Known as ING Direct in Canada, the brand has become a well-known name in many Canadian households through its "save your money" slogan and orange colour scheme. The chequing accounts are a direct attempt to take market share away from Canada's major banks and occupy a larger share of the average Canadians' wallets.
ING will undoubtedly meet with much initial success as they already have over 1.8 million customers in Canada, of which many have accounts at other banks. In the first year, ING hopes to attract about 100,000 customers, but they are probably low-balling that number in anticipation of a pleasant year-end announcement that they shattered their expectations.
Some of the features of the new accounts include an initial batch of free cheques, free debit, free ATM transactions at Credit Unions and HSBC Bank, and, my personal favourite, FREE overdraft protection as long as you pay back the amount within 30 days! No more NSF charges if you forget about a certain bill that is coming due or a cheque that you wrote awhile back.
To be sure, ING is making deeper and deeper inroads into the Canadian market. Their StreetWise series of mutual funds are simple and reasonable, their savings rates are respectable, and now their chequing account is quite superior to anything offered by Canada's five traditional banking enterprises. Of course, PC Financial offers largely the same thing, but it is nice to see even more choice for Canadians in the banking sector.
All in all, an excellent choice for the intelligent investor. Why pay fees when you don't have to. Take the money you save on your banking fees and buy shares in your old bank with it.
For information on ING's new product, go to:
Happy Investing : )