One of the more memorable – or laughable – bank slogans was Scotiabank’s “you’re richer than you think”.  The poorly timed ad campaign ran through the financial crisis of 2008-09, including commercials at Cineplex theatres across the country.  The response was not kind – moviegoers heckled, swore, and tossed drinks as the tagline appeared on the screen.

Related: Can you trust advice from your bank?

Despite the controversial slogan the campaign was a successful one for Scotia – becoming the most recognized tagline among banks in Canada.  But the Royal Canadian Air Farce had it right when they turned the slogan on its head to read: Scotiabank – “We’re richer than you think.”

I’d personally translate the bank slogan to this:

Bank slogans, translated
Here are some other bank slogans and taglines, translated:

ING Direct – “Save Your Money.”

Translation:  “Give us your money so that we can lend it to someone else at a higher rate.”

Tangerine – “Forward Banking.”

Translation: “We don’t have to do much to stay ahead of the big banks in Canada.  I mean, mobile cheque deposits have been around since 2009 in the U.S., but up here we’re innovators!”

Related: Tangerine: The Bank Formerly Known As ING Direct

TD – “Open earlier, open later. Even Sunday”

Translation: “We don’t care that most of you want to bank online.  We’re going to make you come in and speak to an advisor so we can sell you more products.  Any time, day or night.”

Related: Why more banks are extending hours, opening on weekends

BMO – “Making money make sense”

Translation: “You’re too stupid to handle your own money so leave it to our team of experts.”

Don’t know what to do with your inheritance money?  You’ll be in good hands with one of our investment advisors.  Don’t worry about that time an advisor mistakenly wired $87,555 to a scammer pretending to be one of his clients, while the actual client was having open heart surgery.

CIBC – “For what matters”

Translation: “We care about the big picture stuff.”

Like the time CIBC sent out a memo outlining standards for its bank branch openings, including such big picture details like how to properly decorate a cake.  Red-and-gold brand colours should be used, as well as the firm’s logo and, in the best of all possible worlds, the official CIBC tagline “For what matters.”

MasterCard – “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”

Translation: “We know you’re tapped-out and can’t afford to take a nice vacation or buy your kid a new bike.  But look how much fun everyone’s having in this commercial.  C’mon (rubs fingers together), just put it on credit this one time.”

Related: A Lannister Always Pays His Debts (And So Should You)

Sun Life – “Money for Life”

Translation: “We offer expensive and complicated investments, insurance, and annuity products that are designed to collect money from you for the rest of your life.”

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32 Comments

  1. Don on April 13, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    You’re forgetting the venerable “Freedom 55” from London Life. Which translates to retirement around 80.

    • Echo on April 13, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      @Don – Good one, though I suspect that few people (outside of Greece) have bought into that slogan for some time.

  2. Michael James on April 14, 2014 at 7:04 am

    I’ve always translated “You’re richer than you think” as “You can borrow more than you think.”

    • Echo on April 14, 2014 at 7:13 am

      @Michael James – That sums it up nicely!

  3. Roadmap2Retire on April 14, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Largest bank – RBC is missing from this list

    • Echo on April 14, 2014 at 7:12 am

      RBC’s slogan is: Advice you can bank on.

      Anyone want to take a shot at translating that one?

      • Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet on April 14, 2014 at 7:58 am

        My version of RBC’s slogan: Listen to our advice, so we can bank on you paying our hefty fees

      • Don on April 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm

        Translation: Advice you can (follow, but will result in returns far less than we advertise;) bank on (it).

        I’ve looked at the statements of several friends who bought their mutual funds and they were getting near zero returns even though the funds claimed double digits in that time frame. Seems fraudulent to me, but I’m sure there’s some legal trickery that makes it work out.

  4. Stephen on April 14, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Yes… Freedom 55 … bought into that won back in early 70’s. Thought that would be me … but hark… it is the guy that has my hard-earned and hard saved money ..He is the guy living and retired at “Freedom 55” and me in my 60’s …. I owe , I owe off to work I go. Paying back for all those investment strategies my “financial planner” suggested I do.
    And no I Am…. not richer than I think!

    • Echo on April 14, 2014 at 7:17 am

      @Stephen – Sorry to hear that. I bet a lot of Freedom 55 advisors are living the dream they were selling back then, at the expense of their clients.

  5. Stephen on April 14, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I had the opportunity a few years back to spend a couple of days with a self made Canadian billionaire . I asked him what he thought about the “financial planning business”? HE bluntly said ” the minute you turn over your hard-earned money to someone else to manage you basically have lost control” The planners do not own the money, they guarantee themselves a substantial cut win or lose, have no personal attachment to that money, and then move onto the next sucker”” Basically said we have to take our own control and responsibility for our financial futures. Yes, we can at times make mistakes, but learn from those mistakes. Know what and why you invest your money in. Take the “personal responsibility” to learn and be personally accountable. If you lose money , it’s your doing.. if you win its your doing!
    When I related this conversation to my financial planner , he said “what kind of fool would give you that dangerous advice?”. After typing his name into Google , his demeanour changed and wondered how I had crossed paths with this individual. Then excuse, after excuse.
    Quite frankly I wish I had run into this gentlemen back in the seventies and heeded his word and indeed seen Freedom 55. Well the past is the past but now I make sure my children are well ware of that wise advice and TAKE PERSONAL CONTROL AND RESPONSIBILITY for their financial futures. Do not blame or expect anyone else for financial well being now or in the future. Its your money to control!

    • Echo on April 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

      @Stephen – Well, don’t leave us in suspense. Who was he? 🙂

    • Wes on April 14, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      @Stephen, my Financial Planner believed and preached the gospel of OPM – using Other People’s Money to ‘invest’, including my money.

    • John Peter on August 29, 2017 at 1:51 pm

      Great advertisement for freedom 55, ps your not fooling anyone

  6. Kathy Waite Eureka Investor Guidance on April 14, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Nominating “life’s brighter under the Sun” ……..read bundled products at high MERs we can change the terms and conditions on if we find they are not making us a profit you have a DSc so you probably cant leave. Company pensions with reasonable IMFs but then admin fees popping up on statements unexplained.
    Look for transparency , if you cant understand it don’t do it.

    • Echo on April 14, 2014 at 9:44 am

      @Kathy – great advice!

    • CanadianDaniel on April 15, 2014 at 8:50 am

      And as a former SLF employee, may I add that many of us feel “sun-burned” following the Clarica takeover and years earlier the “vanishing premium” scandals. As Icarus found out, you can get too much of a good thing when you automatically assume everything about the sun is good. Question is, brighter for whom?

  7. @kiltedbroker on April 14, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Back in 2010 I took some of the bank one liners and turned them around and actually did a small marketing campaign with them to promote my mortgage company.

    Scotia: Your’e richer than you think | Your’e paying more than you think

    Capone: What’s in your wallet? | What’s in your Sporran?

    TD: Banking can be this comfortable | Our chair is more comfortable (with a picture of a really comfortable green chair).

    And although PC Banking didn’t really have a slogan to parody, we ran an add that said “Do you really want to bank at a place where you can buy bologna?

    • Echo on April 14, 2014 at 9:45 am

      @Jackson – We can all agree the banks are easy targets. I’m glad I’m a shareholder, though.

    • Don on April 14, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      <>

      When you think about it, that’s a far more valuable service than most provide. 😉

      • Don on April 14, 2014 at 2:22 pm

        I tried to quote the PC comment, but it got cut off. 🙁

  8. Nik @ Midlife Finance on April 14, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Love the way you translate each bank’s slogan. Some are funny and some are actually true. Thanks!

  9. Money On Trees on April 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    This gave me a good chuckle 🙂 I’ll have to share it with my readers.

  10. debt debs on April 15, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Very good. The slogans are pretty catchy but immediately put the financially savvy on guard!

  11. David on April 15, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    O’Leary funds slogan is: “Get Paid While You Wait”…..don’t see myself trusting the Oracle of Ouch to manage any money:)

  12. Robert on April 16, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Scotiabank’s “you’re richer than you think” always struck me as not only catchy but wise. Whenever life has made demands I have found just that: I am actually not as poor as I thought. So I always thought they had a great one, for whatever that was worth.

    Whether these slogans help sell I have no idea. My last contract was at Honda. I asked my first day if they had a slogan and was told “the power of dreams”. I think I just stared blankly. I saw the “huh?” look from other people over time. Maybe it works better in Japanese.

  13. Money Saving on April 17, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Very good! I like the ING one. Let us make money off of your money 🙂

  14. My Own Advisor on April 21, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I hope the banks continue to advertise and include these slogans and lend people more money.

    It means earnings are up and eventually more dividends for me (and you). 🙂

    Fun stuff,
    Mark

  15. Anne @ Unique Gifter on May 15, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    TD “We’re open all the time everywhere but where you live, where we do Mon-Fri and close and 5, but ALL of our advertising is going to continue to rub it in your face.”

    • Echo on May 15, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      @Anne – I have noticed they are very selective with which branches are open later and on weekends. Sorry about your luck 🙂

  16. save. spend. splurge. on May 15, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    *wipes tears from laughing*

    I always thought Scotia Bank’s slogan was the stupidest one ever..

  17. Allan on February 20, 2017 at 5:45 am

    Great site – you missed an important one though: Washington Mutual, shortly before their risky loans brought them crashing down in the largest bank failure in U.S. history (2008), they adopted the tagline “Woo Hoo!”. I wish I was making this up. Translation: The sober CEO who grew this company for the last 20 years is gone and we are now burdened with sub-prime mortgages. We have a new Gen-X CEO with an ‘anything goes’ attitude, who thought would identify with Homer Simpson, and share his favorite sentiment.

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