Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

October 20, 2008 09:13 ET

FCAC's Cost of Banking Guide Helps Consumers Compare the Features of Over 100 Accounts

Update includes more accounts for students to compare

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 20, 2008) - The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) today released the latest update to its Cost of Banking Guide, a useful interactive web tool which helps consumers shop around for a personal bank account. The tool provides information on over 110 banking packages, including over 40 savings accounts, from 22 different financial institutions.

"The Cost of Banking Guide is the perfect tool to help consumers find a bank account that best suits their needs," said FCAC Commissioner Ursula Menke. "Even Canadians who are not actively looking for a new account might be surprised to learn about the features available with today's banking packages. With just a few clicks, they may be able to find a better option at a fraction of the price."

This year, students may be especially interested in using the Cost of Banking Guide interactive tool as a number of banks have made changes to their student accounts, and are now offering ones with lower fees or none at all. Students can visit FCAC's financial youth portal at www.themoneybelt.gc.ca and use the student version of this tool, which compares only student accounts.

"Student budgets are usually stretched pretty thin and, like many others Canadians, students certainly welcome ways to save money wherever possible," added Commissioner Menke. "With our interactive tool, students can find accounts that offer less fees or more relevant features for their needs, such as accounts that do not require them to maintain a minimum monthly balance for the fees to be waived."

FCAC's Cost of Banking Guide interactive tool narrows down the accounts that are relevant for consumers by first asking them to identify the province or territory in which they live, if they qualify for a youth, student or senior specialized account, and asks a few quick questions on basic banking habits. Based on this information, the tool provides a list of bank accounts that match the consumers' needs, and gives information regarding the fees, minimum balance required, the number and type of transactions allowed, and other special features that the account offers.

The Cost of Banking Guide is available in HTML format or as an interactive on-line tool on FCAC's Web site www.moneytools.ca. For more information, call FCAC toll-free at 1-866-461-3222 (or 1-866-914-6097 for TTY service, for the deaf or hard of hearing).

FCAC provides consumers with accurate, objective information about financial products and services, and informs Canadians of their rights and responsibilities when dealing with federally regulated financial institutions. FCAC also ensures compliance with the consumer protection laws, and monitors codes of conduct and public commitments that apply to banks and federally incorporated trust, loan and insurance companies.

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