Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Cry Me A River

Canada's Banking Cartel is crying about politicians bashing them, cry me a river.

At a time when the federal finance minister is asking Canada's big banks to justify a raft of ATM banking fees, Canada's second-largest bank is reporting its first quarterly profit of more than $1 billion.

Bank of Nova Scotia reported Tuesday morning a first quarter profit that smashed all expectations at $1.01 billion, or $1.01 a share, up almost 20 per cent from $844 million, or 84 cents a share, a year ago.

Last week Canada's largest bank, Royal Bank of Canada, posted first-quarter net earnings of $1.5 billion or $1.14 per diluted share, a 27.6-per-cent increase from the same quarter last year

Let us review the facts; ATM fees are set by a cartel of Canada's six banks. Not credit unions or foreign banks. The Banking Cartel owns Interac, it implemented ATM's as a way of closing branches and reducing front line staff.

Credit Cards, Visa and MasterCard, are owned by the same Banking Cartel. They set the interest charges and fees for the use of credit cards.

Bank fees themselves are then charged on top of this. For instance the banks charge you a service fee for having an account, and for any cheques used, or for any ATM withdrawls, and for use of their credit cards.

So when they claim that they need to charge you ATM fees for withdrawing money from their branch and not your own, well thats a little white lie. Since the cartel owns Interac, the fact is they have colluded in a monopolistic fashion to set fees.

That would be illegal in the United Sates. It is not illegal in Canada.

So you get charged for your ATM withdrawal three times, once when you use an ATM that is not your bank, next a charge by your bank for doing so and then they charge you a monthly service charge for having done so. Sounds like usury to me.

The Finance Committee will be reviewing Banking operations later this month, they need to look at all service charges as well as ATM fees. And they need to look at the impact of the Banking Cartels in operating Interac and the Credit Card business.

It has been a long standing libertarian tradition to oppose cartels and monopolies especially in the banking industry. A fact most conservatives forget, including the ones who claim to be libertarians.




Service Charges


Bank Profits

Credit Cards

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