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[Solved] Non-fucking-awful Canadian bank?

DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
edited February 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
When I moved to Vancouver, BC in November, I signed up with HSBC. They are fucking awful in every respect I can imagine.

Who doesn't blow as much ass as HSBC? I've heard not-so-hot things about BMO, I think it was.

Doc on
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Posts

  • ApexMirageApexMirage Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Perhaps list your grievances?

    I'd love to be the one disappoint you when I don't fall down
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2010
    1. Credit card took 2 months to get through the bank. For a secured card (zero Canadian credit), and I have to pay $30 a year for the privilege of loaning them the deposit.
    2. Hours are terrible, they close all their branches at 4.
    3. Continue to get checking account fees despite having my balance above the threshold where they are supposedly waived. I have to call the bank every month so far.
    4. Their reps never return phone calls
    5. Most recently, they charged me a $12 fee when they explicitly said that there would not be one for writing a check to a US bank. As of now, they've continued to refuse to reverse it.
    6. Their phone banking people are totally useless - to get anything done customer-service related, you have to call your account manager, who is the guy that you talked to when you opened your account. He seems to be in the office about once a week and never returns my calls.
    7. I get treated like a criminal every time I walk into the bank to do anything. If I'm depositing a check from the US, it takes like 15 minutes with a teller, because they ask me all sorts of questions and try to stare me down.

    This is all in a 3-month period.

  • ApexMirageApexMirage Registered User
    edited February 2010
    That's considerably more than I'd expected. I've never had to deal with most of those issues, being with TD. They also have absolutely fantastic hours.
    My credit card is with BMO (although I have also heard bad things) however, from one of those silly geese in the malls. Took maybe a month to get it in the mail, and have had no problems with it. I'm not sure it would be available to you without 'canadian' credit (I didnt know it mattered?), but mine was also a student card without fees.

    I'd love to be the one disappoint you when I don't fall down
  • AyeJayeAyeJaye Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I've been with TD since I opened a child account with them and they've had great service so far. Subsequent CC application and opening a new account when I turned 19 has been a breeze, I've had overdraft charges removed because I was ignorant about how my CC gets paid, I've never had to wait more than 2 minutes for customer service by phone.

    I've never tried any other bank but really I haven't had any reason to.

    delicious.
  • Descendant XDescendant X Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I do all my stuff through PC Financial. It's all free, but it all must be done online, by phone, or at CIBC ATMs. In order to find out what they can offer you go into Superstore and talk to one of their reps.

    If I recall correctly you worked by Metrotown, so you could always swing by the Superstore there and see what they can tell you. I've never had a problem with them, and we have a credit card, line of credit, checking, and savings account with them.

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  • EverywhereasignEverywhereasign Registered User
    edited February 2010
    I've been happy with TD Canada Trust. GF is happy with PC Financial through CIBC. PC is really good if you need super bare bones simple banking.

    But to be honest, I've heard shitty things about every bank. It comes down to your own experience I guess.

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  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2010
    I do all my stuff through PC Financial. It's all free, but it all must be done online, by phone, or at CIBC ATMs. In order to find out what they can offer you go into Superstore and talk to one of their reps.

    If I recall correctly you worked by Metrotown, so you could always swing by the Superstore there and see what they can tell you. I've never had a problem with them, and we have a credit card, line of credit, checking, and savings account with them.

    I work down off of Marine View Drive, but I do go through Metrotown daily; it's my skytrain stop. I was thinking about stopping by there after work today to get some light bulbs, actually.

  • AyeJayeAyeJaye Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Doc wrote: »
    I do all my stuff through PC Financial. It's all free, but it all must be done online, by phone, or at CIBC ATMs. In order to find out what they can offer you go into Superstore and talk to one of their reps.

    If I recall correctly you worked by Metrotown, so you could always swing by the Superstore there and see what they can tell you. I've never had a problem with them, and we have a credit card, line of credit, checking, and savings account with them.

    I work down off of Marine View Drive, but I do go through Metrotown daily; it's my skytrain stop. I was thinking about stopping by there after work today to get some light bulbs, actually.

    Sounds like a good idea.
    Spoiler:

    delicious.
  • Descendant XDescendant X Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Doc wrote: »
    I do all my stuff through PC Financial. It's all free, but it all must be done online, by phone, or at CIBC ATMs. In order to find out what they can offer you go into Superstore and talk to one of their reps.

    If I recall correctly you worked by Metrotown, so you could always swing by the Superstore there and see what they can tell you. I've never had a problem with them, and we have a credit card, line of credit, checking, and savings account with them.

    I work down off of Marine View Drive, but I do go through Metrotown daily; it's my skytrain stop. I was thinking about stopping by there after work today to get some light bulbs, actually.

    Go in and see what they can tell you. Sometimes they're pretty helpful, sometimes not. In any case you can pick up a brochure at least. The kiosk will be just inside the store on the left, if I recall correctly. It's been a bit since I've been there.

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  • DibsDibs Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    TD or PC Financial, I've got an account with both and have no complaints.

    PC Financial in particular have waived bounced cheque fee's twice for me.

  • LaOsLaOs Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    TD Canada Trust will have the best hours of any bank you'll find in Canada, I'm sure of it. But, that's about the only good thing going for them. Well, I've always had good, helpful service, but I've never really had to deal with anything out of the ordinary or run into any problems they had to fix. There was just nothing really special about their services.

    I switched to RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) a year and a bit ago, largely because their account and other associated fees were slightly better than TD and they had better "perks" I could get in with--I'm largely referring to their line of credit cards (and that probably just comes down to the fact that I found them more attractive than similar options with TD). Also, since I have RRSPs, the chequing account, and the free savings account, I receive a monthly multi-service rebate that makes my chequing account free regardless of the balance (so, I pay nothing in the way of account fees). I doubt you'd end up with RRSPs Doc, but you may be able to have some other service instead of RRSP to get the multi-service discount.

    Recap: I've always found RBC and TD representatives to be helpful and kind. TD will definitely have the best hours but little else putting it above the others. RBC had more attractive perks for my day-to-day banking, so I switched there (but the hours are really annoying).

    You also may want to try to see where another branch of HSBC is, as branches set their own hours. A lot of your problems I've never heard of anyone coming across, so it's a shame you've had such a uniquely horrible banking experience up here.

  • mullymully Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Coast Capital Savings.

    They have a sense of humour, they're extremely helpful and some branches are open Saturdays downtown.

  • T-boltT-bolt Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    As mentioned before, TD does have good hours.

    I got tired of being dicked around by BMO so I switched to RBC 5 years ago and haven't seen reason to switch since. RBC doesn't have good hours though.

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  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2010
    I can deal with terrible hours, provided that I can deposit checks via ATM or mail, and do the rest online or over the phone.

  • Mom2KatMom2Kat Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I absolutley hate CIBC ever since they screwed me in College. Since then I have been with RBC and love it. even though I only have a chequeing with them it is awesome. I also like their web and mobliess sites since I use them for almost everything. really easy to set up a new payee hell I paid my rent to my Mother in Law on the Mobile site today on a break on my Blackberry since I have her set up as a payee for interact e-mail money transfer. Also by staying with one of the "big 5" you can do e-mail money tranfers.

  • TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Doc wrote: »
    1. Credit card took 2 months to get through the bank. For a secured card (zero Canadian credit), and I have to pay $30 a year for the privilege of loaning them the deposit.
    2. Hours are terrible, they close all their branches at 4.
    3. Continue to get checking account fees despite having my balance above the threshold where they are supposedly waived. I have to call the bank every month so far.
    4. Their reps never return phone calls
    5. Most recently, they charged me a $12 fee when they explicitly said that there would not be one for writing a check to a US bank. As of now, they've continued to refuse to reverse it.
    6. Their phone banking people are totally useless - to get anything done customer-service related, you have to call your account manager, who is the guy that you talked to when you opened your account. He seems to be in the office about once a week and never returns my calls.
    7. I get treated like a criminal every time I walk into the bank to do anything. If I'm depositing a check from the US, it takes like 15 minutes with a teller, because they ask me all sorts of questions and try to stare me down.

    This is all in a 3-month period.

    Where do you live now?
    Coast Capital Savings is pretty great. They're a credit union and they've never charged me a time in fees, they don't hold my deposits and I got a visa with them with a great limit and it took 3 days to arrive in the mail after I applied in person at a branch. The hours are decent, some branches are open til 7, and on Saturdays.


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  • TrusTrus Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    BMO has never done anything bad in my experience, they were even incredibly understanding about money issues I was having last summer giving me more than an extra month to pay down my credit card.

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  • CorvusCorvus Caw? VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    HSBC is basically the Canadian arm of a Hong Kong bank.

    That said, I've banked at TD my whole life with no real problems, and they have good Saturday hours. There's one just outside Metrotown at Station Square. It's where I go when I need cash while I'm at work.

  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    RBC has been extremely good to me. Of course I've been a client there since I was a child, so that may affect the quality of service.

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  • Ant000Ant000 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    North Shore Credit Union.

  • GreasyKidsStuffGreasyKidsStuff Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I've been with TD since I was a child, no issues so far. Hours are good, customer service is (usually) pretty good, but I've never had any weird situations where I've needed to be there for extended periods of time. And I can do all my stuff online if I so desire, like pay my bills. So that's who I'd recommend. I haven't tried anyone else though, obviously.

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  • bubblegumnexbubblegumnex Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Putting my vote in for TD. Solid service and never had any real hassles.

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  • ZeonZeon Registered User
    edited February 2010
    If you need to use an actual bank branch, and want to talk to tellers at non-banking hours (any hours other than 10-4) you will need to go with TD. Theyre literally the only bank in canada as far as im aware that is open non-banking hours (Theyre open generally 8-8 now, some are open later). Their online stuff is pretty good and you can cash checks up to 500 dollars instantly at an ATM, anything above that and theres a 2-3 business day hold unless youve worked out a special arrangement with them (You will have 500 dollars instantly, the balance is put on hold). Downside, all their accounts have fees unless minimum balances are maintained. I think there is one account type that doesnt, but it only lets you use your debit card 5 times a month and visit a teller once a month or something retarded like that.

    I always hear good things about PCFinancial, but they dont have real branches. If i was going to switch, i would go with them, everyone i know who has an account with them always raves about it. ING online only accounts are also good, but again, no branches and im not sure they have any ATM deal with anyone, so cashing checks might be difficult (They probably do, im just not sure). Personally i dont want to have to wait even 15 minutes to get a new debit card if mine happens to be "compromised" or something, not to mention the other random crap i always seem to end up having to go into a branch for, so online accounts are not for me.

    CIBC and Scotia i only hear bad things, though ive never used them personally. BMO is ok, dunno how it is out west but even here in toronto branches are limited and ive heard the online banking leaves something to be desired. Again, never used them.

    TLDR: If i had to pick a major bank, id go with TD (I use them), and if i didnt need to use the branches, id go with PC Financial or ING.

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  • delphinusdelphinus Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Doc wrote: »
    I can deal with terrible hours, provided that I can deposit checks via ATM or mail, and do the rest online or over the phone.
    mully wrote: »
    Coast Capital Savings.

    They have a sense of humour, they're extremely helpful and some branches are open Saturdays downtown.

    Coast Capital Savings is what I switched to since to from Envision Financial. My previous bank charged me every time I used an my savings account from an ATM. Their hours are nonsensical rubbish.

    I switched to Coast Capital because of the high interest savings, multiple branches across canada, no surcharge on using my savings account from ATMs. They also have cheap checks, the ATMs take deposits, online banking, friendly service that has always worked for me and not against me, and some branches stay open till like 7 or 8pm.

  • EntriechEntriech Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    PC Financial is great if you can tolerate doing all your banking via machine, online, or phone. I'd wholely reccomend them.

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  • AlpineAlpine Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Do not use PC Financial, please - if you are not the type who likes their customer service to be strictly over the phone, support a Canadian bank with your business. Banks like PC Financial, HSBC, and ING Direct all offer low fee banking and slightly higher interest rates on savings, but do so by scrimping on services you should see as required for the people taking care of your money - visible, accountable customer service and reliable availability. They also do not contribute to any Canadian charities, which might not matter to you, but to me makes them seem like they are more profit- than service-driven. Banks are pillars of community, and should act as such. Personal rant aside, here we go;

    Vancouver BMOs actually score higher than the Canadian BMO average with their NPS scores, so if you did try them, you'd theoretically be getting better service than most BMO customers across the country. My experience with BMO might be positively skewed, but I have never been frustrated with them to a point where I thought that they would not help me. The few problems I have had with them have been worked out either over the phone (always get an in-bank teller to help you if you do phone with a problem, no matter what bank you go with- skip Direct Banking services) or in person.

    How many transactions per month do you do with your account now? Are you the type that withdraws a large amount of cash to carry and use, or do you use your debit card for most transactions? Would you be willing to transfer over any investments to BMO that you currently have with HSBC? Would you be willing to open a BMO Mastercard? If you speak with the person who would open your account, there is a strong chance that you could ask them to waive banking fees for the first three or six months on your account. Try and play up the fact that you're looking for a new bank, and are trying to find one that will help you with your banking needs. The FSM that opens your account for you has a lot of leeway when it comes to reversing fees for a period of time, so if you ask for it, they can provide it.

    Since you have multiple US cheques to deposit or cash, I would also suggest opening up a US Chequings or Savings account. There is no additional monthly fee attached, but any US Cheques deposited to the US account and then exchanged over to your Canadian account would receive a better exchange rate and would not be hit with US Cheque fees either. Again, by opening up a US account, you become a multi-product client, and the FSM helping you should be bending over backwards to make sure you are a satisfied customer.

    As far as hours go, BMO does not stay open as late as TD does, which means you might have to make deposits through the ATM. Speaking only for Canadian Currency deposits, BMO dictates what size of deposits can be made without holds based on Levels of debit cards. The standard is anything over $1,000 is held for one business day. New accounts can have holds placed on all deposits made for the first 30 days - it is important to talk to the FSM opening your account and make sure you understand what restrictions will be placed on your account during the first month, as most complaints are made over misunderstandings about debit card conditions. The intermediate level, between new account and standard, is that anything over $300 is held for 5 business days. Most times, your account will be upgraded to this intermediate level rather than the standard. Asking to be changed to the standard level should be no problem, especially if you have a direct deposit such as paycheques being put into the account and a good record as far as not having any NSF charges marked against you.

    If you have any specific complaints about BMO that you've heard, either post here or PM me, and hopefully I can help refute or explain them.

  • EntriechEntriech Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Alpine wrote: »
    Do not use PC Financial, please - if you are not the type who likes their customer service to be strictly over the phone, support a Canadian bank with your business. Banks like PC Financial, HSBC, and ING Direct all offer low fee banking and slightly higher interest rates on savings, but do so by scrimping on services you should see as required for the people taking care of your money - visible, accountable customer service and reliable availability. They also do not contribute to any Canadian charities, which might not matter to you, but to me makes them seem like they are more profit- than service-driven. Banks are pillars of community, and should act as such.
    15 or 20 years ago I could see the value in requiring excellent face-to-face customer service from your financial institution of choice, but with online banking, the power to manage money has been placed back in the hands of the individual, and that's where it should be. Noone is going to care more about looking after your finances than you are.

    If the selection of services and interfaces available from the budget line banks are adequate to meet someone's needs, there is no reason to spend the frankly exorbitant amounts of money Canada's major banks require you pay them in return for the privilege of them using your money.

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  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I bank with BMO and use their online system to handle both my bank and credit card accounts. I've never had any problems with either and find the system quite easy to work with.

    The couple problems I've had with them have been no more severe than just minor annoyances that could have happened at any bank.

  • Caramel GenocideCaramel Genocide Registered User
    edited February 2010
    I refuse to do business with TD. I was a good customer of theirs for a number of years, and suddenly my employer ran into some financial trouble - two of their cheques written to me bounced. This didn't cause my TD account to go into any negative balances or anything like that - however because of that, something I had absolutely no control over, TD removed my "cash your cheques and have access to the funds immediately" ability, and no amount of talking to anyone would get it restored. So fuck them.

  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    i have never had any trouble with either rbc or td
    i like both of em.

  • SloSlo Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I use both Coast Capital, and PC, pc for everyday banking, and coast capital for term deposits and long term savings.

    i like the way it works out.

  • Sir Headless VIISir Headless VII Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I bank with CIBC and have a credit card with them. I can't complain, they don't really blow me away but I don't pay any fees (for the bank account or credit card, unless I am pulling out money at a ATM outside of the country and the other bank charges me) and I am actually making money on my dividends credit card as far as i can tell (a couple dollars or so a month).

  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2010
    Thanks for all the input guys! I live in Yaletown in Vancouver, and there's a Coast Capital Savings branch nearby; I'll check them out when I get a chance. I had a credit union back in Seattle, and I'd be thrilled if I could get in business with another one.

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    you may also want to consider Vancity, really any credit union is better than a bank

  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 VictoriaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Another vote for Coast Capital. Had them growing up and were very helpful for setting up RRSP, getting my first CC, raising that limit after a couple years. Decent hours and low to no fees.

    Currently using TD because I moved to where there are no CC anymore. Could have gone with another local credit union but TD is not bad.

  • psyck0psyck0 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Get your ass in a credit union, either VanCity or Coast Capital. Both are excellent, and credit unions are almost always better than banks.

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  • LaOsLaOs Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Asiina wrote: »
    I bank with BMO and use their online system to handle both my bank and credit card accounts. I've never had any problems with either and find the system quite easy to work with.

    The couple problems I've had with them have been no more severe than just minor annoyances that could have happened at any bank.

    TD has pretty good (as in, easily to navigate and use) web services (I believe they won an award for their online webbanking a couple years ago) and RBC has great online service as well. I personally have come to prefer RBC's layout and functions, but that's just personal preference (and they're updating their online banking in a short while here, so who knows what the change will bring). All in all, I don't think I've heard of any problems with any of the "big banks'" online services.

  • SipexSipex Registered User
    edited February 2010
    I use PC, it has free chequing and the online banking application is easy enough to understand. Got my account by working for Loblaws though and I've heard it's a pain in the ass to register the normal way.

    CIBC I've heard has chequing fees and they withdraw at the worst times usually (like...right before your rent comes out). Would not recommend.

    Heard good things about TD.

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  • JeanJean Lonely québécois bear Gatineau, QuébecRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I use Desjardins like most french canadians. I have no complaints aside from shitty opening hours. I dont think they have branches in BC tough.

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  • AridholAridhol Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    RBC has been extremely good to me. Of course I've been a client there since I was a child, so that may affect the quality of service.

    RBC has been good to me as well. They're not especially friendly all the time but the online banking is good, depositing through ATM is easy and rates are pretty standard.
    The only thing I hate is they seem to have a pretty shitty selction of "reward" credit cards if you're into that kind of thing.

    Edit: Also payments in and out through online banking always seem to be faster than when my friends do it with other banks *cough* BMO *cough*.

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