TD Waterhouse, Desjardins Bank and Steinbach Credit Union Named Top Customer Service Firms in Canada in 2011

TORONTO, ON --- February 14th, 2012 --- TD Waterhouse, Desjardins Bank and Steinbach Credit Union have been awarded top honours in Surviscor's 2011 Customer Email Responsiveness (CER) review. TD Waterhouse was once again the quickest firm in Canada with an average response time of 4.50 hours per email, slightly higher than 2011, winning the competitive online brokerage industry segment. Desjardins Bank (7.95) dethroned three time winner RBC Royal Bank (11.18) amongst Canadian banks while Steinbach Credit Union (6.73), of Manitoba, won for the best credit union and the lowest banking industry response time. The review was conducted between January 1st, 2011 and December 31st, 2011 and analyzes over forty financial services firms' response times to over 175 'mystery shopper' emails in the 12-month period.

The top industry firms results is as close as the industries come to parity. "Again this year, once you remove the top few firms in each industry segment, the online brokerage industry clearly outperforms its banking counterparts," said Glenn LaCoste, President of Surviscor. "The top ten brokerage firms' average response time is under 10 hours, traditional banks just under 24 hours and the credit unions in the study are 68 hours. It remains clear that the banking and credit union industries, which consistently preaches customer service, are clearly in disarray when servicing its general email inbox" added LaCoste." added LaCoste. Surviscor has four response level standards, platinum, gold, silver and bronze. No firms were awarded a platinum status for a response time average under 4 hours. Furthermore, 85% of banking and credit union firms could not crack the minimum standard level of 16 hours.

One could dispute the importance of email responsiveness to a potential or current customer. The dispute would assume that the industries provided a better form of communication to replace email. That is not the case in Canada. Live chat and 'click-to-call' availability is scarce amongst firms and not prominent throughout the sites of firm's who do offer the services. Surviscor tracks all correspondence with the firm, including the time to respond, the availability of auto-responses, the details of the email dialogue and the validity of the answer provided.

The top CER rated banking firms are Steinbach Credit Union, Desjardins Bank, RBC Royal Bank, BMO Bank of Montreal and Conexus Credit Union. Notably missing is CIBC and TD Canada Trust, who are frequently awarded customer service distinctions. The top CER rated brokerage firms are TD Waterhouse, BMO InvestorLine, Scotia iTrade, HSBC InvestDirect and Virtual Brokers. Notably missing is CIBC Investor's Edge and RBC Direct Investing, who was recently awarded a service distinction. Complete CER ratings results can be found at