CIBC Makes its Banking Services Less Comfortable

-By Helen Ackerley | [email protected]

The fifth-largest bank in Canada has decided to part ways with the largest Canadian retailer. CIBC will take over the PC Financial business from Loblaws. PC Financial has been offering customers no-fee banking for years, and although the fee-less banking is expected to continue, the deal isn't adding any immediate benefits to customers.

Bank accounts and services will stay the same, but new changes coming into effect will impact customers, who have gotten the short end of the stick in this deal.

  • PC Financial will change its name to Simplii and will rebrand its debit cards. Credit cards which earn valuable PC points will remain the same for the time being. However Debit cards will no longer earn customers PC points for free groceries.

  • On November 1st 2017, all banking services offered at former PC Financial pavilions will be removed. The services will still be available by phone.

  • On November 1st 2017, the conveniently-located ATM machines which reside inside Loblaws locations will be removed in phases.

The latter will create a disruption to customers who value the convenience of doing their banking while picking up groceries, as the two services were conveniently intertwined. However, this will end, and customers will have to scour the city in search for other ATM machines.

Furthermore, it is still uncertain whether or not CIBC will up the fees across former PC Financial customers and try to turn the business into a cash cow. There is plenty of upside for CIBC who has been offering free checking and savings accounts, and free cheques, to raise the price on consumers.

"We are excited about the future and our ability to create new products to serve Canadians," Lana Gogas, a PC spokesperson said.

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