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Banking in Canada

Feb 29th 2024

Banks and Insurance companies are not your friends any more. Seniors are having a more difficult time just existing in this world of fake news, artificial intelligence, constant phone calls with scam artists with new schemes to take what little we have. We feel as if we have been robbed at the grocery store and everywhere we shop. We can’t believe what we hear on the newscasts and if you are as skeptical as I have become you see how we are either lied to or kept from hearing what is really going on around us by schemers and censorship.

Insurance companies are disappearing, old reliable companies that we put our trust in all our lives. They are being gobbled up by multi-mega companies with weird names and hard-to-understand service reps. I remember as a boy answering the door to our Prudential man “Dick Dickout” his parents must have had a wonderful sense of humour.  He dropped in every month for his premium of .75 cents. Dick is gone and so has the service that we took forgranted.

Banks are another can of worms. We have been banking with the same company – no! - people – no! - corporation! - no, none of those names apply now, I would have to call the bank we are dealing with now, an entity. It is really the National Bank from Quebec and the 4th or 5th largest bank in Canada. It just announced its 1st quarter earnings for this year of $992 million.  I am glad they are doing well; however, their average depositor has been left high and dry. The National Bank of Canada, if it tracks as well for the next three quarters will show a profit of close to four billion dollars. However, to accomplish this phenomenal record, someone has to suffer. It is the mamma and pappa mostly senior depositors that in my case, and thousands more, have to drive over an hour to do personal banking. The branches in the Niagara peninsula have all been closed. My closest branch is in Hamilton. However, the --SERVICE -- charges are still in effect. Our former branch is now a POT shop selling what used to be illegal drugs. I think the bank machine is still there in the former lobby that for some reason can’t cash my insurance cheque because the slot is too small or the cheque is too big. It really doesn’t matter because after more than 40 years we have found a more civilized bank and are dealing there now. Let’s hope they do not put profit ahead of customer service.

Stephen Leacock wrote a great short story about his first banking experience in Orillia. You will find it in his book “Sunshine Sketches of a Small Town” The bank he dealt with could very well be in the same building where I was banking after retiring in Orillia. That is where this all got started.  I would kind of like to return to those more civilized times, but sadly, no such Luck!


Paul D. Scott.                   

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