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How do Banks Differentiate Themselves? (continued)

Continuing on from yesterday’s post about how banks differentiate themselves.

Insurance

Banks now are offering insurance on their websites and at the branch, which makes them more of a “one-stop shopping” for financial services, which is a good service for them (for customer retention). I know I am guilty of using this “convenience” service to get quotes for various insurances when I need to, and I may buy Tenant’s insurance for my daughter (after reading an excellent article by Rob Carrick in the Globe and Mail, about the importance of having Renters Insurance if you are a student).

Always get many quotes to get your cheapest insurance. However, Banks are now in the insurance business so remember to avail yourself of this service.

Investing Services

Pretty much each major bank also offers investment services for their customers (either actual stock purchases, ETF’s, Index funds or crappy Mutual funds). I use TD’s investment service, which seems competitive, but I have heard that you can get better deals with these services if you shop around, or have a lot of money invested with them (which makes sense). Are any of these services head and shoulders better than their competition? I have no idea, anybody care to voice an opinion on this point?

Free Banking

OK, only 1 or 2 offer “free” banking (EQ, and PC Financial are the two I can think of), and that is the major differentiator that I can see for banking. If you can get your banking services for free, that is a major differentiator for any bank (and if you are paying too much for your banking that should be a differentiator as well). I have already ranted about this topic enough times, but remember you don’t have to pay $25 a month to a bank for the privilege of using their services! Paying $30 for cheques is even worse!

What else?

Are there other services or things that would cause someone to prefer one bank over another? Any and all opinions or comments are invited.

Free Banking

Of course, there are plenty of folks that offer free banking

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