Monday, June 12, 2017

Canada’s big banks defend themselves at parliamentary committee #ForTherecord #BMO #TWU #Money #Investing #Finance #Mortgage # MoveMyMoney #BMOfiasco

Bloggers note : the push back was so perfect.. so well unequivocal.\

#ForTherecord #BMO #TWU #Money #Investing #Finance #Mortgage # MoveMyMoney #BMOfiasco

Canada’s big banks defend themselves at parliamentary committee

The country’s major financial institutions have faced allegations of questionable sales tactics, with employees saying they were pressured to sell unnecessary products to clients.

OTTAWA—Canada’s big banks defended their business practices Monday before a parliamentary committee that’s been exploring allegations of questionable sales methods at major financial institutions.
The committee launched the hearings following media reports citing unnamed employees at the five largest banks who alleged they were pressured to sell unnecessary products and services in order to boost profits and meet difficult-to-reach sales objectives.
Representatives of the country’s largest banks strongly denied that such accusations were part of their cultures.
Yet most acknowledged that occasional cases of inappropriate behaviour are possible, since the financial institutions are massive operations with many client interactions.
The bank officials represented CIBC, Scotiabank, TD, BMO, RBC and the National Bank of Canada, which was not named in the series of reports by the CBC.
They all insisted the needs of their customers always come first, which they argued was a crucial ingredient for a successful banking business.
The bankers also say they enforce codes of conduct, invite staff and client feedback through confidential channels, regularly offer fresh training for employees and are determined to address any inappropriate sales behaviour.
They all said the allegations that appeared in the reports are unacceptable and that all issues with client interactions are taken seriously.
Andrew Pilkington, TD’s executive vice-president of branch banking, said after the allegations emerged, he travelled to his company’s locations across Canada to find out if employees felt intense pressure to sell.

“Our employees — the vast majority — feel that’s just not the case,” Pilkington said.
“We’re not saying we’re perfect, in fact, this is a good time for us to stop, pause, reflect (and) see what else we can do to actually strengthen our controls so that we can absolutely mitigate the risk that you’re talking about.”
Andrew Auerbach, an executive vice-president for BMO, told the committee his bank would never suggest selling products that are not appropriate for the customer.
“It’s just not consistent with who we are as a company,” Auerbach said, adding that when instances of inappropriate behaviour are identified, they’re thoroughly investigated, case by case, and action is taken.
The CBC said that after its initial report, it received nearly 1,000 emails from employees of the five largest banks. The workers alleged in the emails that they felt pushed to “upsell, trick and even lie to customers” to reach goals constantly tracked by their employers.
“Issues that came to light in the media have never, ever been mentioned, to me anyways, through my tours through the banking centre network,” said Scott Wambolt, senior vice-president for CIBC.
“There are a number of checks and balances in the system to make sure that if an employee or a customer feels that something inappropriate has happened that they can raise the issue through a number of different channels.”
James McPhedran, a Scotiabank executive vice-president, testified that his bank always makes it clear to employees that it does not compromise its ethics to meet sales or other targets.
“Adherence to our code of conduct is non-negotiable,” he said.
Kirk Dudtschak, an executive vice-president for RBC, told the committee his bank doesn’t take for granted the role it plays in the lives of its employees and clients.
The committee has already heard from Financial Consumer Agency of Canada commissioner Lucie Tedesco. Her agency has launched a review of bank business practices and she said the initial findings are due by the end of the year.
Tedesco said if the review discovers that laws were broken, her agency will conduct investigations and take any necessary enforcement measures, which could include penalties against the financial institutions.

Last week, the committee heard allegations through first- and second-hand accounts made by former bank employees that workers feel pressure to hit unreasonable sales goals, entice clients into raising their credit-card limits and offer mortgages beyond what clients can reasonably afford.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Top 10 # 3 DEBACLE 10 Questions Canadians Should Ask Themselves About Bank Pro
Bloggers note: AS A MATTER OF INFORMATION only JUST LOOK AT THE 10 Questions
this is from a few years back  no action required .-

see also BANKING    


10 Questions Canadians Should Ask Themselves About Bank Profits

CCRC homepage  /  Search CCRC website  / News Releases  /  Summary of Recommendations  /  Action Alert  /
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Donate online now to support bank accountability in Canada
(NOTE: The link takes you to's donation page for the Democracy Education Network (DEN),
a member group of the CCRC whose "Corporate Responsibility Fund" supports the CCRC's activities)

    "Canadian banks do not operate in an unregulated environment. Over the years, they have benefited a great deal from the protection of the Bank Act. And that is one reason why Canadian banks have been so stable and secure compared to American financial institutions. I believe it is time for the banks to give something back."
     Excerpt from a speech by Jean Chr├ętien, (February 11, 1993)
    "If you take a look at the history of this country, in every small town in Canada there has been a bank.  Most small towns are desperately fighting tohold on to those bank branches.  Obviously, the financial sector permeates every part of your life from your credit to your credit card."
    The Hon. Paul Martin
    (on CTV's Sunday Edition, April 19, 1998)
Canada's big five banks (Royal Bank, CIBC, Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust) are the largest corporations in Canada, based on the value of their assets.  These five banks control 70% of all deposit-taking assets in Canada, 80% of small business lending, over 80% of the assets (and all but a few of the large firms) in the investment brokerage industry, all but two of the large trust companies, and a majority of consumer credit and mortgage lending. 

Canada's big six banks reported record annual profits in 2010 totalling $21.15 billion (up 32% from $14.34 billion in 2009).  Their annual profits are more than 5 times higher than in 1994 (when they were $4.04 billion). 

Below are 10 questions Canadians should ask themselves about what banks are doing with our money, and whether their record profits are justified.  If you don't like the answers, you have an opportunity to make your voice heard.  The federal Bank Act is currently under review, and changes will be made over the next year. 

Write to the federal Finance Minister and your Member of Parliament (MP) and ask them to push for bank accountability reforms in Canada (To see a sample letter, click here). No postage is necessary and the address is:  House of Commons
Ottawa, Canada K1A 0A6.

1. Should Canada's big five banks be concerned primarily about their shareholders?
The banks always say that their primary concern is to give their shareholders a good return on their investment.  However, the money over 20 million Canadians (and Canadian businesses) have deposited in the banks makes up 95% of the total capital base of the banks, while shareholder investments total only 5%.  Given that the banks would not exist without depositors' savings, isn't it time they paid more attention to depositors' concerns, including the concerns set out below? 

2. Are Canada's big banks good corporate citizens, as they claim?
The banks claim that Canadians should be happy with their high profits because banks contribute to the Canadian economy by paying workers, suppliers, shareholders, taxes, and donating to charities.  However, most other large companies contribute in similar ways to the economy, and many Canadians pay taxes at a higher rate, and donate a larger portion of their annual income to charities, than do the banks.  

Whether or not banks are good corporate citizens should be based upon whether they serve Canadians and the Canadian economy well in their central activities of providing access to capital (especially for job creation) and adequate banking services for all Canadians. 

3. Do Canada's big banks serve people and businesses trying to create jobs well?
The answer to this question remains largely unknown because the banks have refused, for the past several years, to disclose detailed information about how many people apply for loans to start-up or expand a business, how many the banks reject, and the reasons for the rejections.  The federal government has refused to require the banks to disclose this information. 

 Without it, we cannot determine whether the banks are meeting the demand for business loans.  We do know that of the banks' total lending to business of about $600 billion, only 3% is small business lending (loans under $100,000), while 77% goes to big business in loans over $5 million.  The small and medium-sized business sector has created 90% of the jobs in Canada since 1983, and employs half of all working Canadians.  If banks do not meet small businesses' demand for capital, they prevent jobs from being created. 

4. Do Canada's banks discriminate against women, minorities, and people with low incomes?
As above, banks have refused to disclose detailed information about their lending to women, minorities, in low-income neighbourhoods or specific regions of Canada.  Without this information, it is not possible to determine whether banks discriminate in their provision of services to specific groups, or communities, in the country.  

We do know that over 600,000 Canadians, many with low incomes, have no bank account and inadequate access to other banking services.  National surveys have shown that a major cause of this problem is that banks' require identification for opening accounts and cashing cheques (even government cheques) that people with low incomes or on social assistance often do not have. 

5. Do the banks have adequate complaint-handling services?
Canada's big banks have all set up ombudsman offices to handle complaints from customers (mainly small businesses).  In addition, the banks have together set up a national ombudsman office (with the federal government's approval) and they claim that these offices adequately handle complaints.  However, all of these offices are fatally-flawed because the ombudsmen are all selected, paid and directed by the banks, and cannot overrule any of the banks' decisions.  

Surveys have also shown that over 40% of bank tellers do not know that their bank has a complaint handling process.  In contrast, Britain has an independent bank ombudsman who can require banks to pay compensation for losses suffered by customers from unjustifiable bank actions. 

6. Do the banks gouge Canadians with service charges?
Many Canadians suspect that they are being gouged by banks, especially by electronic banking charges (such as the extra charge of $1-2 for using another bank's bank machine). 

 However, we don't know whether banks are gouging consumers because they refuse to disclose how much it costs them to provide their services compared to how much they charge, and the government has refused to require disclosure of this information.  Canadians have a right to know this information because it is our money that allows banks to exist. 

7. Why are bank credit card interest rates still so high?
The Bank of Canada's lending rate to the banks is at its lowest level in decades (about 2%).  However, banks have kept some of their credit card interest rates high (up to 19%) for a record high gap of 17%.  Banks claim that they have to keep their rates high because of the costs of consumer fraud, bankruptcies, and replacing lost or stolen cards.  

 However, the banks refuse to disclose what their actual costs are for their credit card operations, as compared to how much they make from these divisions. The federal government has not required disclosure of this information. Without this information, Canadians cannot determine whether banks gouge us with high credit card interest rates. 

8. How have Canada's banks profited from the deficit?
Before 1992, banks were required to keep a percentage of their deposits on reserve with the Bank of Canada.  This reserve was security against any unexpected rush of withdrawals, and meant that the Bank of Canada played a central role in creating the money supply.  

The reserve requirement was lowered through the 1980s and then eliminated by the federal government in 1992 as the banks persuaded the government that the requirement was like a tax on them.  The elimination of the reserve requirement allowed the big banks to increase their holdings of the federal debt from $20 billion (6.1% of the total) in 1990 to $85 billion (17.3%) in 1995.  

 The Bank of Canada has lowered its debt holdings from over 20% in 1980 down to 5.1% of the total debt ($24 billion) in 1995.  The Bank of Canada's reduced debt holdings have added close to $80 billion in interest payments on the federal debt between 1978 and 1995.  Without a reinstated reserve requirement, the Bank of Canada's share of the money supply, its holdings of the federal debt, and its clout in financial markets will continue to decrease.  This will both cost the federal government more money (in interest paid on the debt) and also has grave implications for Canada's economic sovereignty. 

9. Is the government doing enough to ensure Canadians can hold banks accountable?
The federal government has talked a lot about banks' responsibility to all their customers, big and small.  However, the government has done little to ensure that banks meet a high standard of service to Canadians and the Canadian economy.  As detailed above, the federal government has not required banks to disclose key information about their lending so Canadians can determine if banks adequately support job-creating businesses, or discriminate against specific groups or communities.  

The government has approved the banks' ombudsmen even though they all lack independence and have no enforcement powers.  And the government has not required banks to disclose essential information which would reveal whether they are gouging consumers with charges and credit card interest rates. 

10. What can you do to help push for bank accountability in Canada?
The federal Bank Act is currently under review by the federal government.  Write to the federal Finance Minister and your MP and ask them to solve the problems set out above by enacting strong bank accountability measures, and by preventing big bank mergers that will hurt Canadians, communities, and small- and medium-sized businesses.  No postage is necessary and the address is: House of Commons Ottawa, Canada K1A 0A6. 

Join Canadians across the country in the push for bank accountability. All together we can make a difference.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Banks should stick to Banking TOP 10 REASON #3 THE DEBACLE #BMO will go down. #Money #Investing #Finance #Mortgage #stockmarket #retweet #Christians #TWU

"Without Prejudice" Soon you will hear "Peace and Security" Those who have ears Hear .... Those who have eyes See .... Read the Signs of the Times ..... For the time is here when investors and bankers will not tolerate sound advise... And they will flock to hear charlatans and wander off after their demise... BMO should have stuck to banking, 

HERE were published on this blog since December 2014 The Top 10 Edict:Top10 WHY #BMO will go down. #Money #Investing #Finance #Mortgage #stockmarket #retweet #Christians #TWU

we are now at edict # 3 the DEBACLE 
stay tuned for # 2 and # 1

see archived titles


Are Democrats Becoming Extremists?

Bloggers note: Democrats and liberals have always been Extremist and Radical in there own Branding

Are Democrats Becoming Extremists?

By embracing the scorched-earth tactics of the Tea Party, the left may be hastening the demise of American democracy.

In the nearly two months since President Donald Trump was sworn in, a self-described “Resistance” has emerged at mass marches, energetic protests and raucous town halls from coast to coast. The town halls in particular have invited a substantial amount of speculation: Will the Resistance become the left’s counterpart to the right-wing Tea Party?

It’s not hard to imagine why Democrats might welcome a populist movement of their own, given the successes the GOP has enjoyed since the Tea Party took shape in 2009. Over eight years, the movement helped Republicans gain majorities in state legislatures, win both houses of Congress and lay the groundwork for Trump’s ascent to the White House.

But for the sake of the country, I certainly hope the Resistance isn’t a liberal Tea Party lookalike. As a Republican in the moderate mainstream tradition of my party, I’ve been aghast at the distorting effect of the Tea Party’s influence, on both the GOP and American democracy. 

If the Republican and Democratic parties become dominated by angry, dogmatic populist movements, the political center will die, with horrific consequences for our democratic system and even our ability to hold together as a nation.

In many respects, the Tea Party was an admirable example of democracy in action and gave many citizens their first experience with political engagement. But as a whole, the Tea Party became the extremist tail that wagged the Republican Party dog. 

Participants in the movement tended toward ideological rigidity and absolutist demands, bringing to the fore far-right ideas that had long been resisted by principled conservatives. Paranoid conspiracy theories once peddled by the likes of the John Birch Society became commonplace, with President Barack Obama portrayed as a foreign-born dictator ravaging the Constitution, rather than simply a Democratic president with whom we respectfully disagreed. 

The entire GOP was pushed toward obstruction and hyperpartisanship. Expertise and experience became liabilities, compromise the deadliest sin. The Tea Party claimed the mantle of fiscal conservatism, but had no real strategy to reduce the deficit beyond cutting programs for Democratic constituencies while preserving programs for Republican voters, all while avoiding any serious reforms to defense spending or middle-class entitlements. (If you think that sounds a lot like Trump’s proposed budget, you’re right.)
In Congress, the Tea Party gave rise to the House Freedom Caucus, which devoted most of its energies to overthrowing its own party’s leaders and undermining the legislative branch as an institution. The activists’ populist fervor and disdain for negotiation led directly to the 2013 government shutdown, as hard-liners in Congress attempted to force concessions from the administration that they couldn’t achieve through the legislative process. 

Perhaps more troublingly, the Tea Party weakened the Republicans’ capacity to govern. The constant threat of primary challenges intimidated GOP legislators into taking extreme ideological positions that had no basis in reality or the needs of their constituents. Problem-solvers were marginalized or purged. 

Terrible threats to the country—the opioid epidemic, rising income inequality, the collapse of work, stagnating social mobility, terrorism and global instability—were ignored while Congress passed base-pleasing motions that the president predictably vetoed.
The hour is too late for more of this pointless and irresponsible Kabuki theater. And yet many Democrats seem eager to stage a drama of their own, following exactly the same script.

It’s too soon to say if the Resistance will develop into a left-wing Tea Party with lasting political influence. Perhaps it will instead be like the Occupy Wall Street movement and implode after a few months, done in by a suspicion of leadership and the lack of a coherent agenda. 

But for now, the Resistance seems to be not only retracing the Tea Party’s trajectory, but adopting its techniques.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in their tactic of showing up, organized and en masse, to town-hall meetings held by elected officials from the opposing party. Sometimes those meetings take the form of constructive dialogues, while at other times they’re more akin to Maoist-style denunciations. Where will this lead, given the left’s growing appetite for violent suppression of free speech, as seen in places like Middlebury College?

For now, many Resistance participants, like the Tea Party’s novice activists before them, are following the conventional track of citizen engagement by building a more formal organized structure, holding meetings, writing to and calling their representatives, and running for unglamorous but critical jobs as convention delegates and precinct chairs in the Democratic Party.
That’s not to say that the Resistance and the Democratic Party are working in tandem. Indeed, what’s happening carries real risks for the Democrats: In yet another parallel with the Tea Party, the Resistance is fighting against its own party’s leaders as well as the opposing party. 

We saw this in the replay of the Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary spat in this year’s race for chair of the Democratic National Committee, with Keith Ellison playing the role of Sanders and Tom Perez standing in for Hillary Clinton.

Just as the Tea Party pushed the GOP toward obstructionism and ideological rigidity, the Resistance is starting to force the Democratic Party toward its extremes and away from long-held norms of bipartisan give-and-take. Resisters threaten Democratic politicians with terrible retribution if they vote in favor of any of Trump’s nominees or major Republican legislation, regardless of merit. As a result, Democratic officeholders have less and less to say about the value of compromise, seemingly fearing that anything they say will be seen as “normalizing” and “legitimizing” the Trump presidency.

Odds are growing that 2018 will see a rash of Resistance-driven primary challenges to centrist Democrats. Privately, the party’s professionals dread a repeat of what has happened on the Republican side, when successful center-leaning politicians lost low-turnout primaries to fringe candidates who went on to crashing defeat in the general election.

 (Think of Indiana Senator Richard Lugar losing the 2012 primary to Richard Mourdock, who then went on to lose to Democrat Joe Donnelly.) It’s not hard to imagine an Elizabeth Warren-style challenger upsetting Sen. Joe Manchin in the West Virginia Democratic primary in 2018, but that liberal victor would face long odds in a state where Trump took nearly 70 percent of the vote in 2016. 

The impulse to primary moderates from your own party is real and has a certain appeal, but those victories are often Pyrrhic, forfeiting long-term success for short-lasting gratification.

At the moment, Democrats are so far down in the minority in both the House and Senate that many grass-roots activists would welcome whatever Faustian trade-offs would accompany a liberal Tea Party. It’s uncertain, however, whether the Resistance can succeed on the scale of the Tea Party-driven Republican victories in the past several elections, for reasons that have a lot to do with America’s political geography.
The Tea Party movement prevailed because it targeted vulnerable Democratic officeholders in areas that already leaned conservative. After the 2010 elections, membership in the congressional Blue Dog Coalition, made up mostly of centrist Democrats from Sunbelt states, dropped by half; after 2012, it halved again. 

Rural and heartland America accounted for most of the nearly 1,000 state legislative seats, 30 state legislative chambers and dozen governorships the Democrats have lost since Obama took office. It’s possible that Democrats might try to retake the Blue Dogs’ old territory in 2018 and 2020, but the centrist Democratic candidates who could succeed in those districts will not run if the national party moves sharply to the left and the Resistance emulates the Tea Party’s animus toward moderates.

Far more likely is that Democrats will concentrate most of their efforts against comparatively moderate, governing-minded Republicans in purple states and swing districts, just as they did in 2016.

 Quite a few of the Republicans who represent politically diverse states and highly educated suburban districts are likely to go down in flames if Trump’s ratings continue to decline. 

But these are also the last remaining Republicans who might be counted on to cooperate with the opposing party, hold the executive branch accountable and keep the GOP from overreaching on issues ranging from the Affordable Care Act to tax reform. 

If they’re forced out, the Republican Party will become even more extreme, and our governing system will become even more dysfunctional.
If the Resistance is legitimately troubled by President Trump and his implications for American democracy, they could do something more constructive and creative—and a successful model for it already exists.

Each election cycle in the early 1970s, the environmental movement targeted a “dirty dozen” of the worst polluters in Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, and defeated most of them. 

It’s not impossible to imagine a movement today that would seek to remove the members who are doing the greatest damage to Congress and effective governance. Such a campaign would do a lot more good for the country than the current dynamic, in which moderates from both parties are locked in a death struggle while extremists go unchallenged in safe seats.
But I’m afraid that’s unlikely to happen. Scratch the assumptions of many Tea Party and Resistance participants and you’re likely to find a belief that nothing good can be accomplished in politics unless the correct side controls all branches of government and can run roughshod over its opponents. 

Many Republicans are now rejoicing as Trump and Congress work to repeal every part of Obama’s legacy and force their agenda on Blue America, while many Democrats dream of someday reversing every Republican action and imposing their own maximalist program on Red America.

What both sides overlook is that the only enduring causes in American life are those that have at least some degree of bipartisan legitimacy, and the only government actions that achieve lasting success are those involving popular persuasion and outreach, cross-party cooperation and compromise. 

That was true of the creation of Social Security, the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the birth of Medicare and Medicaid, the Clean Air Act in 1970—even Ronald Reagan’s 1986 tax reform. Politics-as-warfare can achieve no lasting victories; in the long term, its only accomplishments will be to break apart the country and accelerate America’s downfall as a global power.

Political movements of left and right alike stand in a long tradition dating back to the American Revolution of giving ordinary citizens a voice in the counsels of their leaders and representatives. But the Founding Fathers also dreaded the consequences of unchecked popular passions, the overthrow of moderation and the erosion of mutual tolerance and respect among Americans of differing views. The coming years may witness the realization of their worst fears.

Calls for parliamentary inquiry following 'We are all doing it': Employees at Canada's 5 big banks speak out about pressure to dupe customers Calls for parliamentary inquiry following

Calls for parliamentary inquiry following 

'We are all doing it': Employees at Canada's 5 big banks speak out about pressure to dupe customers

Calls for parliamentary inquiry following Go Public investigation

By Erica Johnson, CBC News Posted: Mar 15, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 15, 2017 11:07 AM ET 

Employees from all five of Canada's big banks have flooded Go Public with stories of how they feel pressured to upsell, trick and even lie to customers to meet unrealistic sales targets and keep their jobs.
The deluge is fuelling multiple calls for a parliamentary inquiry, even as the banks claim they're acting in customers' best interests.
In nearly 1,000 emails, employees from RBC, BMO, CIBC, TD and Scotiabank locations across Canada describe the pressures to hit targets that are monitored weekly, daily and in some cases hourly.
"Management is down your throat all the time," said a Scotiabank financial adviser. "They want you to hit your numbers and it doesn't matter how."
CBC has agreed to protect their identities because the workers are concerned about current and future employment.
An RBC teller from Thunder Bay, Ont., said even when customers don't need or want anything, "we need to upgrade their Visa card, increase their Visa limits or get them to open up a credit line."
"It's not what's important to our clients anymore," she said. "The bank wants more and more money. And it's leading everyone into debt."
A CIBC teller said, "I am expected to aggressively sell products, especially Visa. Hit those targets, who cares if it's hurting customers."

Former BMO employee speaks out

A financial services manager who left BMO in Calgary two months ago said he quit after having a full-blown panic attack in his branch manager's office as she threatened to stifle his banking career because he hadn't met sales targets.
"It was like the only thing they cared about at BMO," he said. "If you weren't selling, you weren't worth having around."
BMO employee
This former BMO financial services manager says his manager told him to lie to customers to improve sales revenue. (Colin Hall/CBC)
He claims his manager once told him not to tell clients who wanted to invest more than $40,000 that the markets were down, because putting their money into GICs wouldn't earn the branch as much sales revenue.
He said she also told him to attach high interest rates on mortgages and lines of credit and to not tell clients those interest rates are negotiable.
He said he was "pressured to lie and cheat customers," but refused to do it.

More than 1,000 emails

The revelations about other banks came pouring in after Go Public revealed last week that front-line staff at TD were under pressure to sell customers products and services they may not need and that some employees were breaking the law  to hit their sales revenue targets.
Those stories, experts say, prompted the largest drop in TD Bank shares since the financial market downturn of 2009.
'We are straight up told to tell false stories (lie) to sell products.'- TD insurance agent wrote in an email
They also resulted in hundreds more emails from TD workers past and present, including a teller who recently stopped working in Bramalea, Ont., who said the requirement to meet ever-increasing goals was so unprofessional, "I thought this was not a bank but a flea market."
He admits to acting unethically because he says he feared being fired.
"I bumped up credit cards, overdraft or account types just because of the pressures."
An Ontario-based TD insurance agent wrote, "We are straight up told to tell false stories (lie) to sell products."
And an RBC financial adviser told Go Public, "We are all doing it."

'Shaming' and 'bullying'

Many bank employees described pressure tactics used by managers to try to increase sales.
An RBC certified financial planner in Guelph, Ont., said she's been threatened with pay cuts and losing her job if she doesn't upsell enough customers.
"Managers belittle you," she said. "We get weekly emails that highlight in red the people who are not hitting those sales targets. It's bullying."
TD Bank logo
Some TD Bank employees told CBC's Go Public they felt they had to break the law to keep their jobs. (Aaron Harris/Reuters)
Employees at several RBC branches in Calgary said there are white boards posted in the staff room that list which financial advisers are meeting their sales targets and which advisers are coming up short.
Similar white board results are reported at Scotiabank branches in Toronto.
"The entire team can see who is keeping them down. It's shaming," said a Scotiabank financial adviser who told Go Public she's taking early retirement "because this environment is not for me."

Stressed out

Some of the big five bank employees said they're so stressed by expectations to hit sales targets, they're on medical leave. Others said they had to quit.
They wrote about their jobs causing "insomnia," "nausea," "anxiety" and "depression."
'I went into a full-blown panic attack.'-former CIBC small business associate
A CIBC small business associate who quit in January after nine years on the job said her district branch manager wasn't pleased with her sales results when she was pregnant.
"She came into my office and decided to harass me. I went into a full-blown panic attack."
She said the worst part of her job was having young families in her office who agreed to re-mortgage their homes because of debt.
"We told them we were helping them, but essentially we were extending more credit so the vicious cycle would ... continue and we, in turn, would make a sale," she said.
While working in Waterloo, Ont., she says her manager also instructed staff to tell all new international students looking to open a chequing account that they had to open a "student package," which also included a savings account, credit card and overdraft.
"That is unfair and not the law, but we were told to do it for all of them."

Big banks decline interview requests

Go Public requested interviews with the CEOs of the five big banks — BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank and TD — but all declined.
Instead, they sent statements, essentially saying the banks act in the best interest of their clients, and that employees are expected to follow codes of conduct.
 The statements did not address employees' concerns about high-pressure sales tactics.

Calls for parliamentary inquiry

NDP finance critic Alexandre Boulerice is now calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the sales practices of Canada's banks.
"We expect banks to be honest with their clients ... and now we are learning that those employees are under considerable pressure to sell, sell, sell to boost profits of the banks," he said. "This is so greedy. It is not acceptable."
NDP critic
Federal NDP finance critic Alexandre Boulerice wants a parliamentary inquiry. (CBC)
Stan Buell, founder of the Small Investor Protection Association, agrees it's time for the federal government to take action.
"We've got a culture that exists on greed, lying and deceiving people, and it's not going to end soon," he said.
"This is why the only solution really is to have government step in and look after the Canadian people. Because I feel the Canadian people deserve better than to serve as grist for the mill of these great financial organizations."
Stan Buell
Stan Buell from the Small Investor Protection Association says the government needs to step in. (CBC)
A spokesperson for Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the minister wasn't available for an interview, but sent a statement that says Morneau "expects all financial institutions in Canada to adhere to the highest standards when it comes to their consumer protection obligations."

Shareholders concerned

TD shareholder Allan Best says he's concerned about more than the bank's bottom line after last week's stock dip, telling Go Public, "It is my position that employees are our most important asset and we have to do all we can to keep them in good mental and physical condition."
The emails Go Public received from bank employees suggest not only have the sales targets increased dramatically in recent years, so has the pressure to meet them.
"I want the world to know how much pressure we are all under on a daily basis," wrote an RBC teller in Ontario.
"We hit our target and the next week, they up them again. It's out of control."

Consumer watchdog launches bank review in wake of CBC stories

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada urges concerned bank consumers to contact them

By Pete Evans, CBC News Posted: Mar 15, 2017 11:14 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 15, 2017 10:52 PM ET

Canada's top consumer watchdog says it is reviewing business practices at Canada's federally-regulated charter banks starting next month, following a CBC investigation that has uncovered reports of troubling sales practices at Canada's major financial institutions.
Lucie Tedesco, commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, said in a statement Wednesday that her office is concerned with reports that bank employees are pushing for and sometimes signing customers up for products without their expressed consent, in order to meet their own sales targets.
As such, the FCAC will be launching a review of business practices in the federally-regulated financial sector starting next month.
"The law requires that, in order to provide consumers with new or expanded products or increase their credit limits, financial institutions obtain their customers' prior consent and disclose key information about the costs and charges of the products they are purchasing," Tedesco said.
In a series of reports from the CBC's Go Public team, employees have reported that increased pressure to meet unrealistic sales targets has caused them to bend the rules. That overt and covert pressure often comes from their superiors, who have their own financial targets to meet.

Following the rules 'is non-discretionary'

"Financial institutions' compliance with these rules is non-discretionary and the message must be disseminated from the boards of directors on down to customer-facing staff," Tedesco said, adding that she has already discussed some of the issues brought up by the CBC's reporting in her regular meetings with the executives and board members of Canadian banks.
In various statements to CBC, all of Canada's big banks said they act in the best interest of their clients and that employees are expected to follow codes of conduct.
The watchdog is urging consumers "who have experienced what they believe to be misleading business practices, or who have received a financial product or service to which they did not consent," to file a formal complaint by emailing the FCAC.
"Through the industry review we are announcing today, we will examine financial institutions' business practices in relation to express consent and disclosure, including the identification of any factors that may be contributing to non-compliance," Tedesco said.
"We will investigate and enforce any incidence of non-compliance."
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada is a government regulator tasked with raising consumers' awareness of their rights and responsibilities when dealing with financial firms.
They also ensures that banks and other federally regulated institutions comply with consumer protection measures already on the books. The FCAC has the power to levy fines and other penalties if financial firms under its mandate don't comply with regulations.
In a statement Wednesday, the Canadian Bankers Association, which represents Canada's biggest lenders, says its members "look forward to co-operating with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) in the review announced today."
"Canadians are well-served by their banks, which is reflected in the very high level of satisfaction that bank customers have with their own bank  over 90 per cent of Canadians having favourable impressions of their bank," the CBA said.

#BMO Bank of Montreal (BMO) Insider Sells C$3,349,908.54 in Stock #Money #Investing #Finance #Mortgage #stockmarket #retweet

Bank of Montreal (BMO) Insider Sells C$3,349,908.54 
in Stock

Bank of Montreal (TSE:BMO) (NYSE:BMO) insider Christopher Blake Begy sold 32,593 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of C$102.78, for a total value of C$3,349,908.54.
Shares of Bank of Montreal (TSE:BMO) traded down 0.59% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $102.49. The company had a trading volume of 1,359,459 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $100.83 and its 200-day moving average price is $92.48. 

The company has a market cap of $66.52 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.55. Bank of Montreal has a 12 month low of $77.08 and a 12 month high of $104.15. 

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 26th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.88 per share. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.43%. 

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Several research firms have recently weighed in on BMO. CIBC increased their price objective on Bank of Montreal from C$104.00 to C$109.00 in a report on Tuesday, March 7th.

 Royal Bank of Canada increased their price objective on Bank of Montreal from C$106.00 to C$110.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 1st. 

TD Securities reissued a “hold” rating and issued a C$105.00 price objective on shares of Bank of Montreal in a report on Wednesday, March 1st. Scotiabank increased their price objective on Bank of Montreal from C$108.00 to C$113.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 1st. Finally, National Bank Financial increased their price objective on Bank of Montreal from C$104.00 to C$107.00 in a report on Wednesday, March 1st. 

 One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of C$100.00.

Bank of Montreal Company Profile

Bank of Montreal (the Bank) is a financial services provider. The Bank provides a range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services. The Bank conducts its business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking (P&C), Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets. 

#Money #Investing #Finance #Mortgage #stockmarket #retweet