Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

June 16, 2014 10:58 ET

FCAC Emphasizes the Need for Canadians to Review Their Banking Packages and Choose Chequing Accounts That Match Their Needs

FCAC's Account Selector Tool helps consumers compare features for different accounts, including interest rates, monthly fees, transactions fees and services

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 16, 2014) - Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Although increases in fees for most Canadian chequing account packages have been moderate over the last decade, there have been significant fee increases for services that are not covered by consumers' plans, according to a research report published today by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC). The Agency therefore encourages consumers to review their transaction habits to ensure that they are not paying more than they should for their day-to-day banking needs.

The study, entitled Banking Fees in Canada: Patterns and Trends, examines the fees financial institutions applied to consumers' chequing accounts over the last 10 years, including fixed monthly charges and variable fees for transactions in excess of monthly limits. The study also looks into the effectiveness of low-cost accounts and Canadians' attitudes toward financial services.

Banking Fees in Canada: Patterns and Trends is the latest report published under FCAC's research mandate. FCAC conducts research and leverages external studies to identify emerging trends and issues to inform policy development, and to improve the way the Agency educates and protects consumers of financial services and products.

Quick facts

- FCAC's research focused on what financial institutions charged consumers for chequing accounts, and on what Canadian consumers reported paying for their day-to-day banking transactions.

- While the increases in fees for most chequing account plans have been moderate over the last 10 years, there have been significant increases in variable fees for services that are not included in the monthly plans.

- Eight Canadian federally regulated financial institutions have been offering basic banking packages at nominal or no fees since 2001. Demand for low-cost accounts remains robust and has increased since their introduction.

- In Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government acted on a 2013 Speech from the Throne commitment by promising to work with financial institutions to expand no-cost basic banking services for youth, students and seniors receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement and Registered Disability Savings Plan beneficiaries, as well as to update voluntary commitments on low-cost accounts to meet consumers' current banking needs.

- In May 2014, the federal government announced a commitment by Canada's largest banks to enhance low-cost bank accounts and offer no-cost accounts with the same features as low-cost accounts to a wider range of eligible consumers. These financial institutions committed to bring the voluntary guidelines into force by January 2015.

- FCAC's Account Selector Tool enables consumers to compare various bank account packages to help them choose the one that best meets their needs. The tool is updated regularly and will reflect the latest low-cost and no-cost account offerings set to take effect by January 15, 2015.

Quotes

"This report supports our Government's recent agreement with Canada's eight largest banks to improve the quality and accessibility of no-cost and low-cost accounts. Canadians deserve the best banking services at the lowest prices and that is what we are working to have them receive."

Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance

"This report also highlights the importance of financial literacy. Our Government, the Financial Literacy Leader and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada are working together to provide valuable information to Canadians in an effort to make sure that everyone has the information they need to make the best financial decisions."

Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance)

"Canadians have more and more choices for their daily banking. Our research highlights the importance of ensuring that Canadian consumers regularly review their bank transactions and match their needs to the most suitable monthly banking package for their situation."

Lucie Tedesco, Commissioner, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Associated links

Banking Fees in Canada: Patterns and Trends research report

FCAC's Account Selector Tool

Largest Banks to Offer No-Cost Accounts for Financially Vulnerable Canadians

Disponible en français

Contact Information

  • Jack Aubry
    Media Relations
    Department of Finance
    613-996-8080
    Follow @financecanada on Twitter

    Meagan Murdoch
    Office of the Minister of State (Finance)
    Communications
    613-996-7861

    Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
    Media Relations
    613-941-4168
    media@fcac-acfc.gc.ca

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