A few weeks ago Boomer wrote about having all of your financial eggs in one basket.  This got me to thinking, what would it take for me to switch banks?

I have banked with TD Canada Trust all of my life.  My mom worked there for years and she opened up a children’s savings account for me when I was 7 or 8 years old.

What Would It Take To Switch Banks?

I think there are many advantages to having a relationship with a full service bank, such as negotiating for a free chequing account when renewing your mortgage, or getting a preferred rate on a loan or line of credit.

Related: Why More Banks Are Extending Hours, Opening On Weekends

Lately I’ve received many offers from different financial institutions trying to entice me to open an account with them.  Some offer a free iPod, a $200 sign-up bonus, or a “best in market” GIC.

Typically I ignore these limited time offers, and I think it’s based purely on convenience.  I hear of people who have accounts all over the place, and for me I prefer the convenience of dealing with one financial institution.

Who cares if you can get a half percent better rate on a savings account?  If I am really attracted to a particular offer I will go to my bank and see if they can match it.

So why do banks even try to go after individual accounts?  To me, luring someone from an existing banking relationship to a different bank has to be one of the most difficult tasks in the industry.

Related: Canadian Chequing Account Comparison

Unless you manage to get someone who is opening a chequing account, or discount brokerage account, or a small business account for the first time, it is very unlikely that your limited time offer will actually produce results.  And all the time and money spent trying to get you to switch banks couldn’t possibly be worth the effort if they only land a few individuals who are just chasing incentives and not spending any real money.

The only way that I would consider leaving my existing relationship with TD Canada Trust would be if their customer service was so terrible that I couldn’t get what I needed out of them, or if they weren’t at all competitive with the other big banks when it comes to basic products and services.

And since I can literally do almost everything online with EasyWeb, I don’t even need to speak with a representative until it’s time to negotiate and sign paperwork.

Have you ever taken advantage of a limited time offer to switch banks?  Did they manage to keep your business?


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