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People Want More From Their Banks in Canada – and It’s Not Money

Banks in Canada

If not money, then just what are Canadians craving from their banks in Canada? A new study says we’re looking for “personalized financial advice.”

The kicker, it’s the largest Canadian banks, the study confirms, are the ones doing the least to help their customers.

J.D. Power, which is best known for ranking customer satisfaction with motor vehicles, also conducts an annual poll of Canada’s banking system. The 2023 Canada Retail Banking Advice Satisfaction Study (CRBASS) surprising revelations include:

  • Nearly two-thirds of bank customers are “financially unhealthy.” Meaning they might not have enough income to make ends meet, and they definitely don’t have enough saved up for emergencies and retirement.
  • Only just over 4 in 10 “recall receiving advice from their financial institution.”
  • Just half of those customers found the advice to be “effective.”

“Canada’s large banks should be more attuned to their customers’ financial state and needs, offering and tailoring advice that is aligned with their financial challenges and tied to their future financial goals,” said Jennifer White, senior director for banking and payments intelligence at J.D. Power. Even worse, White says this is one area where the United States is doing better than Canada: “Unlike their U.S. counterparts that demonstrated an improvement on that front, Canadian banks have yet to rise to the occasion.”

Desired topics

The CRBASS findings showed that Canadians seek advice most for retirement planning and investing.

Retirement planning isn’t just desired. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan’s Canadian Retirement Survey indicated it’s desperately needed. Findings showed that, of those aged 55 – 64 and not yet retired, “44 percent have less than $5,000 in savings.”

Investment knowledge isn’t looking any better. Fair Canada, an advocate for individual investor rights, conducted a survey of investors. Results revealed that “less than 30% [of investors] feel very confident about their investment knowledge.” At just 22 percent, even less, “are very confident about understanding their rights.”

Changing tides

A survey conducted by Leger, a market research firm, showed that things are changing. Findings indicated that “90 percent of Canadian parents surveyed (with children 6-18) rank basic money management as the main skill they hope their kids will learn.” Data also showed that “49 percent find their kids are more curious and motivated to learn about money than they were at that age.”

Future of Banks in Canada

What does all this mean for banks in Canada? Especially the largest, that aren’t currently offering what customers are looking for. In one word, struggle.

As Canadians become more financially savvy, circumstances will change. What is a request for “personalized financial advice” right now will soon turn into a demand. Those banks that don’t meet demand will find themselves in hard times. At least until they catch up.

In the meantime, those struggling financially are having to look elsewhere for help.

Are you one of those being left behind? Drowning in debt? Our counsellors can offer you the expert advice the banks in Canada aren’t. Reach out today for a free consultation.

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