Canadian Bankers Association

Canadian Bankers Association

April 29, 2014 09:48 ET

Canadians Give Banks High Marks for Convenience and Value: CBA Public Opinion Research

Canadians also feel pride in their banks and see better value for money than for many other consumer services

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 29, 2014) - New public opinion research released today by the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) reveals that the large majority of Canadians have positive feelings about the banking sector in this country (81 per cent) and their individual banks (90 per cent).

The results suggest that the strong positive ratings are linked to a sense of value for money as new technologies make banking more convenient as well as the fact that Canada's banks held up well during the global economic crisis that affected other banks in other parts of the world.

"Banks have been making great strides in helping Canadians bank whenever they want to, and wherever they are. Leading edge innovations in technology make it possible for people to save time and appreciate the value for money in banking services," said Terry Campbell, president of the CBA. "What's more, consumers also have a high degree of trust in their banks to maintain their security and protect their personal information."

Canadians have a favourable impression of banks

The public opinion research, conducted by Abacus Data on behalf of the CBA, found that:

  • 71 per cent say that banking technologies improve the convenience of banking
  • 76 per cent believe that banks do a good job of protecting their privacy

The research also found that Canadians give high praise to their banking system:

  • 81 per cent of Canadians have a favourable impression of banks in Canada, up from 59 per cent in 2001. This jumps to 90 per cent when people are asked to rank their own bank.
  • 95 per cent say that, when they see what has happened with banks around the world, it makes them proud of Canadian banks.
  • 79 per cent agree that our banks are stable and secure.
  • Profitable banks are understood to be important to the economy. Seventy-one per cent say that profitable banks mean more jobs, better pension plan returns and a healthy economy.
  • 67 per cent say that banks are an important source of advice in retirement planning.

"Canada's banks have earned an excellent reputation, and there are a couple of key reasons," said Mr. Campbell. "During the global financial crisis, when many banks in other parts of the world failed or had to be bailed out by taxpayers, banks in Canada remained strong, continued to lend money and provided a safe place for Canadians' savings and investments. Second, banks have been working hard to constantly improve customer convenience and value: everything from introducing new online and mobile technologies, extending hours and opening weekends and strengthening their advisory services, which is increasing in importance as our population ages and many reach retirement age."

Canadians See 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.

  • 76 per cent believe that they get good value for the service fees that they pay, which exceeds other service industries (e.g. cable, wireless, power etc.) by more than 10 percentage points.
  • 33 per cent of Canadians pay no banking service fees at all because they take advantage of no-fee packages for seniors, students, youth or new Canadians; maintain a minimum monthly account balance; or choose a no-fee electronic banking package.
  • Another 33 per cent pay $15 or less per month (less than 50 cents a day) to enjoy convenient banking with the world's soundest banking system.

Banking service fees, according to Statistics Canada, have gone down by nearly six per cent from 2011 to 2012, providing Canadians with good value for the services they use.

Plenty of Choice and Competition

Canadians do business with more than 40 banks that offer products and services to retail customers. Those banks vie for business against each other and other financial services providers - including credit unions, caisses populaires, insurance and trust companies and financing companies - in a highly competitive market:

  • 90 per cent of Canadians polled believe that there is enough choice in financial services to meet their needs.

Consumers feel that they are in control and can shop around for the banking arrangements that are right for them at a cost they are comfortable with:

  • 62 per cent believe they would be able to reduce fees by exploring different account packages with their own bank.
  • 61 per cent say they would be able to reduce fees by switching banks if they so chose.

Detailed Polling Results Available

The questions asked and more detailed polling results can be found at the following link:

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 1007 adult Canadians, 18 years of age or older, and are accurate within +/- 3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Respondents were interviewed between November 30 and December 12, 2013.

About the Canadian Bankers Association

The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 59 domestic banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 275,000 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.

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1 Statistics Canada, 2012 Survey of Household Spending

Contact Information

  • Kate Payne
    Canadian Bankers Association
    (416) 362-6093, ext. 219
    Cell: (416) 587-7733