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Mac Guru
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I've been a loyal TD Trust customer for multiple years, and truth be told, they have served me well (zero complaints). However, I'm starting to think switching to PC Financial is the better choice. Lower interest rates on borrowed credit, higher interest rates on my personally saved money, and smaller or zero banking fees. The problem I have with this is that switching bank accounts is such a PITA.. or is it? I have to switch my bank account numbers for all my accounts (car, insurance, government, other automated-withdrawal accounts, etc.), and moving my balances over might also be a problem (line of credit, credit cards, and 3 other accounts), unless PC wants to do that for me for a small or no charge. Who uses PC and was it easy to sign-up and move accounts over from another bank? I'd also consider insuring my car with them, but I think their rates for me are higher than my current insurer.
 

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Premium Member
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8,903 Posts
I switched years ago before I had a lot of automatic debits, and I also put most of those through my credit card to get points. You should consider that as well as keeping your credit card. PC's Mastercard is nothing special and it is not integrated online (separate login site).

Switching is a pain, but it may be easiest to just cash out, pay off and close one set instead of trying for transfers. One difficulty may be in getting PC to give you a large enough line of credit when you have already got one on your credit rating.

I think the switch is well worth it, although I'm not up to date on what other banks offer. My local grocery store takes PC points and the process is fast and easy (swipe the card) unlike using other points programs. I get paid to use my bank. beejacon
 

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Indigent Academic
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8,115 Posts
I used PC bank for while but then I needed personal service... I was screwed until I changed to RBC... RBC has served me very well and I am greeted on a first name basis.

PC bank is OK if your banking needs are completely ordinary. If you need anything that requires personal attention, forget it and get a real bank.
 

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Canadian By Choice
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117,692 Posts
Lars, I switched from TD to CIBC when they offered a lower mortgage rate, and would pay for the interest penalty, legal and evaluation. As well, we have a line of credit at prime. So, I moved everything to CIBC, including my RRSP. No regrets. And the bank is about a 3-5 minute walk from my house, and when I enter the bank, I am greeted by name.
 

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Honourable Citizen?
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PC bank is OK if your banking needs are completely ordinary. If you need anything that requires personal attention, forget it and get a real bank.
I don't know about PC Financial but my "real" bank totally sucks when it comes to personal attention. I had to go to the BC area manager just to get my branch manager to return my calls about a particular problem. The only thing that has stopped me from changing to another "real" bank is that I already tried that strategy several years ago and while the new bank sucked less in some areas, they made up for it by sucking more in other areas.

I have some business accounts that require merchant VISA and M/C access so something like PC Financial is probably not an option for me. I still have to find the time to look into one of the local credit unions, to see if I can get a better deal and service from them.

Got an ING account recently for stashing away my income tax and GST collected monthly out of my own clutches (as opposed to a sock in the dresser or a hole in the back 40) and the no fees works great for me. Hopefully next April I'll have a nice amount to pay Revenue Canada with, maybe even some left over and enough interest earned to get a nice bottle of wine.
 

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Resident Hijacker
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8,758 Posts
I have varying issues with CIBC.

When I had a staff account, all good.
When they finally disabled my staff priveleges, so-so.
When I opened my first business account, so-so.
When they assigned me a new business manager and I got a line of credit, over-helpful to the point of being a bit annoyingly interfering.
When I opened my second business account, really good.

I think they put me on another account manager since, so who knows now? I haven't had to go in for a while.

I had my mortgage and joint account with BMO. They were all right.

I have my RRSPs and one of my business accounts at TD. They are pretty good, but then again, my folks have a lot of business accounts with TD.

I have 3 savings accounts and a line of credit at ING Direct. I love them. I can do everything by phone or internet at 2 AM, and never had any issues.

Never dealt with RBC or Scotia, but frankly, the quality of a bank varies more on your personal branch than the bank itself.

Lars, if you like your bank, why not just open a savings account and a line of credit at PC Financial? You get the benefit of the better interest rates that way, and no fees, and still don't have to deal with issues of changing acccounts. If you decide you like PC Financial better, you can move your chequing account over at a later date.
 

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Premium Member
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Had lots of issues with CIBC, but the last straw was when they denied me a small loan. The "reason" was that I supposedly had too much unsecured debt - and the explanation for that was the $20,000 limit that they had given me on my VISA, (which I never asked for!)

I just systematically moved all my banking to a Credit Union. First the easy stuff, like safety deposit and savings. I dealt with the automatic deposits and withdrawals one at a time, and didn't close the CIBC chequing account until everything had cleared at the Credit Union at least once. I got a new VISA card at the Credit Union, paid off CIBC and cut up their card. The whole process took a couple of months.

The Credit Union gave me the loan that CIBC denied, no problem.

It seems that CIBC is denying lots of loans because they were unwise with big-time business financing a few years ago and need to pull in their horns a little, regardless of how it affects their customers. Nice! The local branch also has to call their masters in Toronto for approval - it was the Holy One in T.O. who turned down my loan.
 

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Canadian By Choice
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CIBC was very smart. They gave my son an account with no fees until he is 21 years old, merely because we were banking with them for everything financial. He started when he was 13 and he is still with them to this date. This is loyalty.
 

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I've been with CIBC since I was 8 or so. Since I'm turning 19, I got the "we're gonna start charging you soon" letter from them...

They've been fine, but I also have a TD account, and on the whole am much more impressed with the level of service offered at TD than CIBC.

YMMV, of course.
 

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Premium Member
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Lars,

The only thing that I am going to warn you about. All of the PC financial stuff has to be done ONLINE. You can't walk into an actual bank to discuss anything about your accounts.

They have a small deal with CIBC so that PC financial users don't get charged rates when using CIBC banking machines, but other than that.. there's nothing they can offer you inside the bank. Chantel works for CIBC and you wouldn't believe the people that get upset because they thought that CIBC employees would have access to their accounts/information from their terminals.

If you can deal with online only and don't need access to the physical bank for any reason, then by all means.. it's a good deal.

Personally, the only reason I'm with CIBC is because Chantel and I have joint accounts in which we don't get charged fees because she works there. Otherwise, I've dealt with RBC and TD Canada Trust. Of those 2, TD was definitely the better option for me.

Oh, TD also approved a loan for Chantel when CIBC wouldn't, even while she was working there. I don't think CIBC has as much "big bank" power behind them to allow them the flexibility... I wouldn't go with CIBC unless, as I said, Chantel works for them.
 

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My wife left ScotiaBank recently. They treated her great for years, but then they screwed up a short-term mortgage we had to get because our land and home were being exappropriated by the government for safety reasons. That had someone doing our mortagage tranfer who never did one before. We didn't know that at the time. We had lots of very specific questions when the numbers came out way better than we could ever expect. Later when we tried to wrap our mind around the figures we still could not understand it. The morgage specialist asked us to trust her that the numbers would work out. So we did.

Later still we noticed anomolies with the mortgage transfer after about a month. It turns out this specialist was completely wrong and we made major financial decisions such as buying a house and a line of credit based on her faulty advice. What was worse was that there were other specialists in her office that could have given her the proper advice if she had only consulted with them. In a meeting with the manager to clear everything up we let them know how bad their mistake was and how we expected them to make good on it. The bank manager told us then and there that she didn't know if she wanted us as customers.

We both got up and left. My new wife eventually switched all of her accounts and savings to Royal Bank with me. After 18 years and very good service she had to leave after such rude and ill treament. We eventually got most of our issues redressed with their President's Office and Customer Service Manager.

Me, I'm not really happy with Royal Bank and have wanted to switch to a credit union.

As for the overall question... it'll take 2-3 months to get switched over from one bank to another. It's never as simple as they make it sound, but it's not bad. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT try tot switch banks around stressful or busy times such as Christmas!
 

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Premium Member
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Chantel works for CIBC and you wouldn't believe the people that get upset because they thought that CIBC employees would have access to their accounts/information from their terminals.
It's surprising that there are more than one or so per year but, then again, I knew a couple people in call centres (operator and tech support) and some of their stories were very surprising. You must get some good laughs after the appropriate amount of sympathy over how stressful her work is. Do you have trouble not giggling while the much needed venting is taking place? :)
 
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