06.07.2012 09:33 AM

Calling all creative and smart bankers

A family member with a very big and very steady source of income, and a property with tons of equity in it, is getting majorly jerked around by a major chartered bank. The only rational explanation for their behaviour is rank sexism – she’s a single mother.

Calling all smart bankers: if you want a big book of business, and lots of Warren goodwill, contact me directly or in comments.

Oh, and my readers will be watching, too. Most of them use banks.


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    Tiger says:

    Not a banker here, but has your family member thought of using a credit union?


    If it really is just the bankers being jerks, well, credit unions are around precisely for those who want a more personalized, less profit-driven relationship with their financial institution.

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      James Bow says:

      Exactly what I was going to say.

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    Kelly (@Usual5uspect) says:

    I cannot imagine single mom has anything to do with it. Likely it is the “steady income” part or something registered against the title. Use a mortgage broker.

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    mrburnsns says:

    Having worked at a bank the only club that branches really understand is lost deposit/mortgage business. Often it’s not even at the branch level where the problem exists, but further up the chain. That being said, if after pointing out the value of her business, her local banker/manager/area VP doesn’t know how to fix the problem (or is too lazy to) then it’s time to change banks. And out the bank responsible.

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    Chris P says:

    Start here:


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    Paul says:

    Dear Warren,

    I am a fairly recent ex-banker, having spent my entire career with the green one (actually a chunk of it with the orange trust company).

    After almost 30 years with them, their values evolved post-merger (2000-present) to a point that I could no longer stomach working for them. Total lack of common sense, lending by numbers with most decisions made by a computer algorithm. Trying to fight to change the rampant greed that reared it’s head from the corporate execs and the bank itself, from within, became a losing proposition.

    They eventually forced me out after treating me disrespectfully for about a year, trying to get me to quit so they wouldn’t have to deal with a severance situation. Again, greed rules the day.

    I started my own financial advising practice in partnership with London Life, and am much happier at the ability to help clients mostly on my own terms, without the corporation forcing me to nickel and dime my customers. I had always prided myself on my customer service, which to me seemed to become secondary to the bank & branch’s ability and desire to sell and collect service revenue.

    London Life does mortgages, and so much more.

    Contact me with more specific details if you would like my opinion on just how wrong they are treating your family member.

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      Warren says:

      Paul, you are awesome. I have passed along your deets. Thank you!

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      Russel says:

      TD is avaricious,, and Red Ed is a liar.

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      MedEditor says:

      Behaviour post merger also led me to run as far as possible from your former institution. Current major bank has been a fair dealer for the most part, despite some challenges my partner and I have had in recent years. (We’re poorer on paper than in reality, although the reality is still pretty tight owing to an ongoing illness that prevented my partner from working for the last few years before he turned 65. Now ask me my opinions about the CPC’s proposed changes to OAS and GIS. :-P)

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    JamesHalifax says:

    GEez…..sounds like they’re treating her like she’s the OCTOMOM or something…

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    CQ says:

    I’m a male, with/if a small meaningless income in Toronto and no property. The major banks – whenever I deal with them – always press their elbows into my back. I am their piece of shit, true.

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    Cynical says:

    Changing banks is a lot easier than most people think, and as a new customer you get lots of incentives and positive treatment. I don’t advocate it on a repeat basis, but if they piss you off enough, it is time to say bye-bye.

    I bailed on my Credit Union (after 30 years) when they started hiring people from the banking industry and implementing polices that I would have expected from the stuffier of the chartered banks, at a time when their loss rates were stupidly low because ALL their members were on payroll deposit from about four employers.

    Oddly, I got what I wanted at a chartered bank. A lot depends on the person you talk to, I think. I could not be happier with them, and my mortage rate is an embarrassment.

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    Tim Sullivan says:

    This Hour has 22 Minutes did a spoof on a bank’s commercials, the one where the person held a sign to say something like “my banker cares”. Rick Mercer, when he posed as the banker, held a sign “How much does your husband make”.

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    Theresa Shaver says:

    When I became a single mother in 1993 after over 10 years of dealing with RBC (mortgages, investments and RRSPs) and an excellent credit rating – i was stripped of the privileged bank package my husband and I had and was kicked back to the basic as it was on my salary alone. They continued to treat me like a second class citizen so I went to a credit union (Interior Savings) and have had much better treatment. My divorce lawyer told me that my life would stay at the same ‘financial’ level as it was before the divorce. Obviously he was a man – so it probably didn’t change for him. I feel for this single mom.

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    michael hale says:

    If people actually believe that being a single mom isn’t discriminated against, they are out to lunch. Raised by a single mom, I know what I’m talking about. To a bank, single mom=risk.

    Good luck to your friend and kudos to “Paul.” I hope he gets a ton of business and your friend gets treated like a human being.

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      Warren says:

      Ditto. Thanks brother

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      Take Dead Aim says:

      if only banking services these days were that customizable. they’re simply not these days.

      the sales targets for lowly bank staff are intense and the app is standardized and credit scored based on relatively generic inputed factors. there are no tick boxes for single moms or any other non-relevant factors. Given the change in culture in banks over the last 30 years (from service focused business to a sales focused business) the days of the bank manager being able to override the system are long gone.

      the existing bank sales staff would approve everything that crossed their desks if they could. that’s really their only measure of performance.

      case in point about not being able to ‘override’ the system: i’m employed by a bank, but my mortgage is with another bank, because i got a better rate their than the ‘discounted staff rate’ available at my bank.

      an employee that knows the staff can’t get an exception, that’s like working for walmart but buying your stuff at target because you employee discount still doesn’t price compare.

      the solution is to ALWAYS walk your business across the street. an institution hungry for new business will do more than one that already has it in this day and age.

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    W the K - No, not Warren says:

    Call the president of the bank. No, I’m not kidding. A major bank wanted to charge us a king’s ransom to transfer an existing mortgage to new property. Essentially what it would cost to break it. We were prepared to pay the penalty and move our business elsewhere. The branch wouldn’t budge.

    My wife called the president’s office and left a courteous, professional, informed, principled, but firm message expressing our dissatisfaction. The call was returned the next day by a female staffer who exhibited all those character traits in a conversation with my wife. Within 24 hours all the fees we complained about were waived. They kept our business – just.

    I thought we were tilting at windmills but it worked. And it (well, my wife) taught me a lesson in dealing with intimidating authority figures in the banking world. Always be cool, informed and principled. Combine that with your family member’s income and work record and she’ll get what she wants. Especially if the bank sees there is money to be made.

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    CM says:

    Check out Manulife’s ManulifeOne product. Very clever financing instrument that saves tons of interest, and provides full service banking without having to go with one of the big five.

    They will only lend up to 80% of the value of the home, and will only sell the product through financial advisors (prequalified, so lower risk).

    Happy to provide more details if you like, and I have no pecuniary interest.


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    Geoffrey Laxton says:

    Just thought that you may be interested.


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      deb says:

      awesome, john’s gone ska, and hes a sheep farmer now, lol. I do like the song thanks for linking GL

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    kenn2 says:

    Good service is valuable, but some banks don’t get it and until more customers lose their quivering fear of chartered banks and move their money around, banks will continue to drop the ball.

    We (mostly) moved over to a big red bank when they offered a pretty attractive all-in-one package that included a line of credit, a few different accounts, and no-cost rollover from LoC to mortgage, all at a sweet, sweet rate. it was ideal for financing a renovation.

    We’re still with them because the branch still treats us well, and we don’t have to beg to get the preferential rates. No, we’re not rich.

    YMMV, as the kids say.

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    Brian Topp says:


    I agree with tiger above.

    Your family member should join a credit union, is my advice. check out creative arts savings and credit union, if she’s anywhere near a creative industry (we should let banks merge, perhaps. Then there would be fewer of them and they would be easier to replace).

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      Warren says:

      Thanks brother

      Boy, they should’ve picked you

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