In capitalist Canada, banks rob you

By ThinkPol Editorial Board

Pop quiz: Who owns Canada’s “Big Five” banks?

The answer: Each other.

Take a look at the top three shareholders of each of Canada’s “Big Five” banks.

CIBC[1]https://quote.morningstar.ca/Quicktakes/owners/MajorShareholders.aspx?t=CM&region=CAN&culture=en-CA TD[2]http://quote.morningstar.ca/Quicktakes/owners/MajorShareholders.aspx?t=TD&region=CAN&culture=en-CA BMO[3]http://quote.morningstar.ca/Quicktakes/owners/MajorShareholders.aspx?t=BMO&region=CAN&culture=en-CA RBC[4]http://quote.morningstar.ca/Quicktakes/owners/MajorShareholders.aspx?t=RY&region=CAN&culture=en-CA BNS[5]http://quote.morningstar.ca/Quicktakes/owners/MajorShareholders.aspx?t=BNS&region=CAN&culture=en-CA
TD RBC RBC TD RBC
RBC CIBC TD RBC TD
BMO BMO CIBC CIBC CIBC

Capitalism is meant to bring about better services for cheaper thanks to competition. But what we get from Banks in Canada is ever increasing fees for rapidly deteriorating customer service[6]
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/banking-fees-profits-1.3629701
.

But it makes perfect sense. Why would the Big Five compete with each other when it doesn’t really matter who makes bigger profits as long each of them get a share of the spoils?

It’s all for one and one for all.

This arrangement works well for the CEOs of those banks, who make in a day what a teller makes in a year.

But it’s not great news for Canadians, and it’s not just about the gouging.

The employees from all five of Canada’s big banks have gone public about how they are “pressured to upsell, trick and even lie to customers to meet unrealistic sales targets and keep their jobs.”[7]http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/banks-upselling-go-public-1.4023575

All this extra money Canada’s big banks make translates to more jobs, but just not for Canadians. Even last week CIBC laid off 300 employees and forced them to train their replacements[8]http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/business/cibc-outsourcing-jobs-india-1.4045759
. CIBC CEOs excuse: “Companies that stand still don’t stand the test of time.”

And CIBC definitely not alone, as outsourcing is a common practice among the Big Five[9]http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/outsourcing-bank-jobs-is-common-practice-say-employees-1.1333814
.

The big banks are also helping wealthy individuals move wealthy individuals to move out of Canada and into tax havens[10]https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/09/21/1-tax-haven-3-of-canadas-biggest-banks-2000-offshore-companies.html
.

While the concept of the Big Five is an elaborate illusion of choice, Canadians are not without options.

More than five million Canadians are members of credit unions, which are owned by members and democratically controlled, where profits are reinvested in the community. The CIBC offshoring scandal, and CEO Dodig’s callous decision to defend the practice, have led to even more Canadians leaving big banks behind and moving their money credit unions[11]https://thinkpol.ca/2017/04/04/customers-abandon-cibc-after-bank-axes-canadian-workers-and-ships-jobs-to-india/.

Canada does not have five big banks. What we have is a five-headed hydra. The sooner we realize this and stop patronizing the big banks that are sucking the very lifeblood out of us, the sooner we can put an end to this daylight robbery.

References   [ + ]

1. https://quote.morningstar.ca/Quicktakes/owners/MajorShareholders.aspx?t=CM&region=CAN&culture=en-CA
2. http://quote.morningstar.ca/Quicktakes/owners/MajorShareholders.aspx?t=TD&region=CAN&culture=en-CA
3. http://quote.morningstar.ca/Quicktakes/owners/MajorShareholders.aspx?t=BMO&region=CAN&culture=en-CA
4. http://quote.morningstar.ca/Quicktakes/owners/MajorShareholders.aspx?t=RY&region=CAN&culture=en-CA
5. http://quote.morningstar.ca/Quicktakes/owners/MajorShareholders.aspx?t=BNS&region=CAN&culture=en-CA
6.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/banking-fees-profits-1.3629701
7. http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/banks-upselling-go-public-1.4023575
8. http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/business/cibc-outsourcing-jobs-india-1.4045759
9. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/outsourcing-bank-jobs-is-common-practice-say-employees-1.1333814
10. https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/09/21/1-tax-haven-3-of-canadas-biggest-banks-2000-offshore-companies.html
11. https://thinkpol.ca/2017/04/04/customers-abandon-cibc-after-bank-axes-canadian-workers-and-ships-jobs-to-india/

2 Responses to In capitalist Canada, banks rob you

  1. Chris B says:

    I do not understand why Canadians deal with the Big Five when there are so many solid, reputable credit unions around. I have accounts at Vancity and Coast Capital, and they both seem fine. They don’t, unfortunately, pay much interest on their saving and chequing accounts, but they’re still better than the Big Five.

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