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Boring Canadian banks worth some love: Mowat

Boring Canadian banks worth some love: Mowat

Posted on: July 15, 2014
Author: Staff

Readers of the Globe and Mail recently saw that ATB Financial President and CEO Dave Mowat’s submission made the newspaper’s list of 147 Things To Love About Canada. Mowat’s thing to love about this country? Its banks.

The Globe published the first paragraph of Dave’s account, so, if you missed it, here it is, and here’s the rest of it.


Canada’s banking system is steady, reliable and can be kind of boring—and it’s exactly what I love about this country. Because, really, it’s one of the things Canadians do well: run banks. Big ones and little ones and, increasingly, innovatively boring ones.

Fitting right into that quiet, unapologetic stereotype is ATB Financial, a financial institution in Alberta with 700,000 customers that now has the most sophisticated banking system in the world. That banking system paves the way for Canada to continue its lead in the ease with which we can move money for customers.

All of that might strike you as being as exciting as having a better muffler for your car. But the muffler makers get it right. Shiny underneath, keeps you moving in a quiet, Canadian kinda way.

But that new banking system also has some real bells and whistles. For instance, it can actually pay differing rates of interest on deposits based on how far the home NHL team goes in the Stanley Cup playoffs. (That may mean a big wait for our good friends in Toronto….:) No, the banking system won’t be run on the results of sporting teams, but, yes, the system can do unusual things that make a little noise.

After all, if Tim Hortons can change its menu, we can, wait for it, wait for it, offer interesting bank products.

You heard it here. And that’s why I love Canada.

~ Dave Mowat