BIG FIVE BANKS employees speak out about deplorable sales tactics… and it’s gone viral!

A news story from CBC has gone viral.   The BANK employees are under tremendous pressure to sell YOU products.  They will say and do almost anything, according to the CBC news article.

For those of us working in Financial Services, this is old news.   Stories of high pressures sales and tied selling has been going on for over two decades.   Sales targets were introduced to the retail branch network in the ’90s.  It was the beginning of a new sales culture.  Prior to this, bank tellers and account managers had always worked with a ‘soft sell’ approach.  They were there to help and service your needs.  This was about to change forever.

Your bank teller is now scanning your financial profile to see if they can up sell you some bank product.   Last week, my son and I were in the TD Bank and they informed my son he was preapproved for a TD Visa card..  of course, there was a small annual fee… so we can add to the BANK’s $billion profits!

Now we are seeing Mobile Mortgage Reps working for Banks.  They come to your home or business.  They are paid on a commission basis.   Think about it. How can anyone expect them to be unbiased?   They can only sell you one brand and one range of products.  Are all mortgage products the same?   They can never truly provide neutral advice or recommend other brands.

It will be interesting to see if this issue gets swept under the rug or if it will become a big stink.  The BIG FIVE BANKS rank in the top EIGHT largest corporations in Canada.  And last year, RBC was the first Canadian corporation to report over $10billion in net profit.

Hmm, I wonder how they make all that money, year after year, after year, after year.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

BIG SIX BANKs report obscene RECORD $34billion in profits for 2015…and still complaining!

greedy banker It’s that time of the year again..  The Banks have to report their annual profits.. And no surprise, the BIG SIX BANKS are at it again..

RBC reported a $10billion annual profit for 2015.  This is the first time a Canadian company reported an annual $10billion profit.  Yet, at the same time, they are crying the blues and warning of troubled times ahead. (uh, that’s the same speech they’ve made for the past 10 years.. here’s a 2013 headline).  GIVE ME A BREAK!!!  Canadians aren’t buying it anymore..

Check out the obscene profits pulled in by the rest of the BIG SIX BANKS..

Read the rest of this entry »

Banks raise mortgage rates

RBC-BankRBC is raising their rates… As expected, fixed mortgage rates have gone up.  RBC is the first of the BIG SIX to raise their rates.  RBC’s 4 yr rate special will go to 3.09% from 2.99% and their 5 yr rate special will go to 3.29% from 2.99%.

Of course, these are NOT the best rates in the wholesale mortgage market, nor are they the best fixed rate products.  But RBC is the largest mortgage lender in Canada, so we must take note.   This rate increase is no surprise.  As reported on May 13th and May 28th, bond yields had increased over 30bps in May.  A rate increase was imminent.

Wholesale mortgage rates started to go up a few weeks ago.  And as of June 10th, all Lenders will have increased their rates by around 10bps.

Remember, 5 yr fixed rates are still below 3.00%.  I don’t think there is any reason to panic.  We can expect the other BIG SIX banks to follow with their own rate increases.  Fixed rates are closely tied to the Canadian govt bond yields.   And with the stock market in the U.S. hitting unexpected record highs, and the our own Toronto Stock market making significant gains, it was only a matter of time before rates moved.  Economists still believe rates won’t go up quickly.  It will take time for rates to go up significantly.

Your best interest is my only interest.

As always, I welcome your comments, calls and questions.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

More dumb Bank ads.. but they won’t fool us.

Are you watching the Stanley Cup playoffs?  Year of the underdogs…  I’m a huge hockey fan and although my favorite teams are out of it, I’m still watching… and I’m still willing to put up with the commercials… but some of these ads are rubbing me the wrong way.

Like most TV ads, the truth can be exaggerated…  Take the Old Spice commercial…  “I will have big muscles and cool hair”…. have you seen that one?   My son loves it… makes me laugh too….

But when we’re dealing with something more important, like your money and your mortgage, the truth shouldn’t be cryptic….   The ‘BIG SIX BANK’ ads, bother me… I’ll explain. 

A few years ago, during the Olympics, RBC hit us with a commercial that showed a young couple searching for homes.. Their RBC mortgage rep recommended they split their mortgage “part variable and part fixed…  to save money.”  Remember that one?  click here to view it.   I strongly criticized this product and the so-called advice because it didn’t make sense to break up the mortgage…. Fast forward to today…. My criticism was well justified….Anyone that listened to my warnings would have saved money… Anyone that took this RBC product lost out… Clearly, that was NOT the right product to ‘save money’.

This year it’s BMO….We can’t seem to escape these ads.   How does it go again? .. A young couple are shopping for a home, walk through the bedroom and into the closet, when they magically appear in the BMO BLUE ROOM with a BMO Banker…

They want to pay their mortgage faster…   Have no fear, the BMO Banker is here to the rescue with their pearls of wisdom…  The Banker says, “we can help…by restructuring your payments and getting you into a low-rate fixed mortgage, you’ll pay your mortgage off sooner“…  Wow!  That’s GREAT!!   The young couple are excited… Cue the music!!

Now let’s decode this cryptic message…   ‘restructuring your payment’….  What could the Banker possibly mean?   No mystery folks… It means you must increase your payments.  Yes, that’s all it means…There is only one way to pay your mortgage faster…. increase your payments or make at least one lump sum payment annually… click to here to read about the bi-weekly payment myth.

The Banker continues and says ‘…..getting you into a low-rate fixed mortgage, you’ll pay your mortgage off sooner’.   This must be some magical product… it sounds great…!    Uh, no.. guess again.  Let me give you the straight goods…… BMO refers to their NO FRILLS mortgage as their ‘low-rate mortgage’.   That’s quite misleading if you ask me.   So once again I am issuing a STRONG WARNING.    For the record, this is probably the worst mortgage product you could ever take, in my opinion.  It’s just slick marketing…

You can’t pay the mortgage out for 5 years, without selling your home…..meaning you can only refinance with BMO but there is no obligation for BMO to give you the any future discount, let alone the best discount…..you have limited prepayment options…… and let’s not forget, the infamous BIG SIX Bank penalty calculation….we’ve seen how this one has cost borrowers $20k, $30k and even $40k in penalties!.. click here to read more about how BIG SIX Banks calculate penalties.

The Banks have deep pockets and spend hundreds of $$millions on ads…  It’s up to the little guys, like me, to tell it like it is…  Hey, I won’t promise you good looks and cool hair, but I can promise you to tell it like I see it… There are better mortgages available… Better terms, rates, privileges and options and ultimately, these better options will SAVE you money on your mortgage.   That’s our goal… to pay the least amount of money to own our homes.   Don’t get fooled by a flashy low rate… Rate is important but it isn’t everything.   These aren’t opinions, these are facts.  Just do some research or speak with an unbiased professional.  Speak with a Mortgage Broker.

As always, let me know if I can help… and feel free to send this article to someone you think could benefit from it…

Steve Garganis

steve@mortgagenow.ca

416 224 0114

Mortgage wars end?…only for the BIG SIX Banks…

March 29th, 2012 is going to be remembered as the day when the BIG SIX Banks ended their Mortgage War.   Well, at least for now.  Rates are up around 0.50% at Retail Branches of the BIG SIX  Banks.  (don’t worry, Mortgage Broker rates haven’t gone up that much and are lower than any of the so-called discounted or special rates advertised by the BIG SIX Banks.)

In what was an unprecedented, public fight for your mortgage, the BIG SIX Banks pulled down their pants and showed how low they can really go with their rates.   We saw BMO come out with their 2.99% NO FRILLS mortgage… ( a product we wouldn’t recommend to anyone due to it’s restrictions, limitations and penalty calculations).    Unfortunately, too many borrowers don’t look beyond the rate and have signed on for this product..   They will have to deal with the consequences in the years to come.

RBC fired back with a pretty good rate of 2.99% for 4 years… It didn’t have the restrictions or limitations but it still had that unfair penalty calculation.   RBC also took some public shots at the BMO product, through the media and their own website.   It was great to see some real competition take place among our BIG BANKS.    There is always a winner in this war.   You the borrower.

TD, Scotiabank, National Bank and CIBC all followed with a similar 4 year fixed rate at 2.99%.   But they still had that same penalty calculation formula I absolutely don’t like.

Canadian lenders appear to be extremely slow to pass on changes in the Bank Rate to their customers.”  Anyone remember that quote?  That’s a direct quote from the Bank of Canada review entitled ‘Competition in the Canadian Mortgage Market’.

Here’s another one from the same report “borrowers who use a mortgage broker pay less, on average, than borrowers who negotiate with lenders directly”.

The good news about all this rate war stuff is that we saw even better mortgage products being offered through the Mortgage Broker channel.  Remember these quotes the next time you are shopping for a mortgage.

CMHC forecasts a healthy housing market for 2012-13…. but fixed mortgage rates have started to climb.

CMHC issued a report that says the economy will expand at a moderate pace over the next few years, as reported in The Spectator.  The Bank of Canada should also keep it’s trend setting rate low until mid 2013.    This means Variable mortgage and secured lines of credit rates will remain low.

The report also says the average house price in Canada is expected to hit $368,900 this year.  But, a closer look at the Greater Toronto Area market shows that house prices are climbing much faster.   A lack of supply and a pent up demand, together with record low interest rates are fueling price increases.   Reports of homes being sold above asking are popping up outside of Toronto.. including Milton, Georgetown, Oakville, Burlington and Hamilton.

If you’re in the market for a home, my advice would be to not wait til the Spring market.  The market is now.  Experienced realtors are telling me they have priced a 5% increase in the first 2 months of 2012.  Waiting could cost homebuyers $18,000 or more.

FIXED MORTGAGE RATEShave started to climb.  Earlier this week we saw RBC and TD pull their special mortgage rate offers…   BIG SIX Banks don’t like to compete in the wholesale mortgage market with mortgage brokers… when these 2 banks realized no other BIG SIX bank was offering this rate, they quickly withdrew the offer…   read this article...  the BIG SIX banks are calling a truce?   What does that mean…?  Don’t you want your banks to compete?  And that last paragraph by BMO’s Frank Techar is priceless.. “We went to 2.99 per cent to draw attention to the benefits of having a mortgage with a maximum amortization of 25 years”.   This does make me a laugh a little… BMO’s NO FRILLS mortgage was a way to gain market share and entice borrowers into a restricted and closed mortgage product…  Mortgage Brokers already had access to this rate and a NO FRILLS product through another lender… but it’s not a great product and the restrictions are costly…Most brokers will not recommend or even offer this product to their clients.

The ripple effects of this ‘truce’ are that wholesale mortgage rates have started to climb… ING and National Bank have also increased their rates.  This could be temporary but if the Greeks get their act together and the U.S. economy starts to improve, we will see rate hikes….  My advice is get your mortgage preapproval now…. These are historical low interest rates…  I’m not sure they will be here for much longer.

 

RBC raises their Variable rate mortgage pricing.

Earlier this year, we saw a few lenders raise their Variable rate pricing from Prime less 0.75% to Prime less 0.50%…. Most other lenders did not follow.. But it made us wonder if there was some concern that the Bank of Canada might hold off on any increases in the  Bank Prime this year, as was widely forecast by most Experts….

Sure enough, the recent stock market collapse, the European and US debt crisis has put any potential rate hikes on the back burner with most Economists forecasting for no increases until next year…

Fast forward to today… The Financial Post reported that RBC would increase their pricing from Prime less 0.65% to Prime less 0.45%.   This move would indicate that the RBC Economists think the Bank of Canada is not in any hurry to raise the Prime rate…. or they believe the BOC may even lower the rate at some point…

Mortgage Brokers still have access to better priced Variable rate products through their wholesale channels but will other Lenders raise their pricing in the coming weeks?   We’ll be watching and will let you know…

 

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