When customers yell and profits rise, ask the bank to raise fees
Audrey Williams (Audrey Williams) is a little unhappy to know that TD Bank’s fees will increase on June 1.
“I’m looking [the letter] Williams stood outside the TD branch in Scarborough, Ontario, and said to Go Public: “Then, a few days later, I looked at it and got angry again.”
What really shocked her was when she learned that her long-term financial institution continued to make billions of dollars in profits during the pandemic.
“What does that mean?” she asked. “It’s just trying to attract people when they are already frustrated. It’s harder to kick them again.”
Williams and other clients who own TD, CIBC, Bank of Montreal and Scotiabank recently contacted Go Public about the increase or imminent increase in fees for a series of accounts, products and services. They all question the timing.
The bank told Go Public that these additions were made after careful consideration, and other options are available to customers.
But a bank commentator said that the reason why banks raised their fees was because no one stopped charging.
Duff Conacher, co-founder of Democracy Watch, said: “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a year ago that banks should do more to help Canadians and defraud them. It cannot help Canadians.” The organization requires the government to be responsible and bear corporate responsibilities. “Now is the time for him and the Minister of Finance to intervene.”
Williams said the changes made by TD to her “priority checking” account (an account she has held for more than 25 years) were “excessive and totally unfair.” The bank raised the minimum balance required to avoid charges from $2,000 to $5,000.
“In an environment where people are unemployed, they are on vacation and they are trying to get CERB payment, who will be able to keep $5,000 in their bank account without receiving service fees?” she asked.
Most importantly, for those customers who did not maintain a new higher balance, TD increased the transaction fees for these accounts from $1.25 to $1.95.
Each transaction will be charged a higher fee, including the cost of customers when using a debit card; Williams pointed out that since then, Canadians are urged to avoid cash transactions in order to curb the coronavirus.
TD has also increased overdraft protection and wire transfer fees for some checking accounts.
Williams said: “This is a lot of money-making shopping carts.” “The increase is only the increase. The only people who will suffer are those who need overdrafts, because their CERB can’t afford their salary or rent, heating And food.”
TD’s other frustrated customers have also joined the “public listing” plan.
One client wrote: “Considering the economic consequences of the pandemic, this is unethical in the company’s view.”
Another wrote: “People are struggling.” “I am shocked.”
in a Public statement, Spokesperson Fiona Hirst said that TD understands that rate changes may be a “tricky issue.”
Hirst said: “We encourage customers who have questions or problems to discuss with us… the options we can offer.”
Statistics Canada revealed last week The country’s annual inflation rate Ascend at the fastest speed Since 2011, it has increased by 3.4%.
The rise in bank charges does not happen every year, and once they rise, they will never be popular. Coupled with the pandemic, this dissatisfaction seems to be increasing.
BMO and Scotiabank have also recently started to take various measures and will provide services to certain CIBC customers on July 1.
Robert Gal, a firefighter from Oakville, Ontario, filed a complaint with CIBC.
He said: “I’m just thinking, especially now, it’s that simple.” “It’s incomprehensible.”
CIBC spokesperson Said in a statement The bank’s fees are “the lowest among the major Canadian banks”, and someone from CIBC has contacted Gerl to discuss ways to help him avoid the fees.
Increasing fees during the pandemic prompted Kisan Gunjal, an economist and long-time BMO client, to open a letter to bank supervisors.
“This is actually not the right time for the bank to raise any fees,” Gunjar said from his home in Milton, Ontario. “We have to insert the moral part.”
in a Public statement A BMO spokesperson said that the bank will review its plans regularly and “any changes will be carefully considered.”
Billions of profits
Each of the five large banks reported billions of dollars in profits in the first quarter of this year. The profits of these three banks were higher than the same period last year and exceeded analysts’ expectations. This is the reason for the increase in service fees. The five giants continue to achieve billions of dollars in profits in 2020, but with the exception of TD, their reported net income has fallen from 2019 before the pandemic.
Bank commentator Konach believes that all this has prompted the need for more supervision. His organization collected nearly 80,000 signatures in a petition, urging Ottawa to let banks do more to help Canadians during the pandemic.
He said: “As far as life in today’s society is concerned, banking is as important as heating and electricity.” “The government should supervise like an essential service. This means ensuring that they serve everyone fairly… …And the use of fraud is prohibited.”
He pointed out that although the large Canadian banks are much smaller than many banks in other countries, the four banks are still among the top 50 most profitable banks in the world in 2020.
The consulting firm called on Ottawa to amend the Banking Law to require independent audits of each department of the bank to determine its profitability. He said: “If the profit margin exceeds a reasonable level of 10% to 15%, banks should be forced to reduce their fees and interest rates to reasonable levels.”
The Democracy Observatory has previously called on the government to monitor bank profits more closely, but has yet to take any action.
He said: “The bank can look back and see if the Secretary of Treasury took over as the Secretary of Treasury to protect against fraud… The bank did this to millions of Canadians.” “I’m just guessing that they think the current Secretary of the Treasury. [Chrystia] Prime Ministers Freeland and Trudeau will continue to do the same thing-stand up and do nothing.
It may take years to change behavior. Ken Whitehurst, executive director of the Consumer Council of Canada, said that at the same time, the Minister of Finance can speak to the bank.
He said: “The minister may wave his stick in the form of leading a national dialogue…see if the bank will choose to relax.”
Go Public asked the Ministry of Commerce how it plans to increase costs.
A spokesperson for the Minister of Finance said she was unable to provide a response. Instead, the ministry issued a statement outlining several initiatives taken by Ottawa to support Canadians during the pandemic, such as the CERB program and expanded employment insurance.
Williams said that she thinks it is time for the government to discuss its fee increases with banks.
She said: “Someone needs to see what they are doing and check it.” “I’m shocked, and I feel sad that they care so much about their customers. I am just a huge sum of money for them.”
Before TD’s higher fees took effect, she had a week to figure out what to do.