CANADIANS VIEWS OF BANKS AND LIFE AND HEALTH INSURANCE

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1 CANADIANS VIEWS OF BANKS AND LIFE AND HEALTH INSURANCE December 2005 Report Prepared for: by:

2 CANADIANS VIEWS OF BANKS AND LIFE AND HEALTH INSURANCE December 2005 Report Prepared for: by: POLLARA Inc. ( the largest Canadian public opinion and marketing research firm, helps its clients improve their performance through strategic research designed and analyzed by consultants who are experts in their fields. Drawing on the talents of more than 650 employees located in 6 Canadian cities, POLLARA provides a full range of research services to leading global, national and local companies and to public and non-profit sector organizations. These services include quantitative and qualitative research and counsel in the areas of public affairs/public policy, employee satisfaction, customer value/satisfaction, new product development, advertising testing and tracking, branding, and consumer demand and pricing models. POLLARA consultants use innovative, leading-edge techniques to provide clients with strategic, data-driven advice.

3 Table of Contents I. Background and Objectives...1 II. Methodology...2 III. Executive Summary...3 IV. Service by Banks and Bank Branch Employees...6 A. Assessments of Service Provided by Banks...6 B. Reliable Advice and Convenient Service: Professional Life and Health Insurance Advisors vs. Bank Branch Employees...10 V. Concern about Privacy of Personal Information at Banks...13 A. Perceptions of the Amount of Personal Information Already Held by Banks...13 B. Concern With Having Both Credit and Personal Health Information at the Same Bank Branch...14 C. Banks Use of Customers Personal Information...15 VI. Awareness of Consumer Protections Around Coercive Tied-Selling...20 A. Support for Protections that Prohibit Coercive Tied-Selling...20 B. Knowledge of Existence of Protections...21 C. Pressure to Give Financial Institution More Business...22 VII. Attitudes Toward Current Consumer Protections...24 A. Privacy Risks Outweigh the Potential Benefit of Greater Access to Information...24 B. Access to Life and Health Insurance Information...26 C. Adequacy of Banks Current Selection of Financial Products...27 D. Removing Protections Will Lead to Less Choice...28 E. Bank Branches in Rural Areas...29 F. Bank Branches in Small Canadian Communities...30 G. Expectations of Price of Life and Health Insurance if Protections Removed...32 H. Expectations of Potential Savings Resulting from Banks Selling Life and Health Insurance...33 I. Views on Insurance-Related Service Charges...35 J. Concern about Banks Becoming Bigger...36

4 I. Background and Objectives Currently, restrictions prevent banks from selling life and health insurance from their branches. In order to understand the public s views on this issue, Advocis commissioned POLLARA to conduct a telephone survey of the Canadian general public. The primary objective of this study is to explore Canadians attitudes toward the removal of consumer protections related to the sale of life and health insurance by banks. Specifically, this study explores the public s: Perceptions of the provision of service by banks and bank branch employees; Concerns about privacy and coercive tied-selling; Opinions of current consumer protections regarding the sale of life and health insurance from bank branches; and, Perceptions of the amount of access they have to information about life and health insurance.

5 II. Methodology In total, 1,876 telephone interviews were conducted with a national sample of Canadian adults 18 years of age and over, from November 14 th to 21 st, Overall results are considered accurate to within ±2.9%, nineteen times out of twenty. In order to enhance the accuracy of this study s regional results, some areas were oversampled, as detailed in the following table. The national results of this study were then weighted to reflect the actual regional distribution of the population. The following table outlines the sampling frame for the study and the corresponding margins of error. Province/Region Table 1 Sampling Frame and Margins of Error Unweighted Sample Weighted Sample Margin of Error British Columbia ±5.8% Alberta ±5.8% Manitoba/Saskatchewan Manitoba ±9.9% Saskatchewan ±10. Ontario ±4.6% Quebec ±5.8% Atlantic Canada ±5.8% Total 1,876 1,200 ±2.9% 1 Due to small sample sizes in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, these provinces were combined for reporting purposes. A POLLARA Report for Advocis 2

6 III. Executive Summary To follow is a summary of the main findings of this survey. All results are analyzed in greater detail within the report that follows this section. A. Attitudes Toward Current Consumer Protections Currently, bank branches are not generally allowed to provide printed information to customers about their life and health insurance services or to refer their customers to life and health insurance companies. Most Canadians support these protections, as evidenced through the following findings. After being read a description of the protections, Canadians were presented with two views and asked which one best represents their own: 1. Some people want the protections removed to give consumers greater access to information about banks life and health insurance services. 2. Some people want the protections kept in place due to concerns about the privacy of their personal information and about being pressured to buy one product as a condition for obtaining another. Most Canadians (78%) believe that the protections should be kept in place due to privacy concerns and concerns about coercive tied-selling that is, being pressured to buy one product as a condition for obtaining another. A much smaller proportion (15%) says protections should be removed to give consumers greater access to information. These findings are not surprising given that the majority (81%) says they already have enough access to life and health insurance information. In a different scenario, Canadians were presented with the following views, and asked which one best represents their own. 1. Some people say the protections should be removed to allow for greater competition. 2. Some people say the protections should be kept in place because life and health insurance companies won t be able to compete against banks over the long term, which will eventually lead to less choice.

7 A majority (63%) believes the current protections should be kept in place because life and health insurance companies won t be able to compete over the long term, which will eventually lead to less choice for consumers. Furthermore, when probed about additional impacts of the removal of the consumer protections that prohibit banks from selling life and health insurance from their branches, most Canadians do not expect to feel any benefits. Specifically, if these protections are removed, most (73%) Canadians do not expect the price of life and health insurance to decrease, and the majority (66%) does not expect any savings realized by banks to be passed on to customers. Given these findings, it is not surprising that six in ten (62%) Canadians expect that any insurancerelated service charges that banks might apply would be unfair. The majority of Canadians (59%) also express concern about banks becoming bigger if they begin selling life and health and insurance through their branches. B. Service by Banks and Bank Branch Employees Canadians believe they are treated unfairly by banks with respect to certain services, including: interest paid on savings accounts, interest rates on credit card purchases, and service fees for chequing and other services. In light of these findings, it is not surprising that the majority (7) believes that banks profits are too high. In contrast, over one-half (58%) believes that Canadians are treated fairly by banks with respect to mortgages. If banks were allowed to sell life and health insurance out of their branches, the majority of Canadians believe that life and health insurance advisors who do not work for a bank would perform better than branch employees in terms of providing reliable advice and convenient service. C. Concern about Privacy of Personal Information at Banks The majority (91%) of Canadians believe that banks already have enough personal information about them. Further, if banks begin selling life and health insurance out of their branches, Canadians would be concerned about having both their credit and personal health information at the same branch, with seven in ten (7) concerned about whether their health information is kept separate from their banking information, and two-thirds A POLLARA Report for Advocis 4

8 (65%) concerned about the amount of credit and personal information that the bank would have about them as a result of purchasing life and health insurance through the same branch where they bank. In addition, the results of this survey illustrate that Canadians (83%) do not want their banks to use their personal banking information to try to sell them products or services offered by the bank. However, the majority (56%) mistakenly believes that this practice is not allowed. A significant 8 out of 10 () bank customers say that their bank has not asked them for permission to review and analyze their personal banking information, including transactions in their accounts, so that they can contact customers with information about other products and services. Among those who were not asked for permission, 7 would refuse if they were asked, and among those who were asked, 42% did not give permission. D. Tied-Selling Coercive tied-selling occurs when a customer is required to buy a product or service as a condition for obtaining another. Although the majority of Canadians believe that protections to prohibit coercive tied-selling should be in place (61%), seven in ten (7) Canadians do not know that such protections already exist. When Canadians who have been approved by their bank within the past 7 years for a loan, line of credit or mortgage were asked if they felt any pressure to give their bank more business, one-fifth (19%) indicates they did feel pressure when approved. However, when asked if their bank has a formal complaint-resolution process in place, 25% are unsure, and an additional 1 believes their bank does not have one. The following sections of this report analyse these findings in greater detail.

9 IV. Service by Banks and Bank Branch Employees Canadians believe they are treated unfairly by banks with respect to certain services, including: interest paid on savings accounts, interest rates on credit card purchases, and service fees for chequing and other services. In light of this, it is not surprising that the majority believes that banks make too much profit. In contrast, the majority believes that Canadians are treated fairly by banks with respect to mortgages. In addition, the majority of Canadians believe that life and health insurance advisors will perform better than branch employees in terms of providing reliable advice and convenient service. A. Assessments of Service Provided by Banks When probed about their perceptions of banks performance in the provision of certain services, Canadians rate banks poorly in 3 of 4 areas tested, including interest paid on savings accounts, interest rates on credit card purchases, and service fees for chequing and other services. In contrast, Canadians are more favourable towards banks with respect to their treatment of Canadians when it comes to mortgages. i. Perceptions of Interest on Savings Accounts Eight in ten () Canadians say that banks do not pay enough interest on savings accounts. This view is shared by large majorities of Canadians in each region ranging from 73% in Atlantic Canada to 84% in Alberta. A POLLARA Report for Advocis 6

10 Figure 1 Perceptions of Interest on Savings Accounts % 11% 5% Too Much Enough Not Enough Don t Know/ Q: Do you think that banks pay too much, enough, or not enough interest on savings accounts? The view that banks don t pay enough interest on savings accounts is particularly widespread among older Canadians. Specifically, 84% of those 55 and over and 83% of those 35 to 44 hold this view, compared to 7 of younger Canadians (18 to 34). ii. Views of Interest Rates on Credit Card Purchases Two-thirds (67%) of Canadians feel that banks offer unfair interest rates on credit card purchases. This view is most commonly held in Alberta (72%), while Atlantic Canadians (62%) are least likely to hold this opinion. Figure 2 Views of Interest Rates on Credit Card Purchases 10 67% % 9% Fair Unfair Don t Know/ Q: Do you think that banks offer fair or unfair interest rates on credit card purchases?

11 Those with an annual household income of $100,000 or more (76%) are more likely than those with lower incomes to view interest rates on credit card purchases as unfair. In addition, men (69%) are more likely than women (64%) to hold this view. Perceptions of interest rates vary by age, with those aged 35 and over more likely to view them as unfair (75% among those 35 to 54 compared to 65% among those 55 and over and 57% of those aged 18 to 34). iii. Perceptions of Service Fees for Chequing and Other Services More than one-half (56%) of Canadians say that banks offer unfair service fees for chequing and other services, while 38% see them as fair, and 6% are undecided. The view that bank service fees are unfair is particularly widespread in Alberta (58%), Ontario (58%) and Quebec (58%), and is least prevalent in British Columbia (5). Figure 3 Perceptions of Service Fees % 56% 2 6% Fair Unfair Don t Know/ Q: Do you think that banks offer fair or unfair service fees for chequing and other services? Canadians who are most likely to believe that service fees are unfair include those with an annual household income of $100,000 or more (65%), university graduates (62%), those aged 35 to 54 (65%) compared to those aged 18 to 34 (52%) year olds or those aged 55 and over (48%), and urban residents (58%) compared to rural residents (5). A POLLARA Report for Advocis 8

12 iv. Perceptions of Bank Profitability Seven in ten (7) Canadians say banks make too much profit. Residents of Alberta (74%) and Quebec (74%) are most likely to feel banks make too much profit, followed by Atlantic Canada (7), Ontario (69%), British Columbia (67%), and Manitoba/Saskatchewan (67%). Figure 4 Perceptions of Bank Profitability % 2% 6% Too Much About The Right Amount Not Enough Don t Know/ Q: Do you think that banks make too much profit, about the right amount of profit, or not enough profit? Canadians most likely to view bank profits as excessive include those with an annual household income of $100,000 to less than $150,000 (81%) and those aged 35 to 54 (77%). v. Views of Banks and Mortgages Canadians feel more favourably towards banks when it comes to mortgages. Six in ten (58%) Canadians say that banks treat them fairly in this regard. Residents of Manitoba/Saskatchewan (64%) are most likely to feel this way, whereas residents of British Columbia (53%) are least likely.

13 Figure 5 Views of Banks and Mortgages 10 58% 6 22% 2 2 Fairly Unfairly Don t Know/ Q: Do you think that banks treat Canadians fairly or unfairly when it comes to mortgages? Those most likely to say banks treat Canadians fairly with respect to mortgages include those with an annual household income of $100,000 to less than $150,000 (74%), and those with a community college education (63%). Those who are 35 to 54 (62%) or 18 to 34 (61%) are more likely to say banks are fair in this regard than those who are 55 or older (49%). B. Reliable Advice and Convenient Service: Professional Life and Health Insurance Advisors vs. Bank Branch Employees Canadians believe that professional life and health insurance advisors who do not work for a bank would provide more reliable advice and convenient service than bank branch employees. These findings are explored further in the following sub-sections. i. Reliability of Advice The majority (85%) of Canadians trust that professional life and heath insurance advisors who do not work for a bank would provide more reliable advice about life and health insurance than bank branch employees. This view is held by the majority of residents in each region, with proportions ranging from 83% in Quebec to 87% in Ontario. Those most likely to agree that life and health insurance advisors would perform best in this area include those who have post-secondary education (89%), women (88%, compared to 82% of men), and urban residents (86% compared to 81% of rural residents). A POLLARA Report for Advocis 10

14 A majority of Canadians (52%) also believe that professional life and health insurance advisors who do not work for a bank would provide more reliable advice about their financial futures. This view is most widely held in Ontario (55%), and is least widespread in British Columbia (45%). Those most likely to trust a life and health insurance advisor in this regard include those who have completed university (54%), those with an annual household income of $100,000 or more (57%), and men (56%, compared to 48% of women). In addition, urban residents (53%) are more likely to trust a professional life and health insurance advisor in this regard than rural residents (48%). Figure 6 Reliability of Advice: Professional Life and Health Insurance Advisors vs. Bank Branch Employees Trust to give more reliable information about life and health insurance Provide more reliable advice about your financial future 85% 9% 6% 52% 8% Professional Life & Health Insurance Advisor Bank Branch Employee Don't Know/ Q: Who would you trust to give you more reliable information about life and health insurance: a professional life and health insurance advisor who offers access to products from a range of companies or a bank branch employee who represents only their bank s products? Q: Who do you think would provide more reliable advice about your financial future: a professional life and health insurance advisor or a bank branch employee? ii. Convenience of Service Canadians see professional life and health insurance advisors who do not work for a bank as offering more convenient service than bank branch employees. As illustrated in Figure 7, professional life and health insurance advisors are thought to perform better than bank branch employees in terms of meeting with customers in their homes (78%), offering evening appointments (75%), and providing flexible hours of service (68%).

15 Figure 7 Professional Life and Health Insurance Advisors More Flexible than Bank Branch Employees Providing Flexible Hours of Service Offering Evening Appointments Meeting With You in Your Home 2 68% 5% 7% 13% 75% 4%8% 9% 78% 3% 9% Bank Branch Employees Professional Life & Health Insurance Advisors Both The Same Don't Know/ Q: Currently banks can sell life and health insurance through separate companies but not out of their bank s branches. If banks were allowed to sell life and health insurance in their branches, who do you think would perform best in each of the following areas: bank branch employees or professional life and health insurance advisors who do not work for a bank? How about: (ROTATE) Although the majority of residents of every region agree that life and health insurance advisors who do not work for a bank would perform better on each of these attributes, some regional variations exist. Residents of British Columbia (71%) and Atlantic Canada (71%) are most likely to say that professional life and health insurance advisors would provide more flexible hours of service whereas residents of Alberta (65%) are least likely to do so. Residents of Manitoba/Saskatchewan (78%) and Quebec (78%) are most likely to say that professional life and health insurance advisors would offer evening appointments, while residents of Atlantic Canada (73%) are least likely to do so. The view that professional life and health insurance advisors would perform better at meeting with consumers in their homes is most widespread in Manitoba/Saskatchewan (81%) and least prevalent in Atlantic Canada (76%). Those with an annual household income of $100,000 or more are more likely to believe professional life and health insurance advisors would perform best on meeting with customers in their homes (87%), offering evening appointments (83%), and providing flexible hours of service (). A POLLARA Report for Advocis 12

16 V. Concern about Privacy of Personal Information at Banks The following section focuses on Canadians opinions on the privacy of their information held by banks. The majority believes that banks already have enough personal information about them. Further, if banks begin selling life and health insurance out of their branches, most Canadians would be concerned about having both their credit and personal health information at the same branch. When bank customers were asked whether they want their banks to use their personal banking information to try to sell them products or services offered by the bank, it is clear that they do not. However, the majority believes that this practice is not allowed. A. Perceptions of the Amount of Personal Information Already Held by Banks Nine in ten (91%) Canadians say that banks already have more than enough (45%) or about the right amount of (46%) personal banking information about them. Of the 1,876 Canadians interviewed for this poll, only 7 individuals (substantially less than 1%), believe that banks do not have enough personal information about them. Figure 8 Perceptions of Amount of Personal Information Held by Banks % 46% 2 More Than Enough About The Right Amount Not Enough Don t Deal With A Bank 6% 3% Don t Know/ Q: Do you think that banks have more than enough, about the right amount, or not enough personal information about you?

17 Residents of Quebec (51%) are most likely to say banks have more than enough personal information, whereas residents of Atlantic Canada (41%) are least likely to hold this view. Those most likely to share the view that banks have more than enough of their personal information include those with an annual household income of $100,000 or more (55%), those who have completed some university (52%), and those aged 35 to 54 (51%) compared to those aged 18 to 34 (35%) or those 55 and over (46%). Income also appears to exert an influence. Canadians with an annual household income of $100,000 or more (95%) are more likely to believe banks have more than enough (55%), or about the right amount of (), personal information about them than those with a lower annual household income. B. Concern With Having Both Credit and Personal Health Information at the Same Bank Branch Canadians are concerned about banks having both their credit and personal health information at the same bank branch. Respondents were asked to imagine that banks are allowed to sell life and health insurance out of their branches and to imagine that they had purchased their life and health insurance from the branch where they bank. Seven in ten Canadians (7) would be very (35%) or somewhat (35%) concerned about whether their health information would be kept separate from their banking information such as loan or mortgage applications. A POLLARA Report for Advocis 14

18 Figure 9 Concern About Having Credit and Personal Information at Same Bank Branch Health info in your insurance application is kept separate from your banking info Amount of credit and personal info that the bank would have about you 35% 35% 15% 13% 1% 31% 34% 2 14% 1% Very Concerned Somewhat Concerned Not Too Concerned Not At All Concerned Don't Know/ I d like you to imagine that banks are allowed to sell life and health insurance out of their branches and you have purchased a life and health insurance policy from the same branch where you bank. (ROTATE) Q: How concerned would you be about whether the health information in your insurance application is kept separate from your banking information, such as loan or mortgage applications? Would you be: Q: How concerned would you be about the amount of credit and personal information that the bank would have about you as a result of having your banking information and life and health insurance information at the same branch? Would you be: Manitoba/Saskatchewan residents (73%) are most concerned about whether information would be kept separate, whereas Atlantic Canadians (67%) are least concerned. Those most likely to be very concerned include university graduates (39%), those with an annual household income of $75,000 to less than $100,000 (42%), and men (38% compared to 33% of women), especially men aged 35 to 54 (42%). Under the same scenario, two-thirds (65%) of Canadians would be very (31%) or somewhat (34%) concerned about the amount of credit and personal information that the bank would have about them if they were to purchase life and health insurance through the branch where they bank. Quebecers (7) are most likely to be concerned about the amount of credit and personal information that their bank would have about them, while British Columbians (61%) are least likely to be concerned. C. Banks Use of Customers Personal Information Most Canadians do not want their bank to use their personal banking information to try to sell them products or services offered by the bank. However, the majority believes that this practice is not allowed.

19 Although most bank customers have not been asked for permission by their banks to review their personal banking information so that the bank could contact them with information about other products and services, the majority would not give permission if asked. i. Permission for Banks to Review Customers Personal Banking Information A large majority () of bank customers have not been asked by their banks for permission to review and analyze their personal banking information, including transactions in their accounts, so that the bank could contact them with information about other products and services. Among those who say their banks did not ask for permission to review their personal banking information, the majority (7) would not give permission if they were asked. Figure 10 Percentage Who Were Not Asked for Permission Don't Know/ 2% Bank asked for permission? 10 Would you give permission? 7 Yes 18% No % 6% Q: Has your bank ever asked you for permission to review and analyze your personal banking information, including transactions in your account, so that they can contact you with information about other products and services? Yes No Don t Know/ Q: (IF NO) If you had been given this option, would you have given your bank permission? Among those who were not asked for permission, Albertans (76%) are most likely to say they would not give permission if given the option, followed by residents of Manitoba/Saskatchewan (72%), Ontario (7), British Columbia (68%), Quebec (68%), and Atlantic Canada (68%). Rural residents (73%) who were not asked for permission are more likely than urban residents (69%) to deny their banks permission to review their personal banking information if given the option. A POLLARA Report for Advocis 16

20 Among the 18% of consumers whose banks did ask for permission to review their personal banking information, 52% provided consent, while 42% did not. Figure 11 Percentage Who Were Asked for Permission Bank asked for permission? Did you give permission? 10 No Yes 18% Don't Know/ 2% Q: Has your bank ever asked you for permission to review and analyze your personal banking information, including transactions in your account, so that they can contact you with information about other products and services? % 42% 6% Yes No Don t Know/ Q: (IF YES) Did you give your bank permission to do so, or not? Atlantic Canadians (7) are most likely to have given their permission, while British Columbians (38%) are least likely. ii. Desire for Banks to Use Customers Personal Banking Information When bank customers are presented with a scenario where their bank reviews their personal banking information to try to sell them a product, 83% say they do not want their banks to do this while only 16% say they do want their bank to engage in this practice.

21 Figure 12 Desire for Banks to use Customers Personal Banking Information to Try to Sell Them Products 10 83% 6 16% 2 Yes No Suppose you have a chequing account at Bank A. Bank A reviews your chequing account and notices that you are making payments on a Visa card that you have with Bank B, so Bank A phones you to suggest that you take out a Visa card with their bank. Q: Do you want your bank to do this, or not? Manitoba/Saskatchewan residents (89%) are most likely to say they do not want their banks to use their personal information to try to sell them other products and services, while Quebecers (81%) are least likely to hold this view. Women (86%) are more likely than men (81%) to say they do not want their bank to use their personal information in this way. iii. Views of Rules Around Banks Use of Customers Personal Banking Information Canadians mistakenly believe that banks are not allowed to use their customers banking information to try to sell them banking products and services. More than one-half (56%) of Canadians are confident that banks are not allowed to do this while a further 15% are unsure. A POLLARA Report for Advocis 18

22 Figure 13 Opinions of Whether Banks are Allowed to use Customers Personal Banking Information to Try Sell Them Products 10 56% % 15% Allowed Not Allowed Don t Know Suppose you have a chequing account at Bank A. Bank A reviews your chequing account and notices that you are making payments on a Visa card that you have with Bank B, so Bank A phones you to suggest that you take out a Visa card with their bank. Q: To the best of your knowledge, are banks allowed or not allowed to use their customers banking information to sell them products and services offered by the bank? Residents of Quebec (66%) are most likely to believe that banks are not allowed to do this, while residents of Ontario (51%) are least likely.

23 VI. Awareness of Consumer Protections Around Coercive Tied-Selling Coercive tied-selling occurs when a customer is required to buy a product or service as a condition for obtaining another. Although the majority of Canadians believe that protections to prohibit coercive tied-selling should be in place, the public is largely unaware that such protections already exist. In addition, the findings discussed in this section demonstrate that some Canadians who have been approved by their bank for a loan, line of credit or mortgage have felt pressured by their bank to give them more business. However, when asked if their bank has a formal complaint-resolution process in place, more than one-third of all bank customers are unsure or believe their bank does not have one. A. Support for Protections that Prohibit Coercive Tied-Selling Three in five (61%) Canadians believe that protections should be in place to prohibit coercive tied-selling. Figure 14 Opinions of Protections that Prohibit Coercive Tied-Selling 10 61% % 4% Should Be In Place Should Not Be In Place Don t Know/ Now I d like to ask you some questions about a scenario involving a bank. Imagine that a bank s mortgage specialist tells you that you qualify for a home mortgage. Now imagine, and this is a fictional scenario, that you are also told that the bank will approve your mortgage only if you transfer your investments to the bank or its related companies. Q: Do you believe that protections prohibiting banks from engaging in this type of activity should or should not be in place? A POLLARA Report for Advocis 20

24 Residents of Alberta (71%) are most likely to believe protections should be in place, whereas residents of Quebec (49%) are least likely. Those most likely to agree that protections should be in place include those who have completed some university (69%), those with a university degree (68%), those with an annual household income of $100,000 or more (75%), and men (63%) compared to women (59%), especially men aged 35 to 54 (68%). B. Knowledge of Existence of Protections When asked if protections prohibiting coercive tied-selling exist, a plurality (42%) of respondents are unsure, and only 3 of Canadians believe these protections do exist. Figure 15 Knowledge of Existence of Protections to Prohibit Coercive Tied-Selling % 42% 2 Exist Do Not Exist Don t Know Now I d like to ask you some questions about a scenario involving a bank. Imagine that a bank s mortgage specialist tells you that you qualify for a home mortgage. Now imagine, and this is a fictional scenario, that you are also told that the bank will approve your mortgage only if you transfer your investments to the bank or its related companies. Q: To the best of your knowledge, do protections prohibiting this type of activity currently exist or not? Quebec residents (33%) are most likely to say that protections exist, while British Columbian residents (22%) are least likely. In addition, when asked if their banks have a formal complaint-resolution process, one-third (35%) of Canadians either does not know (25%) or does not believe their bank has one in place (1).

25 Figure 16 Knowledge of Existence of Formal Complaint Resolution Process at Banks Don't Know 25% Yes 65% No 1 Q: (BANK USERS) To the best of your knowledge, does your bank have a formal process through which consumer complaints can be resolved? Quebec residents (68%) are most likely to say their bank does have a complaint-resolution process in place, whereas Atlantic Canadians (6) are least likely. C. Pressure to Give Financial Institution More Business Approximately one-fifth (19%) of Canadians who have been approved for a bank loan, mortgage, or line of credit over the past 7 years have felt pressured by their bank to give them more of their business. A similar proportion (13%) of Canadians approved by a credit union have felt such pressure. A POLLARA Report for Advocis 22

26 Figure 17 Pressure to Give Bank or Credit Union More Business 10 Yes No 87% % 13% Banks Credit Union Q: (IF APPROVED BY A BANK FOR A LOAN, MORTGAGE OR LINE OF CREDIT) At any time, did you feel any strong or even subtle pressure from the bank/financial institution/credit union to give them more of your business? Q: (IF APPROVED BY A CREDIT UNION FOR A LOAN, MORTGAGE OR LINE OF CREDIT) At any time, did you feel any strong or even subtle pressure from the bank/financial institution/credit union to give them more of your business? Among those who were approved, Ontario residents (23%) are most likely to say they have felt pressured by their bank, while residents of Atlantic Canada (14%) are least likely. Those who were approved who are most likely to say they have felt pressured include Canadians who have completed university (26%). In addition, Canadians aged 18 to 34 (23%) and 35 to 54 (22%) are more likely to have felt pressured than those aged 55 and over (11%). Urban residents (2) are more likely to have felt pressured than rural residents (15%).

27 VII. Attitudes Toward Current Consumer Protections Currently, bank branches are not generally allowed to provide printed information to customers about their life and health insurance services or to refer their customers to life and health insurance companies. Most Canadians support these protections. Furthermore, Canadians do not expect to feel any benefits from the removal of the consumer protections, and are concerned about banks becoming bigger if they begin selling insurance through their branches. These findings are detailed in the following section. Also discussed is the issue of access to life and health insurance in rural areas and small Canadian communities should banks begin selling life and health insurance through their branches. A. Privacy Risks Outweigh the Potential Benefit of Greater Access to Information After being provided with a description of current consumer protections, Canadians were presented with two views, and were asked which one best represents their own: 1. Some people want the protections removed to give consumers greater access to information about banks life and health insurance services. 2. Some people want the protections kept in place due to concerns about the privacy of their personal information and about being pressured to buy one product as a condition for obtaining another. Four out of five (78%) Canadians say that protections should be kept in place due to concerns about privacy or coercive tied-selling that is, being pressured to buy one product as a condition for obtaining another. In the minds of Canadians, these concerns outweigh the potential benefit of having greater access to information. A much smaller proportion (15%) says protections should be removed to give consumers greater access to information. These findings are not surprising given that the majority (81%) of Canadians say they already have enough (65%) or more than enough (16%) access to life and health insurance information. These results are discussed in the subsequent sub-section. A POLLARA Report for Advocis 24

28 Figure 18 Protections Should be Kept in Place due to Privacy Concerns 10 78% % 6% Protections Should Protections Should Don t Know/ Be Removed Be Kept In Place Currently, bank branches are not generally allowed to provide printed information to customers about their life and health insurance services or to refer their customers to life and health insurance companies. Q: (ROTATE SOME/OTHER) Some people want these [protections removed to give consumers greater access to information about banks life and health insurance services]. Other people want the [protections kept in place due to concerns about the privacy of their personal information and concerns about being pressured to buy one product as a condition for obtaining another]. Which of these views best represents your own? (IF NECESSARY: Protections are in place that prevent banks from providing printed information to customers about their life and health insurance services or from referring their customers to life and health insurance companies. ) Canadians across every region share the view that privacy and coercive tied-selling concerns outweigh any access-to-information benefits that may result from removing the protections, ranging from 82% in Atlantic Canada to 74% in Quebec. Women () are slightly more likely to agree with this view than men (77%), as are individuals aged 18 to 34 (), compared to those aged 35 to 54 (78%) or 55 and over (77%).

29 B. Access to Life and Health Insurance Information Eight in ten (81%) Canadians say they currently have enough (65%) or more than enough (16%) access to information about life and health insurance products, while an additional 16% say they do not have enough access. Figure 19 Perceptions of Access to Life and Health Insurance Information 10 65% % 16% 3% More Than Enough Enough Not Enough Don t Know/ Q: Do you think you currently have more than enough, enough, or not enough access to information about life and health insurance products? Those most likely to say they don t have enough access include those who have been denied life or health insurance coverage in the past (21%), those with an elementary school education (27%), and those with an annual household income of $25,000 or less (25%). In British Columbia (21%), where credit unions are allowed to sell life and health insurance, residents are most likely to say they have more than enough access to information. However, in Quebec (11%), where credit unions are also allowed to sell life and health insurance, residents are least likely to say they have more than enough access to information. Residents of Manitoba/Saskatchewan (18%) and Ontario (17%) are slightly more likely than Canadians overall (16%) to say they have more than enough access to information, while residents of Alberta (16%) are as likely, and residents of Atlantic Canada (14%) are somewhat less likely. A POLLARA Report for Advocis 26

30 C. Adequacy of Banks Current Selection of Financial Products Eight in ten (81%) Canadians say that banks already sell more than enough (24%) or enough (57%) financial products, leaving only 8% of Canadians who believe that banks are lacking in their product range. Figure 20 Adequacy of Banks Current Selection of Financial Products % 2 24% 8% 1 More Than Enough Enough Not Enough Don t Know/ Q: Do you think that banks sell more than enough, enough, or not enough financial products? In Quebec (83%) and British Columbia (83%), where credit unions are allowed to sell life and health insurance, residents are slightly more likely than Canadians overall (81%) to say that banks sell enough or more than enough financial products. However, they are as likely to hold this view as residents of Alberta (83%), and Manitoba/Saskatchewan (83%), and slightly more likely than residents of Ontario (), and Atlantic Canada (77%). Those most likely to believe banks sell more than enough or enough financial products include those who have completed university (87%) and those with an annual household income of $100,000 to less than $150,000 (91%).

31 D. Removing Protections Will Lead to Less Choice Following a description of the current protections, Canadians were asked which of the following views about the protections best represents their own: 1. Some people say the protections should be removed to allow for greater competition. 2. Some people say the protections should be kept in place because life and health insurance companies won t be able to compete against banks over the long term, which will eventually lead to less choice. Three out of five (63%) Canadians say current consumer protections that prohibit banks from providing printed information to customers about their life and health insurance services or from referring their customers to life and health insurance companies should be kept in place to preserve choice over the long term. This view is held more than twice as often as the view that removing protections will increase competition (28%). Figure 21 Protections Should be Kept in Place Because Life and Health Insurance Companies Won t be Able to Compete 10 63% % 9% Protections Should Be Removed Protections Should Be Kept In Place Don t Know/ Currently, bank branches are not generally allowed to provide printed information to customers about their life and health insurance services or to refer their customers to life and health insurance companies. Q: (ROTATE SOME/OTHER) Some people say these [protections should be removed to increase competition]. Other people say the [protections should be kept in place because life and health insurance companies won t be able to compete against banks over the long term, which will eventually lead to less choice]. Which of these views best represents your own? (IF NECESSARY: Protections are in place that prevent banks from providing printed information to customers about their life and health insurance services or from referring their customers to life and health insurance companies. ) A POLLARA Report for Advocis 28

32 Canadians across every region are favourable towards keeping protections in place as they believe it will preserve choice over the long term. Atlantic Canadians (71%) are most likely to believe the protections should be kept in place because removing them will lead to less choice, while British Columbians (59%) are least likely to agree with this view. Women (67%), especially women aged 18 to 34 (72%), are more likely to believe that removing protections will lead to less choice than men (59%). Rural residents (63%) are as likely as urban residents (63%) to say protections should be kept in place for reasons of choice. This is not surprising given rural Canadians experience with the number of bank branches in their communities which are discussed further in the following sub-section. E. Bank Branches in Rural Areas Approximately one-third (3) of rural residents say there are fewer bank branches in their community than there were 10 years ago. In Manitoba/Saskatchewan, close to one-half (46%) of rural residents say there are fewer bank branches in their community than there were 10 years ago. Among those rural residents who say there are fewer bank branches in their community than there were 10 years ago, 34% say a bank branch where they carried out their day-to-day banking activities has close down.

33 Figure 22 Perceptions of Number of Bank Branches in Rural Areas Number of Branches in Rural Areas Over Last 10 Years Has a branch closed down where you did day-to-day banking? Same Number % Fewer % More 16% Don't Know/ 5% Q: (RURAL RESIDENTS) Would you say that there are more, the same number, or fewer bank branches in your community than there were 10 years ago? 2 5% Yes No Don t Know/ Q: (RURAL RESIDENTS) (IF FEWER) Has a bank branch where you carried out your day-to-day banking activities closed down in the last 10 years? F. Bank Branches in Small Canadian Communities Two-thirds (65%) of Canadians believe that there will be fewer bank branches in small Canadian communities over the next 10 years, a majority (57%) of whom are very (19%) or somewhat (39%) concerned about the issue. A POLLARA Report for Advocis 30

34 Figure 23 Expectations and Concern for Future of Bank Branches in Small Canadian Communities Number of Branches in Small Canadian Communities Over Next 10 Years Concern Same Number 15% % 42% More 16% Fewer 65% Don't Know/ 4% Q: Over the next 10 years, do you expect that there will be more bank branches, the same number of bank branches, or fewer bank branches in small Canadian communities? Total Concerned Total Not Concerned 1% Don t Know Q: (IF FEWER) How concerned are you about this? Are you: Residents of Manitoba/Saskatchewan (54%) are most likely to be concerned, whereas residents of Quebec (31% are least likely to be concerned. Rural residents (73%) are more likely to expect there to be fewer branches than urban residents (63%), and are also more likely to be concerned about this issue (67% of rural residents concerned compared to 54% of urban residents).

35 Figure 24 Expectations and Concern for Future of Bank Branches in Small Canadian Communities Among Rural Residents Number of Branches in Small Canadian Communities Over Next 10 Years Concern 67% Same Number 13% More 11% Don't Know/ 4% Fewer 73% Q: Over the next 10 years, do you expect that there will be more bank branches, the same number of bank branches, or fewer bank branches in small Canadian communities? 6 2 Total Concerned 32% Total Not Concerned 1% Don t Know Q: (IF FEWER) How concerned are you about this? Are you: G. Expectations of Price of Life and Health Insurance if Protections Removed Three-quarters (73%) of Canadians believe that if consumer protections that prohibit banks from providing printed information to customers about their life and health insurance services or from referring their customers to life and health insurance companies are removed, the price of life and health insurance will increase (37%) or stay the same (36%) over the long term. Fewer than one in five (19%) expect the price to decrease. A POLLARA Report for Advocis 32

36 Figure 25 Price Expectations if Protections Removed % 19% 36% 8% Increasing Decreasing Staying The Don t Know/ Same Q: If these protections were removed, do you expect that they would result in the price of life and health insurance increasing, decreasing or staying the same in the long-term? Albertans () are most likely to expect the price to increase, while British Columbians (34%) are least likely. With respect to gender, women (39%), especially those aged 18 to 34 (41%), are more likely to expect the price to increase than men (34%). In addition, Canadians who have an annual household income of less than $25,000 (45%) are amore likely to expect the price to increase compared to other household income groups. H. Expectations of Potential Savings Resulting from Banks Selling Life and Health Insurance If banks were to expand into other products or services, such as selling life and health insurance through their branches, they could potentially save money by spreading their expenses across more lines of business. Twothirds (66%) of Canadians do not believe that any potential savings realized by banks in this way would be passed on to consumers.

37 Figure 26 Expectations of any Savings Realized by Banks 10 66% 6 27% 2 7% Savings Would Be Savings Would Not Don t Know/ Passed On Be Passed On Q: Sometimes organizations are able to save money by offering more products and services. If banks are allowed to sell life and health insurance out of their branches, do you expect that any potential savings would be passed on to customers or not? Residents of Manitoba/Saskatchewan (75%) are most likely to believe that savings would not be passed on, while Quebec residents (5) are the least likely to feel this way. Those most likely to believe that savings would not be passed on include Canadians who have some university education (75%) or who have completed university (73%), those whose household income is $100,000 or more (75%), and those aged 35 to 54 (7). A POLLARA Report for Advocis 34

38 I. Views on Insurance-Related Service Charges Three in five (62%) Canadians believe that any service charges that banks might apply to insurance-related transactions would be unfair. Figure 27 Perceptions of Service Charges if Banks Could Sell Insurance 10 62% % 8% Fair Unfair Don t Know/ Q: If banks could sell insurance from their branches, do you think any service charges they might apply for insurance related transactions would be fair or unfair? Ontario residents (69%) are most likely to say service charges would be unfair, while Quebec residents (55%) are least likely. Women (65%) are more likely to say service charges would be unfair than men (6), especially women aged 18 to 34 (67%) and 35 to 54 (7). Furthermore, residents with household incomes of $55,000 to less than $75,000 (69%) are more likely to say service charges would be unfair than other households.

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