Toronto, ON, April 2, 2015 – New public opinion research released today by the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) confirms that Canada’s banks are one of the country’s most highly regarded industries, with 87 per cent expressing a positive view. Positive feelings have improved by 20 percentage points since 2007.

The polling, conducted for the CBA by Abacus Data, found that the positive impression of banks in Canada is driven by:

  • The value that banks provide in terms of service for customers
  • The support banks provide in helping people meet their financial goals
  • The role that banks play in supporting a strong Canadian economy

“Banking in Canada is competitive and banks are constantly looking for ways to improve their offerings to customers,” said Terry Campbell, president of the CBA. “This includes secure and easy-to-use online banking platforms, extended branch hours, strengthened advisory services and ever-increasing investments in new technologies like mobile banking and payments. The public opinion findings confirm that customers see and value these efforts and also trust banks to protect their personal information.”

Consumers See Good Value in Banking

Canadian bank customers have access to more than 6000 branches and 18,000 bank-owned ABMs, and secure and convenient Internet, mobile and telephone banking from virtually anywhere in the world.

  • 79 per cent believe that they get good value for the service fees that they pay, which exceeds other household service industries (including Internet, cell phone, cable and electricity providers) by nearly 10 percentage points.

    bank customers report good value for service fees
  • Three out of four Canadians (75 per cent) pay less than $15 per month for banking services, including 27 per cent who pay no fees at all because they have no-fee accounts for seniors, students, youth or new Canadians; maintain a minimum monthly account balance; or choose a no-fee electronic banking package.

    many Canadians pay no service fees

A report from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada found that monthly bank account fees have not increased as much as the rate of inflation and the number of transactions allowed in many bank accounts has increased. On a per-transaction basis, monthly service fees actually decreased by 19 per cent from 2005 to 20131.

Trust Remains Strong

But perceived value comes from much more than just the service fees paid, and Canadians also give their banks good marks for trust and reliability:

trust in banks remains strong

  • 75 per cent of Canadians believe our banks are stable and secure
  • 68 per cent say that banks do a good job of helping Canadians achieve their financial goals
  • 67 per cent say that profitable banks mean more jobs, better pension plan returns and a healthier economy
  • 74 per cent believe that banks do a good job of protecting their privacy
  • 70 per cent say that banking technologies improve the convenience of banking

What do Canadians think about service fees?Ample Choice and Competition in Banking

The survey results also show that Canadians feel they enjoy ample choice in banking services and see healthy competition among banks for their business.

  • With more than 40 banks in Canada offering products and services to retail customers, 89 per cent think there is enough choice in banking.
  • Many Canadians deal with a variety of banks for different products and services. Sixty-five per cent deal with more than one financial institution and, of those, 34 per cent deal with three or more.
  • Consumers know that they can shop around to find the bank and the banking package at a price that is best for them. A majority (59 per cent) have switched the kind of account they have with their bank to reduce their service fees, and 39 per cent have switched banks to save money.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted by Abacus Data for the CBA. The findings are based on a telephone survey with a randomly selected, nationally representative sample of 1040 adult Canadians, 18 years of age or older, and are accurate within +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Respondents were interviewed between December 15, 2014 and January 14, 2015.

Detailed Polling Results Available

The questions asked and more detailed polling results can be found at the following link: http://www.cba.ca/contents/files/misc/misc_2014annualpoll_en.pdf

About the Canadian Bankers Association

The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 60 domestic banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 280,000 employees. The CBA advocates for effective public policies that contribute to a sound, successful banking system that benefits Canadians and Canada's economy. The Association also promotes financial literacy to help Canadians make informed financial decisions and works with banks and law enforcement to help protect customers against financial crime and promote fraud awareness. www.cba.ca.

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1Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, “Banking Fees in Canada: Patterns and Trends”, June 2014