Most banks fall flat in delivering on Canadians' top need

'Good banking' survey shows that as self-serve banking options eclipse branches, Canadians' overwhelming priority is lower fees

TORONTO, Oct. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadians have various complaints about banking, but nothing comes close to paying fees, according to a Leger survey conducted for PC Financial®. And while almost four in five Canadians (79 per cent) identify low or no fees as the definition of good banking, just 35 per cent say their bank is delivering.

The survey, commissioned by PC Financial as it launches its new "good banking" platform, shows that Canadian banking habits are changing, with 83 per cent saving time by banking on the Internet compared with just 61 per cent visiting their bank branches even occasionally. With fees topping Canadians' list of frustrations (71 per cent), followed by "surprise costs" (42 per cent), it's not surprising that a majority (59 per cent) say they would switch banks to save money.

"Canadians are busier than ever, and they want to spend less time banking and more time enjoying the good things in their lives with their families," said Barry Columb, President of President's Choice Bank. "With Canadians moving online and looking to save both time and money, it's not surprising that so many are switching banks. At PC Financial, we believe that keeping choices simple, offering a no fee bank account and rewarding our customers with PC® points is just good banking."

Among the survey's other key findings:

  • The top three frustrations that Canadians have about banking are fees (71 per cent), surprise costs (42 per cent) and spending time waiting for services - be it on hold or in line (25 per cent)
  • According to Canadians, a good bank is one that saves them money or offers no fee banking (79 per cent) and makes banking easy and helps simplify their lives (49 per cent)
  • The top reasons that would entice Canadians to switch their bank would be one that saves them money or offers no-fee banking (59 per cent) and offers rewards (31 per cent)
  • Despite their aversion paying fees, only 35 per cent of Canadians currently bank at a financial institution that saves them money or offers no fee banking. This creates an opportunity for financial services offerings such as those from PC Financial.

When it comes to banking, almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of Canadians describe their "banking personality" as organized, claiming that they "know where their money is and why they've put it there." But while Canadians consider themselves well-organized when it comes to managing their financial needs, they are still looking for help in simplifying their banking - and their lives.

"Like everyone else, I want to spend my time doing the things I love, with the people I love," said author and TV personality Kathy Buckworth, Chief Family Advisor for President's Choice Financial and herself a mother of four. "Having a bank that takes out the clutter and complexity helps me to organize my banking, so that I can use that time for the good things in life."

PC Financial has been the pioneer in no fee banking for 15 years. The brand has enjoyed steady growth thanks to its simple choices, no fee bank account, the no annual fee PC Financial® MasterCard®, and PC points rewards that make it easy for customers to choose what's good. PC Financial customers have redeemed over a billion dollars in PC points since 1998.

About the survey

The President's Choice Financial survey was completed online using Leger's online panel, Leger Web, with a representative sample of 1,502 Canadians between September 16 and September 18, 2013. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ± 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

President's Choice Financial

President's Choice Financial services are a unique financial service offering designed by Loblaw Companies Limited. The President's Choice Financial MasterCard is provided by President's Choice Bank, while banking services are provided by the direct banking division of CIBC.  For more information visit or follow us on Twitter @pcfinancial.

About Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX: L)

Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food retailer and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ more than 134,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President's Choice®, no name® and Joe Fresh® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points and PC Plus™ loyalty program.

SOURCE: President's Choice Financial

For further information:

For more information or to schedule an interview: 

Debra Chan
President's Choice Financial
416-204-2600, ext. 411029
647-309-3925 (mobile)


Irene Poon
Argyle Communications
416.968.7311 Ex. 246


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