Personal Finance

Can bank employees look at your accounts to solicit potential investing business?

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  • Jul 26th, 2016 9:21 pm
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[OP]
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Apr 21, 2003
4799 posts
261 upvotes
Winnipeg

Can bank employees look at your accounts to solicit potential investing business?

I have a substantial amount of money in a bank account saved up that I have plans for. The other day I got a got from an investment advisor from the bank saying that I should make an appointment to see him to invest that money into "something". To me it seems an invasion of my privacy of my accounts. Is this legal???
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Sep 23, 2014
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Of course they can.
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Mar 23, 2008
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Edmonton
From the Royal Bank client agreement...
Collecting your personal information

We may from time to time collect financial and other information about you such as:
information establishing your identity (for example, name, address, phone number, date of birth, etc.) and your personal background;
information related to transactions arising from your relationship with and through us, and from other financial institutions;
information you provide on an application for any of our products and services;
information for the provision of products and services; and
information about financial behaviour such as your payment history and credit worthiness.


We may collect and confirm this information during the course of our relationship.

We may obtain this information from a variety of sources, including from you, from service arrangements you make with or through us, from credit reporting agencies and financial institutions, from registries, from references you provide to us and from other sources as is necessary for the provision of our products and services.

You acknowledge receipt of notice that from time to time reports about you may be obtained by us from credit reporting agencies.

Using your personal information

This information may be used from time to time for the following purposes:
to verify your identity and investigate your personal background;
to open and operate your Account(s) and provide you with products and services you may request;
to better understand your financial situation;
to determine your eligibility for products and services we offer;
to help us better understand the current and future needs of our clients;
to communicate to you any benefit, feature and other information about products and services you have with us;
to help us better manage our business and your relationship with us;
to maintain the accuracy and integrity of information held by a credit reporting agency; and
as required or permitted by law.

For these purposes, we may:
make this information available to our employees, our agents and service providers, who are required to maintain the confidentiality of this information;
share this information with other financial institutions; and
give credit, financial and other related information to credit reporting agencies, who may share it with others.
Check the fine print with your bank...

C
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Jul 28, 2012
1025 posts
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cipher wrote: The other day I got a got from an investment advisor [...]
I guess you meant "I got a call".
You can contact your bank and politely ask them to no longer solicit you by phone.
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Feb 19, 2014
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Langley
My friend works at TD and he is a FSR. I asked him about this, and he said they aren't allowed to just comb through peoples accounts and solicit them. There is a special list they go off of. So you must have indicated you may be interested in their products or services or something, maybe even in passing to a teller? Otherwise, they're not supposed to contact you unless you're on the list.

Unless things are different for RBC
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Feb 24, 2008
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cipher wrote: I have a substantial amount of money in a bank account saved up that I have plans for. The other day I got a got from an investment advisor from the bank saying that I should make an appointment to see him to invest that money into "something". To me it seems an invasion of my privacy of my accounts. Is this legal???
Which bank is that - RBC?
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Aug 4, 2006
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Don't believe they are supposed to do this. Reach out to the branch manager. you will never get another call and that individual will likely get a few words spoken to them.
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Dec 21, 2011
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AstonM wrote: Don't believe they are supposed to do this. Reach out to the branch manager. you will never get another call and that individual will likely get a few words spoken to them.
This is incorrect. Unless you specify do not contact by phone for marketing purposes and have your indicator changed to reflect this, other areas of the bank may still contact you in regard to potential investments.
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Apr 16, 2007
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Financial District B…
cipher wrote: I have a substantial amount of money in a bank account saved up that I have plans for. The other day I got a got from an investment advisor from the bank saying that I should make an appointment to see him to invest that money into "something". To me it seems an invasion of my privacy of my accounts. Is this legal???
You may have given a verbal directive and may not have even realized it.
Even a casual inquiry to an official at the bank as to a product whether offered or not will and may spawn follow up suggestions.
Your inquiries will get referred to advisors.

If you walked into a branch and saw a poster or board that said xxxxx dollars invested will give you xxx mth and asked casually what's that all about, the small talk chit chat alone may get referred to an advisor.
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[OP]
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Apr 21, 2003
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Winnipeg
kulb wrote: Which bank is that - RBC?
TD. I already have investments with them. But to have them call me about money I have in a checking account that I'm saving up for a purchase is odd.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 21, 2003
4799 posts
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Winnipeg
That's what I thought. I mean going through accounts to see who has money and then calling them to invest seems invasive to one's privacy.
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Feb 24, 2008
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Few weeks so, I went into my BMO branch as I needed some cash as the ATM only dispenses $20 bills and I needed bigger denomination. I was assisted by the branch manager. While handling my request, he just casually tells me if I've thought about investing the $$ sitting in the savings account. I politely declined. Few days later, I get a call from an investment advisor at the same branch telling me that the branch manager passed on my info to them so they can assist me with my investment needs.
Member
Oct 2, 2014
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New Westminster
RBC, CIBC, BMO, in fact, all banks does this kind of marketing.
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Dec 21, 2011
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cipher wrote: TD. I already have investments with them. But to have them call me about money I have in a checking account that I'm saving up for a purchase is odd.
It's not odd. If you haven't had them update your preferences to not call with marketing opportunities chances are you will be called. The flip side is people who complain that the bank never mentioned they could be doing more with their money than just having it sit in an account forever - there is no win really.

It's the same when they reach out with preapproved LOCs and the like - they have combed your credit history not only with that institution but with Equifax also - more invasive, but that's usually deemed okay.
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Nov 22, 2015
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AstonM wrote: Don't believe they are supposed to do this. Reach out to the branch manager. you will never get another call and that individual will likely get a few words spoken to them.
Absolutely wrong. I used to work for one of the Big 5. Part of the branch manager's job is to actually go through all the deposit accounts on their transit - they literally sort by highest balance, and divvy up the leads for the sales people to call and invite for a financial review.
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Nov 22, 2015
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jellytime wrote: My friend works at TD and he is a FSR. I asked him about this, and he said they aren't allowed to just comb through peoples accounts and solicit them. There is a special list they go off of. So you must have indicated you may be interested in their products or services or something, maybe even in passing to a teller? Otherwise, they're not supposed to contact you unless you're on the list.

Unless things are different for RBC
It's not the sales people that comb through accounts and look for potential business. The banks all have algorithms in place that generate leads based on clients' likelihood to acquire certain products. Leads are generated so that the sales people have people to call and don't sit around all day doing nothing.

You literally make it onto the "list" by having large balances in your accounts.
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Nov 22, 2015
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mikeymike1 wrote: You may have given a verbal directive and may not have even realized it.
Even a casual inquiry to an official at the bank as to a product whether offered or not will and may spawn follow up suggestions.
Your inquiries will get referred to advisors.

If you walked into a branch and saw a poster or board that said xxxxx dollars invested will give you xxx mth and asked casually what's that all about, the small talk chit chat alone may get referred to an advisor.
You don't need to give any verbal permission or anything. CRTC rules do not follow as long as you are their client. Even if you specifically demand that you not be solicited, they don't legally have to comply. Furthermore, it's not an invasion of privacy either - you don't "own" your account. Sure, the money might belong to you, but the bank is free to do anything they want with the accounts or debit card including closing your account or revoking your access without notice or explanation.

Edit: Sorry, the second part of this post was supposed to be directed at OP, not you Mikey.
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Jan 28, 2014
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Toronto
cipher wrote: I have a substantial amount of money in a bank account saved up that I have plans for. The other day I got a got from an investment advisor from the bank saying that I should make an appointment to see him to invest that money into "something". To me it seems an invasion of my privacy of my accounts. Is this legal???
Yes. (We bank with TD.)

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