquote opening and closing tags.

Thanks, Peter.

It's less obvious than vBulletin's multi-quote button, but that works.

Cheers,
Doug

September 7, 2019
12:01 pm
Oscar
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I didn't get a notice for their GIC rate drops and only realized this when I logged in to get a GIC that the rates had dropped over the week end so I missed it by a day or two, so I phoned them and asked why, as my only options listed for Communications was "login messages " and it wasn't there either. She confirmed my email , told me to check my junk and spam folders and then finally said there was something wrong on their end and said she was able to fix it . Problem is that nothing on my end looks any different , still don't see any option for rate scoop and never get emails from them. And they weren't willing to give me the promo rate of 2.85 / 3year even though it ended a day or 2 before I called. Does anybody have a setting for marketing preferences or is this only for mobile app ?
On the other hand maybe it's good that they can't send me emails as I recently helped a relative open an account online and she quickly received 2 emails to her Gmail account , both listing her full account number. What is the point of their secure messages if they send half of the sign in criteria via Gmail at account start up ? And the access card and the PIN arrived the same day in 2 separate envelopes. Very secure. This is the same outfit that still has the nerve to ask for drivers licence or PASSPORT when I do in branch deposit.

September 7, 2019
2:05 pm
Loonie
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I do get the rate scoop emails, although I couldn't tell you how to ensure that you do.

HOWEVER, so far, they have only been sending notices about improvements in rates. They never send info about downgrades. This is in spite of the fact that I sent a specific request through my branch manager that they do so in order to be competitive with Oaken. So, I don't think they are going to do anything about it.

Here's a tip though: You can often find out if they are planning to decrease a rate you are interested in by talking to your rep at the branch. This info may also be available on the phone line but I can't say as I've never asked there. My in-branch rep always seems to know what's happening in a few days.
If there is a rate I want and I am going to transfer funds in order to get it, I always ask first if it is still going to be available when the funds arrive. However, I have not found Meridian to be at all flexible once the rate has changed.

September 7, 2019
5:15 pm
Oscar
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I clicked on the link in the original post and copied and pasted partial below :

"Stay in the know with Rate Scoop

The more you know the easier it is to successfully plan your finances and achieve a better life.
That’s why we give our Members advance notice about upcoming rate changes before they happen with Rate Scoop.
No surprises, just transparency".

Maybe in legaleze upcoming = increasing . Otherwise it's misleading advertising and certainly lacking transparency if they are only informing clients of rate increases.

September 7, 2019
9:39 pm
Loonie
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They count on people not remembering or not noticing rate changes; and most will probably do just that.

So, we need to be vigilant about noticing and reporting any rate changes so that they can't get away with such shenanigans as easily in future.

September 7, 2019
11:24 pm
Oscar
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Loonie said
I do get the rate scoop emails, although I couldn't tell you how to ensure that you do.

HOWEVER, so far, they have only been sending notices about improvements in rates. They never send info about downgrades. This is in spite of the fact that I sent a specific request through my branch manager that they do so in order to be competitive with Oaken. So, I don't think they are going to do anything about it.

If that's how it works then it may be just a clever marketing ploy to lull customers into relying on them to stay current on rate changes instead of checking more up to date information such as that found on this site . This feature really has no benefit to customers when rates are going down. This fish has just spit out the hooksf-laugh

September 8, 2019
6:43 am
Nehpets
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Loonie said
They count on people not remembering or not noticing rate changes; and most will probably do just that. 

Folks like the members of this Forum are probably in the minority, who monitor rates for which they signed up, as you allude to, Loonie.

ManuLife requires frequent monitoring, as they have not had a history of advising of a rate decrease; as for Motive, do we have information about their previous history on the subject?

The only FI in my experience, that delivers what they promise, has been DUCA.

Those that advised of changes have been Hubert and Oaken.

What has been the experience with other FI's known to Forum members?

Stephen

September 8, 2019
3:47 pm
Loonie
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Motive only started offering the Savvy account last Fall, and the rate has been consistent since beginning for that account - so far. It may still be good for a while yet as they are still pouring advertising money into that rate. They can make it reliable if they want to. It will be interesting to see what their longer term strategy is. Their GIC rates have been very unstable and falling.
I have the feeling that the rate inversion thing may mean that HISAs are often the best deal wright now. I'm in no hurry to invest longer terms right now, but the Peoples 14 month is good.

I find Oaken the best for announcing rate changes, although they don't always mention some of the lesser-used rates like the cashable one years, when they go down.
DUCA has held its 3% since Spring, for those who signed up for it, and I think will last through January.
I'd like to see advance notice from Hubert.
Motus is bad - does not announce changes in deposit rates, which are always downards.

September 8, 2019
4:12 pm
Doug
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Loonie said
Motive only started offering the Savvy account last Fall, and the rate has been consistent since beginning for that account - so far. It may still be good for a while yet as they are still pouring advertising money into that rate. They can make it reliable if they want to. It will be interesting to see what their longer term strategy is. Their GIC rates have been very unstable and falling.
I have the feeling that the rate inversion thing may mean that HISAs are often the best deal wright now. I'm in no hurry to invest longer terms right now, but the Peoples 14 month is good.

I find Oaken the best for announcing rate changes, although they don't always mention some of the lesser-used rates like the cashable one years, when they go down.
DUCA has held its 3% since Spring, for those who signed up for it, and I think will last through January.
I'd like to see advance notice from Hubert.
Motus is bad - does not announce changes in deposit rates, which are always downards.  

Peoples 15-month GIC, one extra month. 😉

But yeah, I agree, Loonie, and have been saying keep your duration short. I know some die-hard GIC investors will stick with a "tried-and-true" strategy of a rolling 5-year GIC ladder whereby they continuously renew their maturing 5-year GIC into the best available (or close to it) 5-year GIC available. I think, historically, that's likely to have been the best strategy. However, the interest rate and continuously inverting yield curve environment that we're in sees there being no added benefit to locking one's money up for longer terms. Thus, I think, if you want to keep with a laddering strategy, that's a good one but you will likely do better by keeping your ladders to no more than 2 or 3 years. Keep renewing your GIC in the best available 1, 2, or 3 year GIC rate. If the rate environment normalizes, and it's by no means clear this will happen, then you can always revert to traditional 5-year laddering. 😉

Peoples' 15-month GIC is the best on the market, in my view. If I didn't have my Coast 4.00% CUDIC B.C.-insured GIC, that's where I'd be sticking my money. 😉

As an aside, when my 1-year Hubert quarterly GIC (effective yield 3.15%) matures in January 2020, I'd consider the Peoples' 15-month 3.00% GIC, but am more likely to consider adding to my equity investments, with Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ), Power Corporation of Canada (POW), Keyera Corporation (KEY) or Husky Energy Inc (HSK), NFI Group Inc (NFI), Imperial Oil Limited (IMO), and Linamar Corporation (LNR) or Magna International Inc (MG) on my "strong buy watchlist". sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

September 9, 2019
4:47 am
Loonie
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Typing error on my part - should have been 15 month at Peoples. I thought they might cut that off after August but they haven't so far.

I wish I could remember more details, but I remember reading quite some time ago that GIC ladders with five year rates worked out the best in the long run almost always. I think it was perhaps 90% of the time that this was best choice. However, this writer said, the exception is when rate inversion happens, in which case you are better going short (observed from the long view). It doesn't happen very often, and it's not a healthy phenomenon, but it may prove important to recognize it for what it is. I wish I could remember where I read that.

I do use a laddering strategy but also keep a lot of liquid cash and shorter term at all times, for reasons I won't get into here. For the next several months at least, almost all of my short term money is getting minimum 3% (15 months or less), so I'm actually quite happy despite the overall dismal situation as this is more than I've gotten for years on this money, and more than some of my laddered funds are getting. I could make all of it minimum 3% if I moved the special fund out of Motus - but even it is doing relatively well as it used to be in a non-interest-bearing account! I'm still carrying, as perhaps most of us are, some unwanted 2.75% 5 yr GICs from 2016 sf-frown - , but, for all I know, they might look attractive again by next year, the way things are going!

If I were going to buy stocks, which I have no particular plans to do yet (and perhaps never), I would be looking among those that can support a green economy. As this is a difficult discernment process, I probably won't, but, if I were younger, I might find it worthwhile.

I don't know what will happen after the current round of short term rate deals runs out, but I don't really need anything until at least February, and a lot can happen between now and then. I think DUCA will likely offer a good one year or 18 month GIC when the current 3% HISA runs out, but of course that is not available to those of you in BC etc. Peoples may or may not still be offering 3% on 15 months, but they did offer the 3% TFSA for several years a while back when nobody else came close, so who knows?
The rates themselves will dictate how long a term I pick in the foreseeable future if I can't find some rule of thumb that relates to the rate inversion problem. This is subject to revision, of course.
Something will come along. It seems there is usually a bank somewhere that needs money and/or customers badly enough to pay for it!

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