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Home Capital's problems have resulted in money flying out of the high-rate savings accounts offered by subsidiaries Home Trust, Home Bank and Oaken Financial. But where is it going?
If it's to the safety of the big banks, then people are going to have to settle for much lower returns. Oaken paid 1.75 per cent as of early this week, while Home Bank and Home Trust paid 1 per cent. The best the big banks were offering was 0.5 per cent. Trying to strike a compromise between security and better rates? Let's look at a few options chosen because they:
- Are members of Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., as are the Home Capital subsidiaries.
- Are owned by diversified financial institutions; Home Capital is an alternative mortgage lender specializing in clients who may not qualify for traditional mortgages because they are self-employed, new to the country or have less than ideal credit histories.
- Offer rates above the big banks.
- Offer regular accounts as well as TFSAs.
Here are three options to consider:
1.) President's Choice Financial and Tangerine: Both offer 0.8 per cent on savings, which is only a small gain over the banks. That's because both actually are banks – Tangerine is owned by Bank of Nova Scotia, while PC Financial is a joint venture between Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and the Loblaw Cos., the supermarket chain. Tangerine is big on offering limited-time interest rate bonuses, so definitely ask about this. Consider Tangerine and PC as safe as their parent banks.
2.) ZAG Bank: Desjardins Group, the Quebec-based financial services giant, owns this low-profile online bank. There's an emphasis here on mobile banking via smartphone or tablet, and the rate is 1.65 per cent.
3.) Alterna Bank: A relatively new player in the high rate savings business, this offshoot of credit union Alterna Savings pays 1.90 per cent on savings. Yes, Alterna Bank is a member of CDIC (listed as CS Alterna Bank).
If your nerves are shot after bailing out of accounts associated with Home Capital, consider dropping the money into a big bank savings account while you get your bearings, shop around and wait to see how the Home Capital situation affects other alternative banks and trust companies. Interest rates are pretty thin at best these days, so parking your money at a bank won't cost you much for a month or two.