The Big Banks Dig Deeper In To Your Wallet

RBC main branch in Sault Ste. Marie

If you’re a customer of one of the big five banks, you’re either now paying more or will be soon on basic banking needs.

All of the major banks, TD, Scotiabank, RBC and Bank of Montreal and CIBC are raising bank fees that could see you paying as much as $12 to $40 extra depending on the banking package you have and how many times you use your debit card.

The move is expected to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars for the banks who already post record profits.

The country’s largest bank, RBC is last to increase rates , expected to go into effect on June 1. Others have been in the process since January 1 of this year. RBC has about 18 million customers.

The fees charged by banks for chequing and savings account, mortgage fees and ATM usage net RBC about $1.5 billion in profit annually. Account fees contribute about 5 percent of all revenue for RBC according to reports.  Most fees charged by banks are considered highly profitable and yield large margins.

Bank charges are not the only thing changing at the big banks, new fees and  adjustments to senior service banking fees have also been introduced. Some banks have raised the age for senior accounts from 60 to 65 years of age. Some banks will waive some fees each month if a minimum balance of $5,000 is left in your account.

According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian pays about $185 yearly on bank fees.

Some tips on saving money on bank fees include never use an ATM machine that is not owned by your bank. New fees charged at a machine other than your banks range from $1.50 to $3.00 plus your bank will charge another $1.50 . That’s $4.50 in total to access your money.

Check to see what package you have. Not all packages include unlimited transactions, if your package doesn’t, you could be paying an extra .65 cents or more over the transaction limit for the month. Most packages include about 50 transactions (cheques, deposits, debit machine) if you go over that limit it can quickly add up.

Get in the habit of using the cash back feature of  debit cards. Many stores allow you to take extra money when you’re purchasing, this alone will cut down on debit card transactions.

In 2014, the big banks combined saw profits of $31.7 Billion