Coast Capital Savings Credit Union

Coast Capital Savings Credit Union

March 05, 2009 15:01 ET

Coast Capital Savings Credit Union; Victoria Sends Message to the Big Banks: Thanks (But No Thanks) for the Fees!

Commuters sign "B.C.'s biggest greeting card" in mock petition

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 5, 2009) - Big banks, big fees, one big card: Victoria commuters made a mega statement about ever increasing banking fees Wednesday morning as they added their signatures and messages to "B.C.'s largest greeting card."

The card, standing eight feet by ten feet when open, was on display at the Bay Centre in Victoria. It "congratulated" the nation's big banks for the $3 billion in fees that they charge Canadians annually, and is part of a tongue-in-cheek campaign by Coast Capital Savings to highlight ridiculous bank transaction costs.

"In keeping with the Coast Capital brand and the theme of our recent ads, we're using a tongue-and-cheek approach to get Canadians to evaluate their monthly banking costs," explains Lawrie Ferguson, senior vice president, marketing, Coast Capital Savings. "We are a small, regional financial institution that has been able to eliminate chequing and savings account transaction fees that have become accepted in the banking industry. If we can do it, why can't the big guys?"

A recent Ipsos Reid survey commissioned by Coast Capital Savings found that on average, Canadians are paying $14.30 monthly in service fees on their main personal chequing account. Added up, that is an average of $171.60 per Canadian annually and a combined total of $3 billion each year, based on Coast Capital's estimate of the number of Canadians with these accounts.

"We are all dealing with the fallout from the ongoing recession and now is the time to be questioning every penny that we spend - banking fees included," says Mike Bushore, chief innovation officer, Coast Capital Savings. "While we're having a bit of fun with this at the banks' expense, we know banking fees are a serious pet peeve with Canadians."

Bushore says it's outrageous that the big banks are charging people fees for the 'privilege' of accessing their hard earned dollars. "You should be able to get to your money when you need it," Bushore continues. "The big banks figure that they can charge inflated transaction fees without questions. Coast Capital Savings believes that you should have access to you money not only when you need it but through whatever channel is most convenient to you. It's your money; it doesn't make sense that you have to pay to get at it."

Coast Capital already has an ongoing campaign using media such as television and outdoor signage to urge consumers to question the fees that they pay and the reason they continue to pay them. They feature satirical statements such as 'Banking fees are like paying rent on my own money, I like that' and 'Banking fees are exciting because you never see them coming'.

Ferguson said the mock card complements this theme. "It's frankly ridiculous to be paying those kinds of fees when there are other alternatives," Ferguson adds. "You don't need to compromise great service and products to go fee-free and Coast Capital Savings is proof of that."

Coast Capital Savings is best known for being the first full service financial institution in Canada to introduce a free chequing account in 2005. Early this year it also introduced a no-fee high interest savings account.

Coast Capital's "I love fees" street team will be collecting signatures on the mock greeting card through to 1:00pm Wednesday and plans to add to that number over the next week while the card is on display. The public can sign the card by visiting the credit union's Bay Centre branch at 1150 Douglas Street.

For more information on fees and how to cut back on your's visit and

The Ipsos Reid telephone poll was conducted on behalf of Coast Capital Savings. The poll was fielded between December 9 and 15, 2008 with a randomly selected sample of 906 Canadians between the ages of 25 and 54 years old, with a chequing and/or savings account (effective national base size of 516 due to weighting). With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within +/- 4.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of Canada been polled. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2006 Census data.

Coast Capital Savings is Canada's second largest credit union with total assets under administration of $12.3 billion, 404,000 members and 51 branches in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island regions of British Columbia. Product innovations from Coast Capital Savings include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution, the first business account in the country to offer unlimited transactions for a flat fee and the newly introduced High-interest, No-fee Savings Account, another first for the Canadian financial industry. The credit union was named one of BC's Top 50 Employers in 2009, is one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies and the recipient of the Canadian Co-operative Association Innovations in Co-operative Governance Award. Coast Capital Savings has also been designated a Caring Company by Imagine Canada. To learn more, visit


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