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New digital banking competitor coming in winter 2020...Brightside

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  • Sep 6th, 2020 10:16 pm
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May 11, 2014
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Iqaluit, NU
dmehus wrote: Maybe, but it's generally well run and maybe they get a one-time pop to the Heritage Trust Fund of maybe $3-5 billion? Then it's gone. Also, by privatizing it, you run the risk the new owners will aggressively consolidate branches and, worse, close rural branches. It's a profitable, well-run business. I think what they need to do is cut the management fat. They could probably pair their senior executive team in half. They really only need a CEO, a CFO, who doubles as CAO and Chief Human Resources Officer, a Head of Personal Banking & Wealth, a Head of Commercial Banking, a Chief Credit Officer, and a Chief Risk Officer. Other positions could report in to those senior executives as senior managers of subordinate units within each main department.

Cheers,
Doug
The money wouldn't be gone. Heritage Trst could hold onto some of the shares as part of the management and sell it down slowly. The cash returned would be invested elsewhere. At this point in time, closing rural branches is perfectly fine. It is propping up things and delaying the inevitable at this point. Yes having a banking centre is nice and all, but in the long term, it only adds costs to the government especially as most farms these days do use business banking at major centre branches anyway. It's not like ATB has a cost advantage compared to Big 6 banks. At the rate and with more competition on the horizon, ATB has lost it's mandate and reason to exist. While profitable, the return on equity and assets is poor compared to other banks.
https://www.atb.com/siteassets/legacy/FY19Q3.pdf

I believe moving toward privatization similar to Petro Canada would be a better fit. Make ATB legislate under the bank act, become a CDIC member, create a shareholder structure, retain majority stake and move management over to AIMCo or elect a board independent from the Government. During that time, create low cost structures, electronic banking systems that can not only lower cost, but still service rural Alberta communities.
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Mar 25, 2012
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xgbsSS wrote: The money wouldn't be gone. Heritage Trst could hold onto some of the shares as part of the management and sell it down slowly. The cash returned would be invested elsewhere. At this point in time, closing rural branches is perfectly fine. It is propping up things and delaying the inevitable at this point. Yes having a banking centre is nice and all, but in the long term, it only adds costs to the government especially as most farms these days do use business banking at major centre branches anyway. It's not like ATB has a cost advantage compared to Big 6 banks. At the rate and with more competition on the horizon, ATB has lost it's mandate and reason to exist. While profitable, the return on equity and assets is poor compared to other banks.
https://www.atb.com/siteassets/legacy/FY19Q3.pdf

I believe moving toward privatization similar to Petro Canada would be a better fit. Make ATB legislate under the bank act, become a CDIC member, create a shareholder structure, retain majority stake and move management over to AIMCo or elect a board independent from the Government. During that time, create low cost structures, electronic banking systems that can not only lower cost, but still service rural Alberta communities.
No way would I support AIMco taking over—they are the worst for not transparently disclosing all their assets like CPPIB, OMERS, Teachers, bcIMC, and the like. They're also extremely arrogant since Leo de Bever stepped down; they're extremely rude, to the extent they even respond to queries.

I actually think ICBC has lost its way way more than ATB Financial; ICBC, by contrast, thinks of itself as the de facto Superintendent of Motor Vehicles even though it isn't. It used to be there to subsidize younger and older drivers on basic third-party liability; not so anymore. Now we've got uncontrolled, rapidly increasing auto insurance without the benefit of competition.

At least ATB Financial is sustainably profitable...maybe they need a restructuring of their board, perhaps a new, leaner management team and a private-sector thinking, but I wouldn't sell it. The Hydro One sale actually made sense; hopefully the Ford government will sell down the rest.

Cheers,
Doug
Sr. Member
May 26, 2009
500 posts
629 upvotes
Calgary
I just spent a few minutes on the Brightside website.

Because they want to consider themselves cool and different from other banks, they use unique terminology. e.g. instead of accounts, they have "buckets". So, it took a moment to get a sense of what this is all about.

At the end of the day, this appears to be a prepaid Mastercard with 0.5% cash back on spending that also allows Interac money transfers. And they also have microloans of up to $2,500, but there is very little focus on that.

They seem to be marketing it as a savings vehicle, but they don't pay any interest. The features to round up transactions and put it into a savings bucket are built around this. I can see some people using features like this, but it isn't for me.

Is there anything else to this that I am missing? It feels very much like an alternative to Koho. They even have the same FTF of 1.5%. But with Brightside's $3 foreign ATM fee, it isn't as good.

I'm tempted to sign up just to get a colourful card. But then I doubt I would actually use it for anything.
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May 8, 2009
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jtfrogger wrote: I just spent a few minutes on the Brightside website.

Because they want to consider themselves cool and different from other banks, they use unique terminology. e.g. instead of accounts, they have "buckets". So, it took a moment to get a sense of what this is all about.

At the end of the day, this appears to be a prepaid Mastercard with 0.5% cash back on spending that also allows Interac money transfers. And they also have microloans of up to $2,500, but there is very little focus on that.

They seem to be marketing it as a savings vehicle, but they don't pay any interest. The features to round up transactions and put it into a savings bucket are built around this. I can see some people using features like this, but it isn't for me.

Is there anything else to this that I am missing? It feels very much like an alternative to Koho. They even have the same FTF of 1.5%. But with Brightside's $3 foreign ATM fee, it isn't as good.

I'm tempted to sign up just to get a colourful card. But then I doubt I would actually use it for anything.
I attached my collection of cards of different colours. Should have thrown Koho in there, but was aiming at mostly solid colours. I don't think I would grab another card just for the colour (I have a purple metallic one on the way coming from Europe).

I'm now used to those "deep savings" balances being called goals, vaults, pots and pockets so I guess buckets is just another flavour of the week.
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May 26, 2009
500 posts
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Calgary
titaniumtux wrote: I attached my collection of cards of different colours. Should have thrown Koho in there, but was aiming at mostly solid colours. I don't think I would grab another card just for the colour (I have a purple metallic one on the way coming from Europe).

I'm now used to those "deep savings" balances being called goals, vaults, pots and pockets so I guess buckets is just another flavour of the week.
I'm not sure if I would go with the solid yellow one or the one with the cartoon goat. Maybe I'll get my spouse to sign up too and we can get one of each. I like the yellow card because of the clean design. I like the goat one because it is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, it's not just a cartoon goat. It's a goat wearing sunglasses with one hoof up to it's head. If I could get three, I would get the mountain one too just because it is hideous.

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jtfrogger wrote: I'm not sure if I would go with the solid yellow one or the one with the cartoon goat. Maybe I'll get my spouse to sign up too and we can get one of each. I like the yellow card because of the clean design. I like the goat one because it is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, it's not just a cartoon goat. It's a goat wearing sunglasses with one hoof up to it's head. If I could get three, I would get the mountain one too just because it is hideous.

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Nice. I am still looking for a solid green and a solid yellow prepaid, so Brightside would fit the slot...I guess it's limited to AB residents?
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May 26, 2009
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Calgary
titaniumtux wrote: Nice. I am still looking for a solid green and a solid yellow prepaid, so Brightside would fit the slot...I guess it's limited to AB residents?
Yup. Only in Alberta. For the record, I ordered the goat card.

As a side note, it seems that I live in the banking enclave of Calgary. Brightside's head office is a couple blocks from my home. Same with Collabria. And EQ Bank has their name on a building here too.
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May 8, 2009
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jtfrogger wrote: Yup. Only in Alberta. For the record, I ordered the goat card.

As a side note, it seems that I live in the banking enclave of Calgary. Brightside's head office is a couple blocks from my home. Same with Collabria. And EQ Bank has their name on a building here too.
Nice. You'll have to drop that goat card from your wallet at any opportunity to crack some memes where you shop...

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