Protesters call on the big banks to make banking more affordable

A protest in downtown Hamilton this morning outside the CIBC, was aimed at the big banks in Canada. The group called Acorn says traditional banking isn’t affordable for low income people, so they’re forced to bank at costly pay day loan businesses.

The Acorn group is nationwide and held similar protests across the country with hopes of changing the way banks handle the poor. Mike Wood says the Federal government should step in and force banks to lower fees to make it easier for low income people to access bank services.

“We’re not asking them to lower it to zero, but we need them to lower it to a medium where it includes lower and moderate income family and rich as well, that way everyone can bank and not have to go to the other places where they’re stuck with the high interest rates.”

Acorn Hamilton says pay day loan businesses are a dangerous fallback option for people struggling financially. “They can’t pay off the bills because they have to pay off these places. It’s a vicious cycle where a lot of people are having issues.”

The top six banks in Canada reported profits of $35 billion last year.


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Kimberly says:

I don’t understand the problem. I am very low income. Single mother of 4 making minimum wage. The costs of the pay day loan places is way more than a bank. The bank charges me 15.00 a month. I get direct deposit which is free. My payments can come out automatically which is free. I pay my bills on line and is free also. What else do you need? I get paid with a paycheque also and there is no charge to cash it. What’s the problem? Sure I wish they were lower but they don’t make it so I can’t bank. I couldn’t afford the pay day places!!

Kimberly says:

There is a huge difference between bank fees and taking out the payday loans. The pay day loans are impossible for low income people to get rid of. They also have nothing to do with the bank. They are a choice people make. However you don’t take a payday loan because you don’t have the 15.00 for a monthly bank fee.

OakieRF says:

the big banks gouge older people who aren’t as comfortable as using online banking like Simplii (PC Financial) or Tangerine