Open letter to Jason Farris

Jason Farris is President and CEO of Citizens Bank of Canada.

Dear Jason,

So you’ve decided to “no longer offer savings and loan products“. For a company called Citizens Bank, your new business plan sounds neither much like a bank, nor of much benefit to citizens.

I moved to your bank less than a year ago. I love the public ethical standards that you hold.  I love the online banking facilities — they’re almost as good as my UK bank was offering back in 2001, so that means they’re stellar for Canada. I love the way that if you’re kept on hold for too long at Citizens Bank, the bank will call you back in five minutes or less — and actually does. I love the way that your employees go out of the way for clients — your Toronto account manager came to my house in the evening to help fill out the paperwork. (Never mind that you let him go a few months later when the “current economic conditions” hit.)

I moved to Citizens because my other bank holds the Canadian platinum-iridium standard for absolute bloody ineptitude (actually, I suspect they had it, but lost it somewhere). In the very rare occasions they can help, they charge you for it — even using their bank machines with their card will give you a monthly charge. I did look into a local alternative bank, but they were rude and unhelpful, rather more interested in tallying up and closing in half an hour than helping me with my enquiries.

You’re giving me the option to move to TD. This is my impressed face. What are they but yet another big downtown bank? What’s their ethical policy? Where’s their community reinvestment? Will they return my calls, or help me set up accounts out of hours? I think you know the answer, Jason.

I’m very disappointed, Jason. I’m also embarrassed, as I recommended your bank to many people, some of whom opened accounts, and will now have to close them. You’ve let me down badly, just when I thought I had found a bank I could trust.

All Good Things,