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To become one of the best banks in Canada is not a walk in the park. As easy-going as people may be, they just won’t warm up to you by handing over their hard-earned money to you on a platter.
Something has to give- this is in most cases, excellence. Stephen A. Schwarzman, the Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of the Blackstone group, a global private equity firm said something profound in his book titled “What It Takes: Lessons in the pursuit of excellence.”
He said, “The harder the problem is, the more limited the competition and the greater the reward for whoever can solve it.”
This line from this book is viewed as an oversimplification by some but is undeniably the core of what it takes to succeed.
This article discusses the best banks in Canada, their rates, account types, and minimum deposits.
Canada is a huge country on the North American continent. The country is divided into ten provinces and three territories and is home to more than 37 million people.
Banks are a very important feature in Canadian society, you need banks to perform many functions.
You will probably need a personal account in order to receive your salary, as well as to rent or buy accommodation, pay for gas and electricity, get a phone line, and much more.
To function as a bank with actual branches where you get to meet and attend to lots of customers, some structures need to be in place. Among them, money and talent are very important.
To offer services that match the quality of banks like Goldman Sachs that have around $92.65billion in group shareholder equity, work needs to be done.
Lots of money will need to be spent on purchasing tens of thousands of computers, tons of servers.
Millions of square feet of space in office space all around the globe or within a region that the bank is interested in, and fuel to run for as long as it takes to get the deals you need.
There is also the need for manpower – the people who will be doing the run around as it is practically impossible for a few people to do all the running around and deal closing.
Employees in their thousands are what is needed. MDs, VPs, and other staff as well as their compensations and benefits. While it may sound easy, I will tell you for free that it is not.
What is a credit rating?
Investopedia defines credit rating as the “A credit rating is a quantified assessment of the creditworthiness of a borrower in general terms or with respect to a particular debt or financial obligation.
A credit rating can be assigned to any entity that seeks to borrow money—an individual, a corporation, a state or provincial authority, or a sovereign government.”
The question of how it relates to banking was well answered by The Balance’s “what is a credit rating?”
It says “Bank credit ratings are estimates of how likely a bank is to default or go out of business. These grades are given by agencies such as Moody’s Investors Services.”
Best banks in Canada
#1 – Toronto Dominion (TD Bank group)
The TD Bank Group was created on 1 February 1955, through the merger of the Bank of Toronto and The Dominion Bank, which were founded in 1855 and 1869, respectively.
Wikipedia says of the bank “In 2017, according to Standard & Poor’s, TD Bank Group was the largest bank in Canada by total assets, the second-largest by market capitalization, a top-10 bank in North America, and the 26th largest bank in the world.
In 2019, it was designated a global systemically important bank by the Financial Stability Board. In Canada, the bank operates as TD Canada Trust and serves more than 11 million customers at over 1,091 branches.”
TD Bank features three types of savings accounts – Every Day, High Interest, and the special Youth account.
There is also the value account which is for people who do not carry out too many transactions. The account restricts the user to 10 transactions per month and additional transactions come at a very low extra charge.
The value account requires a minimum monthly balance. The value plus account is suitable for clients who use their accounts frequently.
This account enables clients to perform 25 transactions a month. The monthly fee is only $8.95, and it is waived if you have an account balance of $2,000 or more.
The infinity account offers unlimited transactions, giving you the potential of huge savings if you are particularly active. The monthly fee is $12.95, and it is waived if you have an account balance of $3,000 or more.
The select service is TD Bank’s offer for premium clients. The monthly fee is $24.95, waived if you have an account balance of $5,000 or more.
There is also an account for pensioners – those who are 60 and above.
#2 – Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
The Royal Bank of Canada was founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, although its legal and official headquarters are located at Place Ville Marie in Montreal, Quebec, with its corporate headquarters being located in Toronto, Ontario.
The Royal Bank of Canada and its subsidiaries serve some 15 million institutional, business, personal, and public sector clients in Canada, the United States and fifty-five countries around the world.
Customers of the Royal Bank of Canada can choose from different savings accounts to maximize their savings.
There are four types of savings accounts to look at, including RBC Enhanced Savings and RBC High-Interest eSavings.
The bank also offers a variety of banking accounts to meet its client’s specific or complex financial management requirements.
RBC Signature No Limit Banking, for example, is featured with 2 cross border debits, 3 Interac withdrawals, and other options.
#3 – Bank of Montreal (BMO)
The Bank of Montreal is a Canadian multinational investment bank and financial services company.
Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1817 as Montreal Bank, its head office remains in Montreal, with its operational headquarters and executive offices in Toronto, Ontario, since 1977.
One of the Big Five banks in Canada, it is the fourth-largest bank in Canada by market capitalization and assets, as well as one of the ten largest banks in North America.
The BMO has a premium plan chequing account that offers a $300 opening bonus plus an extra $50 when you make it a family bundle, a performance plan chequing account that offers a $300 opening bonus plus an extra $50 when turned into a family bundle, a plus plan chequing account that offers flexible banking at a low monthly rate.
There is the air miles plan chequing account that helps you effortlessly earn miles on everyday purchases – you get 1 mile per $30 spent on debit purchases, and for that, you are allowed to carry our unlimited transactions.
There is also the practical plan chequing account that offers you 12 transactions per month.
#4 – Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotia Bank)
Scotia bank was founded in 1832 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Scotiabank moved its executive offices to Toronto, Ontario in 1900.
Scotiabank has billed itself as “Canada’s most international bank” due to its acquisitions primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean, and also in Europe and parts of Asia.
It is the third-largest Canadian bank by deposits and market capitalization. It serves more than 25 million customers around the world and offers a range of products and services including personal and commercial banking, wealth management, corporate and investment banking.
With more than 88,000 employees and assets of $1.2 trillion. Scotia bank has multiple offerings – the momentum savings account which allows you to save for multiple goals in one account and earn interest as you open.
There are savings accelerator accounts that help customers earn 1.50% interest for a limited time. Scotia bank also has a money master savings account and many others.
#5 – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
The CIBC was formed through the June 1, 1961, merger of the Canadian Bank of Commerce (founded 1867) and the Imperial Bank of Canada (founded 1873), the largest merger between chartered banks in Canadian history.
CIBC has over 42,000 employees, close to eleven million clients, and a market capitalization of $30.7 billion as of last year.
The bank has four strategic business units: Canadian Personal and Small Business Banking, Canadian Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, U.S. Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets.
CIBC offers a wide array of accounts – operating accounts, savings accounts, not-for-profit, U.S dollar accounts, agriculture accounts.
These accounts have different subgroups that appeal to different classes of people with their different interest rates and minimum deposits and available balances.
#6 – National Bank
The Banque Nationale du Canada was created through an act on May 4, 1859. The National Bank of Canada is the sixth-largest commercial bank in Canada.
The bank is headquartered in Montreal and has branches in most Canadian provinces and 2.4 million personal clients.
National Bank is the largest bank in Quebec, and the second-largest financial institution in the province, after Desjardins credit union.
In 2011, National Bank was placed third in Bloomberg’s list of “The World’s Strongest Banks.” In 2018, it placed 41st on Go back Finance’s list of the 50 strongest banks.
Having operated for 150 years, the bank has come a long way with its assets totaling $145 billion
|Ranking||Bank||Types of account||Minimum deposit amount||Interest rate|
|1||Toronto Dominion||Chequing and savings||$0||0.010%|
|2||Royal Bank of Canada||Chequing and savings||$0||0.05%|
|3||Bank of Montreal||Chequing and savings||$0||0.050%|
|4||Bank of Nova Scotia||Chequing and savings||$0||0.05%|
|5||Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce||Smart, savings and chequing||$0||0.05%|
|6||National Bank of Canada||Chequing and savings||$0||0.05%|