EQ Bank challenges Québec to expect more of chequing accounts as “Second Chance” campaign launches

FEB. 6, 2024

  • EQ Bank’s latest survey finds majority of Québécois consumers still use first-ever bank accounts and most (67%) have never changed banks
  • Less than half (49%) aware of interest earned on chequing accounts
  • 4-in-10 (40%) remain dissatisfied with financial incentives from banks 
  • EQ Bank customers in Québec can earn 4.00%1 bonus interest on everyday banking with direct deposit
  • Diane Lavallée and Laurence Leboeuf bring familiar parent-child insights to light for Québec in “Second Chance” campaign launch

MONTRÉAL, February 6, 2024 – EQ Bank, powered by Canada’s Challenger Bank™, Equitable Bank, is helping Québécois consumers re-define their chequing account expectations after its latest survey revealed a significant disconnect in awareness about fees paid and interest earned. The survey also found that, despite widespread feelings of dissatisfaction, most of those in Québec still use their first-ever bank accounts. To raise awareness of this common predicament, EQ Bank joined forces with Diane Lavallée and Laurence Leboeuf to give Canadians a “Second Chance” at these first accounts.

In a landscape where most banks offer little-to-no interest and charge fees on chequing accounts, awareness of what Québécois consumers could be making on their chequing accounts is low. The survey, conducted by EQ Bank among Québec resident members of the online Angus Reid Forum, uncovered that less than half (49%) of consumers are aware of what interest they earn on these deposits compared to much higher awareness of bank fees (83%). Unsurprisingly, a large percentage of this group (40%) are dissatisfied with financial incentives from their current bank, like earning interest on chequing deposits.

“EQ Bank is waking Québécois consumers up to better banking options,” said Mahima Poddar, SVP and group head, personal banking, EQ Bank. “Our research in the Québec market shows that today’s banking landscape has trained customers to be aware of and demand reduced fees but often avoids a critical part of the equation: earning interest. The reality is that many in Québec have paid thousands in fees on chequing accounts while earning nothing or very little in interest. We challenge Québécois consumers to ask whether their banks are working hard enough for them to help reach their financial potential faster.”

Québécois consumers struggle to move on from first-ever bank accounts
Actively using first-ever bank accounts is a reality for most (51%) in Québec and two-thirds (67%) have never changed the financial institution they use for everyday banking. In fact, while the vast majority (74%) of young Québécois consumers aged 18-34 still use these first-ever accounts, half (50%) of those 35-54 and two-fifths (37%) of those 55+ have also not moved on.

“It’s never too late to ask questions and challenge the status quo, even when that means re-examining long-held beliefs,” continued Poddar. “Québécois consumers share in the apathy most Canadians feel to moving away from the accounts they start with even though these bank accounts don’t satisfy their needs. This seems to be largely explained because they’re unaware that a world of better options exists outside their first-ever bank. No matter the stage of life, EQ Bank encourages those in Québec to take charge of their financial futures by looking beyond what is familiar and instead choosing what could make them more.”

EQ Bank customers in Québec can earn 4.00%1 bonus interest on everyday banking
Earning high interest and paying no fees on everyday banking are clear financial incentives that Québécois customers deserve from their banks. In order to encourage Québécois consumers to break ingrained habits and improve their financial lives, EQ Bank offers customers the opportunity to earn 4.00% bonus interest on their Personal Accounts when they direct deposit their pay.

“EQ Bank’s Personal Account is like the dawn of a new era in personal banking,” added Poddar. “We are re-defining the idea that chequing and savings accounts need to be entirely separate. By combining the best features of chequing with no fees and high interest, we’re offering Québécois customers a better solution in which their money is always working for them no matter how they use it.”

Setting up an account for the first time or earning 4.00% interest on an existing account takes minutes. More information can be found at eqbank.ca/help.

“Second Chance” brings familiar conversation to Québécois screens with Diane Lavallée and Laurence Leboeuf
While every Canadian parent/guardian had good intentions when opening bank accounts for their children, even the best laid plans sometimes warrant a pivot. EQ Bank brought beloved Québécois mother-daughter duo, Diane Lavallée and Laurence Leboeuf, together to help Québécois consumers understand that they can easily get a second chance at their first-ever bank accounts.

“There is no such thing as a perfect recipe to help parents set up their children for financial success, but opening their first-ever bank accounts was a start for many,” said Diane Lavallée. “Exploring this Québécois story with Laurence was a great experience.”

“Playing myself alongside my mother was fun, and our bond is what stands out the most for me from this experience,” said Laurence Leboeuf. “We were thrilled to tell a uniquely Quebecois story together.”

In the coming year, Québécois consumers can expect to see Diane and Laurence’s conversation and EQ Bank’s “Second Chance” campaign on TV screens, online and social media across the province. To hear what the duo has to say about second chances, visit EQ Bank’s YouTube channel @eqbankcanada.

To learn more about EQ Bank and open an account or take advantage of 4.00% interest in minutes, visit eqbank.ca/help today.

About EQ Bank
Equitable Bank—Canada's Challenger Bank™—is a wholly owned subsidiary of EQB Inc., which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: EQB) (TSX: EQB.PR.C) and serves more than 578,000 customers. Equitable Bank's wholly owned subsidiary Concentra Bank supports Canadian credit unions and their more than 6 million members. With more than $115 billion in combined assets under management and administration, Equitable Bank has a clear mandate to drive change in Canadian banking to enrich people's lives. Founded more than 50 years ago, Canada's Challenger Bank™ provides diversified personal and commercial banking, and through its digital EQ Bank platform (eqbank.ca) has been named the top Schedule I Bank in Canada on the Forbes World's Best Banks 2021, 2022 and 2023 lists. Please visit eqb.investorroom.com for more details.

About the survey 
These are the findings of a survey conducted by EQ Bank from January 18 to 22, 2024 among a representative sample of 808 online Québec residents who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/-3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


1Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. For the EQ Bank Card, interest is paid into the linked Personal Account. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice. For the Personal Account, Joint Account and EQ Bank Card, the current base interest rate is 2.50% (the “Base Rate”). Customers who add and maintain qualifying recurring direct deposits of at least $500/month to a Personal Account or Joint Account are eligible to earn a bonus interest rate of 4.00% (the Base Rate plus an additional 1.5%) for the eligible accounts (the Personal Account, Joint Account and the EQ Bank Card balance) for a maximum period of 12 consecutive months. Conditions apply. Please review the EQ Bank Bonus Interest Offer Terms and Conditions


Media contact:

Maggie Hall
Director, PR & Communications


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