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Canada’s best online banking experience will not be found at an online bank.

Big banks rule in a new ranking of online banking options available in the Canadian market. “The Big 5 Banks are simply better than all the rest,” the rating firm Surviscor says in summarizing its comparison of 25 big banks, alternative banks and credit unions.

Royal Bank of Canada takes top spot, followed by Bank of Nova Scotia and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The top credit union was Coast Capital Savings, ranked seventh. Tangerine, an online bank owned by Scotiabank, came in ninth, while CIBC-owed Simplii Financial ranked 11th.

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Let’s get real about day-to-day banking – credit unions and alternative banks operating online beat the big banks easily if you want no-fee chequing or the best rate on savings. But according to Surviscor, the big banks have stepped up their digital offerings in the pandemic and have a clear edge over the competition in offering an easy-to-use online banking experience.

Some key findings:

  • The majority of Canadian credit union customers “receive sub-par online banking experiences;”
  • Alternative banks are using social platforms and paid influencers to build up products that are not as good as what the big banks offer from an online banking point of view;
  • RBC dominated the competition with a rating of 99 per cent.

If you’re thinking of moving some or all of your banking business, give these ratings a look. Low fees and better interest are perfectly valid reasons for changing banks, but you’ll enjoy them less if your new bank’s digital services don’t make the grade.


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Rob’s personal finance reading list

10-year mortgages, anyone?

The 10-year term isn’t talked about much, but one bank is offering them today at a very attractive rate.

‘Nobody wants to buy a condo’

The condo market in Toronto is in rough shape. Here’s how it could negatively affect the market for detached homes, which is still going strong.

What did your adviser tell you about CPP?

An actuary on how investment advisers may be conflicted when recommending a start date for Canada Pension Plan retirement benefits to clients. People who delay CPP may draw down on their investments, which could mean less fee-related compensation for the adviser.

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‘The whole thing was weird, but so was crypto’

The epic story of an investing scam in the crypto-currency world. Insights here into how people are duped.


Today’s financial tool

Just the thing for people feeling anxious about heading into a grocery store during a pandemic – the Spot It app. Tell it your location and it will provide a list of local stores with maps that will help you find what you need and get the heck out. You can also keep track of what’s on sale at various stores.


The money-free zone

To this list of the 30 best comedy movies of all time I would add the 1967 Mel Brooks version of The Producers.


ICYMI

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories
  • Some year-end tax strategies for employees
  • Be wary of the risks of using buy now, pay later programs for small purchases, experts warn (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)
  • Snowbirds take to the air to cross closed Canada-U.S. land border, despite government warnings (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

More Rob Carrick and money coverage

Subscribe to Stress Test on Apple podcasts or Spotify. For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.

Even more coverage from Rob Carrick:

Are you reading this newsletter on the web or did someone forward the e-mail version to you? If so, you can sign up for Carrick on Money here.

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