An Open Letter to ING Direct Canada

by Mr. Cheap

Please note!

To get a $25 bonus with a new ING account then use the referral code 33089336S1.  This is also called the  orange key code.

To the guy with the accent and his two curvy henchmen:

To begin with I’d like to thank you for entering, and shaking up, the Canadian banking industry. When I first heard about you, in 1997, I thought “what a great idea” and was happy to open an account with you. I was delighted to refer friends and family to you, and the referral bonuses you offered were a cherry on top of the sundae.

People were reluctant to bank with an entirely Internet based bank. I understood that concern, and did my best to reassure them that you wouldn’t run away with their money in the middle of the night (and you haven’t). Showing them that you are FDIC insured, just like the big banks went a long way to reassuring them. The fact that you offered higher interest rates on your SAVINGS ACCOUNT then the big banks offered for GICs went a long way to getting them to switch.

I was working down in the US in 2000 and evangelized you south of the border too.

As a banking revolutionary, I salute you. Unfortunately you seem to have recently lost the fire in your belly.

When PC Financial opened its doors, I was suspicious at first. I assumed that their higher rates would be mere teasers and expected within a couple of months for them to drop below yours. I was perplexed when months went by and they stayed higher than ING Direct. Your commercials kept playing, telling us to keep our money and get paid top interest, but they started to ring false in the face of the ongoing interest rate disparity.

In December of 2006 I applied to you for an un-mortgage. Being self-employed, I expected that it might be a little tougher to arrange, but we’d been together for so long, I expected it would happen one way or another. In the end your representative turned me away completely (not even offering a mortgage with a high down-payment or higher interest rates, just a refusal to do business with me). That same week both PC Financial and Scotiabank offered me mortgages.

You’ve changed man. You used to be about turning the bank industry on it heads and connecting with the littler guy. You streamlined your operations and passed the savings on to us. Now you’re turning your back on us, at exactly the time PC Financial is welcoming us with open arms.

My last GIC at ING direct came due in May, and after moving the money from it, there’s a sad 56 cents sitting in my ING Direct account. I hope the winter that has fallen on the orange giant thaws, and on that day I’ll happily return (although sadly you’ll have to outdo PC Financial now, when before all you had to do was match them to keep me).

Please let all the drained accounts sitting with pennies in them be the sparks that re-ignites your belly fire. Become what you were in 1997 again: charge into battle again. For your shareholders, yes, but for us little guys too!

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