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New Bank: WealthOne
September 28, 2017
3:20 pm
Loonie
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So, I just tried phoning WealthOne. I was not too impressed that they don't post a phone number for their branches.

I got a message saying to call back during regular business hours, whatever they might be. I was phoning to find out what they were.

Their website says the phone line is open 8am to 8pm EST. I called at 6:14pm EST.

No French language option.

Not very encouraging.

September 28, 2017
6:31 pm
Koogie
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Loonie said
No French language option. Not very encouraging.  

lol. more importantly to their clientele, was there a Mandarin or Cantonese option ?

September 28, 2017
7:18 pm
Loonie
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There was a Chinese language version on their recording. I think it was Mandarin but it was very short so I'm not sure.

September 29, 2017
7:17 am
Nehpets
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I am in no way coming to W1's defense, as I am still evaluating their performance having opened an account last month with a few deposits made and no withdrawals to date.

I've experienced the customer service number not being answered in a timely manner, but their email response to customer service issues was rapid.

When required, I was transferred to the Branch Manager quickly for immediate clarification of a question I had.

It looks like they are going through growing pains, most likely in their online operation, but if they do what they promise, and pay a higher interest on savings, it may be worth an occasional compromise for not being a slick operation.

November 18, 2017
7:25 am
Bill
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Just opened an account, seamless, everything went well despite my entry of an incorrect email address in the application (I realized it myself after I submitted) which was rectified easily via email contact. I've still got a credit red flag due to People's Trust data breach (as far as I know), seemed to have zero impact here. I'll test the transfer in and out process a few times, if all goes well I'll keep a bit of money there, under CDIC limit of course, and see how things unfold over the next while. So far, nothing negative.

December 1, 2017
11:57 am
Londonguy
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So, Bill, how have things turned out? Your post is from 2 weeks ago.

FWIW I just today filled out their online app for a plain vanilla HISA which only took me about 2 minutes to complete, if that, so that was no hassle -- I'm now waiting for them to contact me about how and when to make my first deposit/transfer, so I'm curious to hear how you've made out in case I need to rethink things

December 1, 2017
3:06 pm
Bill
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They sent me an email with my id and temporary password so I went in and originated a transfer from my linked account (after I sent a $1K paper cheque via snail mail to link accounts), no problems with transfer, all looks fine to me.

December 1, 2017
7:29 pm
Doug
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Bill said
They sent me an email with my id and temporary password so I went in and originated a transfer from my linked account (after I sent a $1K paper cheque via snail mail to link accounts), no problems with transfer, all looks fine to me.  

Great. I figured you'd have no trouble. They use MemberDirect for online banking, which, in my opinion, is the best currently on the market. Not sure their banking platform but probably Temenos from Celero Systems so I'd expect they'd have a very similar account opening process to Canadian Western Bank's Motive Financial, Entegra Credit Union's Implicity Financial or Assiniboine Credit Union's Outlook Financial, which all use the same online banking technology. Motive, though, has recently updated their process to include an all-digital account opening process. 🙂

Cheers,
Doug

December 6, 2017
12:01 pm
Londonguy
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Got my email and temporary password by email a half-hour ago. Downloaded their Android app from Google Play onto my phone, then wrote out and deposited a $1,000 cheque to myself by taking a picture of it using the app. Done.

Next step will be pulling funds into the account up to the CDIC max once I get the money moved into the account linked to WealthOne. Pretty easy so far if you ask me

December 6, 2017
1:26 pm
Nehpets
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If you have not already seen the Forum thread alerting us about the rate drop, you may want to rethink your strategy

Wealth One Savings Rate

December 6, 2017
4:15 pm
Londonguy
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No, I hadn't seen that, thanks for posting -- guess I won't be moving that cash over after all...

December 6, 2017
10:32 pm
Loonie
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I am not surprised at the rate drop. I warned this was likely in post #6 above. It's not an uncommon practice, as we have seen with EQ and Meridian and probably others, to proclaim a rate is not a promo, and then to lower it once you've met your target in customers and/or deposits. Annoying, yes, but also predictable.

The rate as of Sept 2016 was 1.7% and was then promised only to the end of 2016 (see my post #1). The 2.5 rate appears to have commenced in July 2017 and there was no promise attached to it. And now we have 2.0%. It looks like their rate will hover around 2%, for a while at least. I don't think they'll go below MB CU rate for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps what we should be looking for, ideally, is FIs that promise to hold a certain rate for a period of time, such as Ideal did. Then we can decide if the promised time and rate is sufficient to jump in. But that is not common, except for the 3-month deals.

"Not a promo rate" just means "we haven't yet decided when to end it".

December 7, 2017
11:05 am
Bill
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Rate promises come in the form of GICs, we are all aware all savings accounts are subject to change at any time - even those on promo rates say that in the fine print. And so it is, just as we do not commit to leave our deposits there past the moment we prefer to whisk our money somewhere else. So in that environment it's only prudent for an fi to protect its stakeholders (clients, owners, employees, etc) by changing rates when circumstances change.

December 7, 2017
11:27 am
Top It Up
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Bill said
Rate promises come in the form of GICs, we are all aware all savings accounts are subject to change at any time - even those on promo rates say that in the fine print. And so it is, just as we do not commit to leave our deposits there past the moment we prefer to whisk our money somewhere else. So in that environment it's only prudent for an fi to protect its stakeholders (clients, owners, employees, etc) by changing rates when circumstances change.  

+1

December 7, 2017
2:30 pm
Doug
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Bill said
Brimleychen, what do you mean when you say the taxpayer will foot the bill? I thought CDIC was funded by premiums paid by the member institutions.  

Just noticed this post...if you believe this, I have some swamp land in rural, western China I could sell you. (I actually don't.) sf-cool

As I've said before, in almost all cases, CDIC deposit reserves aren't even tapped to cover deposits as they can force an amalgamation with another institution.

In the event that they couldn't, such as it being a "Big 5" bank, then neither the CDIC's cash reserves (~$1-3 billion, give or take a few hundred million) nor its authorized borrowing capacity (~$20 billion) would be sufficient to cover insured or uninsured deposits and there'd be enormous government to do a bail out.

And I'm fine with that, with governments bailing out banks, provided they get to assume an equity stake (partial or full) that they can sell later at a profit. Shareholders and debtholders, mind you, are the real losers, as are employees who may see their pension plans wound up and their promised benefits somewhat or significantly scaled back. 🙁

CDIC is a nice, "warm and feely" security blanket and they produce nice, glossy and somewhat informative brochures, publications and reports but, at the end of the day, it doesn't amount to more than a hill of beans. 😉

And don't get me started on FCAC...this agency has been "defanged" and is more toothless than our aging chihuahua. It used to provide useful consumer information PDF and print publications and an attractive web design, independent of Government of Canada and now it's seen its resources and publications significantly scaled back and its website redesigned in to the same, boring, graphicless and bland Government of Canada/"canada.ca" web design. It also used to notify people of branch closures via a public database until 6 or 7 years ago, a move they said was "temporary". Yeah...right. 🙁

Cheers,
Doug

December 7, 2017
4:24 pm
Loonie
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I think we all know that a savings account is not a GIC and that savings rates are subject to change. However, we also know what a "promo" rate is and is not. This one was a promo rate disguised as a non-promo rate. That is the issue.

The best way for them to handle it would be to say, as several other FIs have said, and they themselves did in 2016, that this rate will be honoured until X. It doesn't matter if X is only a month away. Or they could, as Meridian did, offer short Term Deposits at a high rate for new customers. These would be attractive, but would not induce them to claim that a promo rate was not a promo rate and would not make customers angry with them.

The insurance does amount to more than a "hill of beans". CDIC has paid out real cash many times, and I am the happy inheritor of some of it.sf-smile
It may not have the resources for everything, but has done fine with what it has had to do. Without it, my banking patterns would be very different. For starters, I wouldn't have bought more GICs from Oaken this year if they'd not been insured.

December 8, 2017
5:32 am
Bill
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Judging from reaction on here when HISA rates go down I'm not so sure the evidence supports "we all know.............savings rates are subject to change".sf-smile

"This was a promo rate....." I disagree also, as to me a promo rate is one that is announced to be for a specific period of time - to me this was not a promo rate. This was WealthOne's regular rate, without conditions, for the last 6 months, and unless one is an insider there one can present no evidence that this was a promo designed to be in place until (as has been indicated) target deposits are achieved. The rate could have been changed for any number of reasons: it was the plan from day one to review the rate after 6 months, it was a marketing ploy to grab attention, it was designed to stay but circumstances changed, there was change in company objectives, someone there said "hey, with 2% we're still pretty much at the top of the chart on Canadian High Interest Savings Bank Accounts chart, what are we doing?!", etc, etc. To me, to state anything else is pure speculation.

December 8, 2017
7:32 am
Top It Up
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Here's how Ideal Savings is handling their rates

*The New Deposit Special will be offered for a limited time only. The 2.50% rate will be guaranteed until April 30, 2018 only on new funds deposited to Ideal Savings to a new qualifying account. To qualify, the New Deposit Special account must be opened during the period when the 2.50% product is being promoted on http://www.idealsavings.ca/rates, which is subject to change at any time. Effective November 1, 2017 the rates for all existing Ideal Savings accounts are as follows: the Ideal Savings Special 2.50%, guaranteed to December 31, 2017, has been extended to be guaranteed to April 30, 2018; the Ideal Savings Special 2.30%, guaranteed to December 31, 2017; has been changed to a rate of 2.50% and guaranteed to December 31, 2017; the Ideal Savings Special 2.25%, guaranteed to December 31, 2017, has been changed to a rate of 2.50% and guaranteed to December 31, 2017; and, the regular Ideal Savings rate is 2.00%.

December 8, 2017
10:03 am
Nehpets
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Bill said
to me a promo rate is one that is announced to be for a specific period of time - to me this was not a promo rate.   

That's really what the irritant is here, that they represented their 2.5% as being their "regular" rate, without suggesting it to be a time limited promo.

Likely the time limitation was an internal corporate target that had been achieved.

As has been said, 2% is not bad for a regular HISA (other than the current promos elsewhere).

December 8, 2017
3:59 pm
Loonie
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Sure, there could be numerous reasons for the sudden signficant drop in rates, and, yes, it is absolutely speculation to say why they did that, and nobody has to agree on the reasons. But that's what we're about, trying to figure out why they do what they do so that we can prepare for the next likely manoeuvre. And, no, we don't have the inside info.
When EQ reduced their so-called not-a-promo rate unexpectedly, the CEO actually said that they'd reached their targets much faster than they thought they would, so it was pretty clear why they'd reduced their rate. There is no reason to think that EQ would be the only bank that thought this way.
A "marketing ploy to grab attention" (if that's what it was) which just happens to be a significantly above-competition rate, and then drops suddenly later, is, by my definition, a promo rate.
There was no lowering of the BoC rate.
It's questionable whether the rate was sustainable in the current market. Others will be able to judge that better than I.
If there was a plan to review the rate in six months, then they could have told us it was good for six months, and we would have been delighted to hear this, but they didn't, so it's not very likely.
All the other potential reasons which have been offered for the sudden change just sound like poor management practices to me.

As far as I have seen, all new FIs do this, which is why I was able to predict that they would. Some of them call it what it is, and some don't.

Looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc. It's likely a duck.

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