Personal Finance

An Open Letter to ING Direct Canada

Please note!

To get a $25 bonus with a new ING account then use the referral code 33089336S1.  This is also called the  orange key code.

To the guy with the accent and his two curvy henchmen:

To begin with I’d like to thank you for entering, and shaking up, the Canadian banking industry. When I first heard about you, in 1997, I thought “what a great idea” and was happy to open an account with you. I was delighted to refer friends and family to you, and the referral bonuses you offered were a cherry on top of the sundae.

People were reluctant to bank with an entirely Internet based bank. I understood that concern, and did my best to reassure them that you wouldn’t run away with their money in the middle of the night (and you haven’t). Showing them that you are FDIC insured, just like the big banks went a long way to reassuring them. The fact that you offered higher interest rates on your SAVINGS ACCOUNT then the big banks offered for GICs went a long way to getting them to switch.

I was working down in the US in 2000 and evangelized you south of the border too.

As a banking revolutionary, I salute you. Unfortunately you seem to have recently lost the fire in your belly.

When PC Financial opened its doors, I was suspicious at first. I assumed that their higher rates would be mere teasers and expected within a couple of months for them to drop below yours. I was perplexed when months went by and they stayed higher than ING Direct. Your commercials kept playing, telling us to keep our money and get paid top interest, but they started to ring false in the face of the ongoing interest rate disparity.

In December of 2006 I applied to you for an un-mortgage. Being self-employed, I expected that it might be a little tougher to arrange, but we’d been together for so long, I expected it would happen one way or another. In the end your representative turned me away completely (not even offering a mortgage with a high down-payment or higher interest rates, just a refusal to do business with me). That same week both PC Financial and Scotiabank offered me mortgages.

You’ve changed man. You used to be about turning the bank industry on it heads and connecting with the littler guy. You streamlined your operations and passed the savings on to us. Now you’re turning your back on us, at exactly the time PC Financial is welcoming us with open arms.

My last GIC at ING direct came due in May, and after moving the money from it, there’s a sad 56 cents sitting in my ING Direct account. I hope the winter that has fallen on the orange giant thaws, and on that day I’ll happily return (although sadly you’ll have to outdo PC Financial now, when before all you had to do was match them to keep me).

Please let all the drained accounts sitting with pennies in them be the sparks that re-ignites your belly fire. Become what you were in 1997 again: charge into battle again. For your shareholders, yes, but for us little guys too!

30 replies on “An Open Letter to ING Direct Canada”

Hilarious! This post was right on and super-funny! 🙂 I, too, used to bank with ING Direct in America but due to their low interest rate, I have moved all of my money to another online bank with better interest rates. I don’t know what happened to ING Direct, but they are not what they used to be! Too bad!

Ditto, man.

I hope the 12K I moved out of ING last month and into PC Financial shows up as a blinking red light on somebody’s monitor somewhere. I hope he runs into his superior’s office screaming “it’s happening again!”

We need to get the orange ball of savings bouncing back in the right direction.

I’m willing to come back, ING. Just get back to doing what you do best.

I had a similar discussion with ING representative. I moved $100K to PCF. ING spends a lot of money on commercials taking pride in the best rates – but when asked: “OK, so why won’t you match the interest rate of PC?”, his answer was: “we’ll see for how long PC can promise this rate”.

I expect them to guarantee the best rate compared to any bank at any time. If PC drops the rate, they can drop it too. PC is not just some small financial institution in a remote location, it’s CIBC.

Excellent post. I too have moved my money from ING Direct to PC Financial.

And I hate those little gimmicks like ‘the summer sale’ of 4.25%. What about all the money I already had in there?! Doesn’t it deserve love too? Those sales peeve me off more than anything else.

I entirely agree, while mortgages and bank prime rate were rising, ING Direct interest rate (3.5%)didn’t move until Sept 2007 to 3.75%. However, I decided to move my cash to ICICI at 4.50%, which on $10,000 Hi-saving account gives $600/year more than ING Direct, while both Bank conditions remain similar.

Jonny: They turned me down too. I also found it quite weird (I had a 25% downpayment). I was self employed at the time, and they said they just had a blanket “no self employed mortgages”.

Their lose was my reaction too. PC financial and Scotiabank fought it out to get my business.

Next time I’m applying for a mortgage, I’m just going to go with a mortgage broker and avoid the whole process.

But… look at where we are today… PC financials is at 2% whereas ING is at 3%. ICICI is on the verge of bankruptcy due to the credit crisis. ING, due to conservative mortgage practices (they turned some people down ;P) appears to be unscathed by the mortgage meltdown and is considered one of the more solid banks now.

Oops, sorry, I was looking at the wrong rate on the PC site. Although that “3.05%” is misleading, it only applies to amounts over $1000. $10,000 with PCF’s 1% on the first $1000 and 3.05% on the following $9000 would generate less interest than $10,000 at 3%.

But who knows what other bank (or country ;P) could go bankrupt these days…

For those who did not get the mortgage with ING should be happy. I got mortgage through ING and they are not flexible. I wanted to move to New Home with same amount of Mortgage and they would not offer me same rate I got. I don’t get it. I got pime minus 1% now and if I want to move they want to charge me Prime plus 1%. Their prime minus 1% rate is also full of it. I have investment property mortgage with BMO which I got prime minus 1/2% which is same rate with ING prime minus 1%. ING prime rate is obviously higher than competition.


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I have my mortgage with them as well. It was easy to go with them, but when I wanted to sell my house and buy a new one, problems become a permanent feature of dealing with ING.

I tried to transfer my mortgage. ING Canada mortgage were late approving, despite 7 days to do it. After approving with no conditions, I suddenly had several conditions added by ING Canada mortgage thereafter, including a test on the foundation for which ING Canada Mortgage claimed the right to analyze and refuse to mortgage the house.

It took a week and a half after the financing deadline for ING Canada Mortgage to settle everything, get the useless test done (at my cost, of course) before ING Canada mortgage finalized the financing.

In the meanwhile, the seller of the house tried to get out of the sale because ING Canada mortgage were taking too long.

It was an incredibly frustrating situation that ING Canada mortgage created for no reason. The real estate agents on both sides of the sale said they have had similar problems with ING Canada mortgage in the past.

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Did anyone check their PC interest plus saving account lately???
Their rate went down to 0.75% approx 4x less than what they paid out last year. The PC bankers set their hook and now reeling in you big fishes. : )
I am checking out ING TFSA which is offering 3% right now. BTW, interest rate suck for the saver because of these stupid low interest rate set by the central bank. Everyone lives and hooks on cheap credit nowaday and when the economy go south many of you fishes will belly up.
Keep saving by sharing your knowledges and keep this school of fish survive the tough economic wave ahead!

is ING a safe company to have your money in? I do not have 1o’s of thousands of dollars, but I have some. I am with PCF. When it first started we were making 4%, and now it is .75% and has been for some time. If ING is offering 3.05% on it s savings account and 3% on the tax free savings account (where PC is .75%)…is there any reason not to move my money?
I am just unsure how secure ING is, even though PCF has no building, there is at least a small pavillion you can go to, it is something I can see…
any thoughts on where the best place for the small fish out there?

Michelle: ING direct is covered by CDIC ( which is a crown corporation ( and the same insurance for other Canadian banks (

They certainly aren’t going to disappear into the night with your money, and as with other Canadian banks, you’re insured up to $100k if they bank goes under.

ING’s rates are currently 1.05% for a vanilla savings account (3% is only for a TFSA, even more reason to max one out).

Ultimately, I did decide to open an ING Bank account. It seemed like a no-brainer to me.

I obtained the code from

Through using a referral link my friend at work provided, I received the bonus $25 to open my account with an initial deposit of $100 or more. The $25 bonus posted to my account right away. The initial transfer from my other bank RBC to my new ING Bank account was received within 48 hours.

So now I am all set to start earning the 1.05% interest rate. I plan on using my new ING Bank account as my emergency fund? those funds that won?t be touched unless I absolutely, positively need to. It will be nice for my savings to earn a higher interest rate vs. previously languishing in the < 1% range.

Why: If you’re putting the funds in for an emergency fund, it may be worth considering putting them in a TFSA. Then if you don’t use them, you get a higher, tax-free interest rate.

I have a savings accounts,TFSA, RSP’s and a mortgage with ING. Why do I deal with them… excellent service, simple banking, simple company and no hidden fees. I have never had a issue.

PCF is CIBC, then they are sold to another company owned by CIBC the resold to CIBC then yet again Sold to another company owned by CIBC, do you see an issue here, they don’t want the huge losses on the books every year…

ING Direct is stable, I truly have made it the place where I want to bank. Yes they could offer more services but they don’t there is time to grow.

Hey, at some point in your life your not going to be happy with service all the time, we all make mistakes and we deal with it.

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR, Open an account and try it for yourself!

Hi All…
I’m relatively new to Canada and have parked my funds in TFSA @1.5% in some other bank. But recently I discovered this 3% TFSA offer from ING.
This is undoubtedly a lucrative offer. What all I am looking for is to simply park my money for an year and use it in down payment of my new house next year.
Considering all the economic meltdown we had in past year, Do you guys really recommend ING TFSA in 2010 ?
Also how does one get that 25$ orange bonus thing ?

1 Types of accounts you offer, checking or servings etc.
2 Can I operate a servings account without a checking account.
3 How are your monthly charges on each account.
4 The interest rate on each account.
5 Loan interest rate should we require an operating line of credit.
6 Interest rate should we request a midiam term loan for buying equipment.
7 Conditions for obtaining loan, overdraft and line of credit.
8 Minimum balance if we have a servings account
9 Transactions fees for servings account, checking account etc.
10 Cost/Limitations associated with transactions at other than home branch.
11 Any other support services given to small businesses.

Their so called great Line of Credit at 2% + Prime was almost 10%, when I got a loan at almost 5% that is 2%+ prime to pay off the Line of Credit. I hope that ING piss off and died. Oh, the Line of Credit at the time was less than 5% total when I got it.

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