Once again, President’s Choice Financial has become the only option for Canadians wanting a free chequing account. Citizen’s Bank of Canada, which launched a no-fee chequing account just last fall, is shutting the doors on most retail products:
We’re moving to a more streamlined business model that focuses on our strengths—our successful Visa* credit card and prepaid card business for consumers, and our equally popular foreign exchange services for non-retail clients.
As a result, we’ll no longer offer savings and loans products. The bank will become a non-deposit taking bank and thus, is selling most of its residential mortgages, consumer loans and real estate secured lines of credit to The Toronto-Dominion Bank (“TD Canada Trust”). Depositors in B.C. can choose to move their accounts to comparable products within our parent company, Vancity Credit Union. Depositors outside of B.C. can choose an EasySwitch™ option with TD Canada Trust.
The affected products are Chequing, Savings and US Dollar Accounts, Term Deposits, Registered Accounts and Business Accounts. As noted in the press release, the majority of personal loans and mortgages have been sold to TD Canada Trust but Citizen’s Bank is keeping the Unsecured Line of Credit and Visa card businesses.
The press release also noted that online banking has become a “crowded marketplace”. While it is true that a lot of online banks offer competitive savings accounts, chequing accounts can hardly be called “crowded” considering PC Financial is the only other player.