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Knowing Your Banks: Ally Bank Canada

13 October 2009

ally bank logo 150x150 Knowing Your Banks: Ally Bank CanadaToday, we find ourselves examining a new bank to Canadians, Ally Bank. Some might remember Ally Bank previously as General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), a United States bank that was previously the wholly owned financial services arm of General Motors.

GMAC was rebranded to Ally Bank on May 15th 2009. The name change marked a shift away from the GMAC brand that has underscored the lender’s association with the auto maker.

Ally Bank gave a fresh start for the company which had a first quarter 2009 net loss of approximately $675 million.

Ally Bank is built on the foundation of GMAC Financial Services.

Ally Bank  is an online bank, it is open 24/7; this includes customer service.

There are no monthly fees, no minimum deposits and no minimum balances. This gives you the chance to have new products developed for you.

Currently Ally Bank offers four banking products, all of which are insured by the Canada’s Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

The banking products are as followed: Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC), High Interest Savings Account and a Tax Free Savings Account

The GIC allows you to lock in a high fixed GIC rate from 3 months – 5 years. The best part is that you can open this account and not have to worry about monthly fees.

You are able to cash out early with any fee, and have daily compounded interest for maximum earnings.

Ally Bank allows you to have the Ally Ten Day Best Rate Guarantee; this is the option of having a higher rate.

The Ally Ten Day Best Rate Guarantee works by when you fund your GIC within ten days of opening or renewing your Ally account, you automatically get the best rate offered in the time period.

The High Interest Savings Account (HISA) allows you to earn a higher rate than traditional savings. It is currently at 2.00%.

With the new Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA), you are able to earn income on your TFSA deposits and investments, and best of all they are not taxed. You are allowed to deposit a maximum of $5,000 each year.

Keep in mind I only briefly highlighted the banking products Ally Bank offers, I will be sure to go through each in thorough detail, allowing you to see a side of Canadian banking outside of the larger banks, particularly the “Big Six”.

Ally Bank has only been around a few months, but its few banking products are turning heads, and you should take a look at what it has to offer.


Update: Content Has Been Made Accurate

Click here for a detailed review of Ally Bank of Canada’s Products & Services.


Continuing Series:

Knowing Your Banks: Royal Bank of Canada

Knowing Your Banks: Toronto-Dominion Bank

Knowing Your Banks: Bank of Nova Scotia

Knowing Your Banks: Bank of Montreal

Knowing Your Banks: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Knowing Your Banks: National Bank of Canada

Knowing Your Banks: Citizens Bank of Canada

Knowing Your Banks: Canadian Western Bank

Knowing Your Banks: “The Big Six”

Knowing Your Banks: HSBC Bank Canada

Knowing Your Banks: Desjardin Group

Knowing Your Banks: President’s Choice Financial

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About the Author


My favorite weapon of choice is the samurai sword. I use it to cut my chicken during dinner, cut my hair and periodically carve my name into stone when I am bored. I love meditating on top of a 15ft high pole and eating those sushi’s with smoked salmon on top. I love everything there is about Canada and everything financially related to Canadians. I write deily posts from Canadian Banks to Credit Card information.

Comments (11 )

john Wrote:

your and idiot, your review makes no sense and pritty much covers the american bank what about Ally trust? the canadian trust company? which is under the resmore trust umbrella? do you read your reviews prior to posting them?

Sensei Wrote:

I hope this article did not offend you, but the information stated was not wrong. You are correct about speaking about ResMor Trust, however as it stands, ResMor Trust is a subsidiary of GMAC Inc, therefore what I stated about Ally Bank is correct.

You can find this stated in this press release:

As GMAC is from the United States, it is also right for me to speak about its backstory from America, and it was recently rebranded into Ally Bank.

You can find information on that in an article published in the Globe and Mail:

I hope this clears up any misunderstandings we have had.

Richard Wrote:

I have to agree with John. Why are you talking about CD’s… In Canada, we have GIC’s insured by CDIC, the CANADA Deposit Insurance Corporation.

BankGuru Wrote:

Article has been updated…

dlm Wrote:

Why do you say there are no fees for a GIC? I’ve never paid any fees for GICs.

Kaitlyn Wrote:

There are penalties for cloinsg GIC’s before their maturity date. However we have a redeemable 12 month GIC, which is a highlight. I work for Ally as a customer service rep, and all the information is correct.

Bank Guru Wrote:

:O A banker!! Thanks for sharing Kaitlyn… waiting for Ally Bank to have different products. We heard they are coming out soon…

Jeff Wrote:

I think pretty soon Ally could to be heading for customer service trouble. Who knows maybe even regulatory or class action problems due to there practices that I have just become painfully aware of.

They are obviously used to playing in unregulated US territory. And I’m sure people have been flocking to ‘send’ money to Ally to get 2%. However, I have just experieinced a most unacceptable practice. When you want to move your money out of Ally, Ally uses the funds for other purposes for 2-4 days – prior to depositing it in the receiving institution. They tell you that it ‘takes that long’ and that the ‘Canadian Payments Association’ has the money. Well both of these explanations are incorrect. Global financial markets have been real time for more than 10 years, and payments are cleared in bulk (i.e. millions of dollars) multiple times a day between every memeber institution in Canada – IN REAL TIME. After an escalation to senior executive, Ally admitted that they first move the money into an Ally holding account, prior to clearing – which means they take it from their customer and stop interest for 2-4 days (or more, who knows, its been 3 and my money is till in limbo). No other interbank on-line transfers work this way in Canada at ING, HSBC Direct, or the 6 majors. They ALL debit and creidt on the same day, or overnight – even if that day is 1-2 days from the request. Ally takes the money the second you make the request, and doesn’t actually initiate the transfer for several business days. I received several different answers, the most hilarious of which is that the Canadian Payments association “HAS” my money. I also received an explanation that they are investigating and verifying money laundering issues before transferring the money. When I asked why they can’t do that with the money in my account – but on hold, they offered to pay me the lost interest on a one time basis to make me stop questioning their questionable practices.

I really hope the Canadians as a whole do not stand for this. We are used to a highly regulated and safe environment – not Financial institutions making up new rules to make money off our money. I also worry that young investors won’t know better, and might just accept the rhetoric given by customer services reps, who themselves don’t seem to understand that there explanations are not even plausible, let alone nonsensible.

dlm Wrote:

Ally is not covered by CDIC. Only ResMor is. When Scotiabank bought out Montreal Trust and National Trust, they kept separate coverage at CDIC.

Thor Wrote:

Today Ally used a new tactic to prevent from returning my funds, after requesting my account be closed. It has been six weeks since I requested the close and my funds be returned to me. At first they said they could only return my money by issuing me a cheque. after three weeks and three phone calls they mailed me the cheque and included a message inside the envelope advising me not to cash the cheque because the dollar amount in the digit box was diffrent than the written amount by 1 cent making the cheque uncashable. I have now called back twice in the last two weeks and they continue to stonewall and use the excuss that it was overlooked by mistake and it would be taken care of. Another call today and they have yet to transfer or send a cashable cheque. I an not sure how to proceed from here.

rogue Wrote:

I think the confusion here is between the US and CAN side of Ally.
Different regulations for different countries.
Ally is 100% legit.
Can’t wait for them to have bank statues and open up chequing accounts in Canada.

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