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CIBC Vs. Scotiabank: A Detailed Overview

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If you reside or do business in Canada and you are looking for a new bank, it’s likely that CIBC and Scotiabank are two options that are on your list. That’s because both of these financial institutions are part of Canada’s “big five” banks, and as you can probably guess, that means they have quite a massive amount of power in finance.

These two banks are competitors with one another, and they’re in competition with several other banks (including the other “big five” banks, of course). Therefore, both CIBC and Scotiabank also offer a variety of products and services, and those products and services are actually pretty similar.

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An Introduction to CIBC

CIBC

CIBC is short for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, but since that’s quite a mouthful, it’s more commonly simply referred to as “CIBC.” As mentioned above, CIBC is one of Canada’s “big five” banks. The financial institution was founded in the city of Toronto in the province of Ontario, and the headquarters is still located there today.

CIBC offers its customers a wide selection of personal, business, and commercial banking services. The financial institution also offers numerous wealth management and insurance products. You can find the bank under the CM stock ticker on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE).

The following are some CIBC key facts that you should be aware of:

Total assets. As of 2022, CIBCs total assets amounted to $840 Canadian dollars
Market cap. As of 2022, CIBCs market capitalization amounted to $62 billion Canadian dollars
Annual revenue. In 2021, CIBCs annual revenue amounted to $20 billion Canadian dollars
Number of branches. There were a total of 1,050 CIBC branches throughout Canada
Number of employees. As of 2022, CIBC employed 45,000 people

An Introduction to Scotiabank

Scotiabank

Scotiabank, formally known as the Bank of Nova Scotia, is also one of Canada’s “big five” banks. The financial institution was founded in Halifax back in 1832. It has been operational longer than CIBC. Its market capitalization, total assets, and annual revenue of Scotiabank are larger than CIBC, too. This bank also employs more people than CIBC.

Like CIBC, Scotiabank offers its customers a variety of personal and business banking products. It’s also worth noting that Scotiabank is the parent company of Tangerine, the largest digital bank in Canada.

The following are some key facts about Scotiabank:

Total assets. As of 2022, Scotiabank’s total assets amounted to $1.10 trillion Canadian dollars
Market cap. As of 2022, Scotiabank’s market capitalization totaled $102 billion Canadian dollars
Annual revenue. In 2021, Scotiabank’s annual revenue totaled $30 billion Canadian dollars
Number of branches. As of 2022, there were a total of 1,000 Scotiabank branches located throughout Canada
Number of employees. As of 2022, Scotiabank employed 89,000 people

CIBC vs Scotiabank: A Comparison

Now that you have some of the key details and facts about CIBC and Scotiabank, let’s compare two of Canadas’s “big five” banks.

Below, we’ll compare these two financial organizations in four separate categories:

  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Credit card options
  • Loan, mortgage, and investment products
  • Customer service

The information presented in this comparison can be used to help you decide which of these two Canadian banks will best suit your financial needs.

Checking and Savings Accounts

CIBC

CIBC customers will be able to use one of the three different checking accounts that the bank offers.

These checking accounts include the following:

  • An everyday checking account that offers primary, basic features for $4 CAD per month and an additional $1.50 CAD Interac e-Transfer fee
  • A Smart account, which offers unlimited transactions and e-Transfers for $16.95 CAD per month
  • A Premium account for $29.95 CAD per month

For both the Smart and Premium accounts, the monthly fees can be waived if you maintain a minimum balance of $4,000 to $6,000 CAD.

As for savings accounts, CIBC offers four different options for customers who bank with them. One of these is a US dollar savings account, and one is a registered savings product (RRSP and TFSA) account.

Scotiabank

If you do your banking at Scotiabank, you will be able to choose from one of their four different checking account options that the financial institution offers, including:

  • A basic, everyday checking account that offers 12 free transactions and e-Transfers each month, with a $3.95 CAD monthly fee.
  • A Basic Plus checking account, which offers 25 free transactions, as well as unlimited e-Transfers, for a fee of $11.95 CAD per month; however, the monthly fee can be waived if you maintain a minimum balance of $3,000.
  • A Preferred account, which offers additional banking features, as well as Scene+ rewards. This account charges a monthly fee of $16.95 CAD; however, the fee can be waived if you maintain a balance of at least $4,000.
  • An Ultimate checking account, which offers a diverse array of features, as well as a waiver on other Scotiabank products. The monthly fee for this account is $30.95 CAD; however, the fee can be waived if you maintain a minimum balance of $5,000.

In addition to these checking accounts, people who bank with Scotiabank will be able to take advantage of one of the five savings accounts the financial institution offers.

This includes a US Dollar and a Euro account. It’s important to note that the majority of banks in Canada do not offer this option, so if you are going to be doing banking in Euros, this would be a great choice to consider.

The Winner: Scotiabank

When comparing the checking and savings accounts that CIBC and Scotiabank offer, Scotiabank is clearly the winner. That’s because the financial institution offers more options for both types of accounts. Because their options are more diverse, so you’re more likely to find options that will truly suit your needs at Scotiabank.

Credit Cards

CIBC

CIBC customers will be able to access the more than 20 different credit cards that the bank offers. These cards offer a variety of perks, such as rewards, cash-back, and even travel. With so much variety, there’s a good chance that you will be able to find options that will really suit your financial needs, as well as your lifestyle.

In addition, CIBC has partnered up with Costco. With these cards, customers can take advantage of the handsome cash-back benefits that they offer, which are offered at certain restaurants, as well as Costco gas retailers.

It’s important to note, however, that if you want to use one of the Costco perk credit cards, you will need to become a member of Costco. That said, if you are already shop at Costco, these CIBC credit cards could be a good option for you, as they can help to maximize your savings.

Scotiabank

In terms of variety, Scotiabank certainly doesn’t fall short. The financial institution offers numerous credit cards with a range of perks, such as cash-back, low-interest, travel, and Scene+ options.

The Winner: Tie

In the credit card category, CIBC and Scotiabank tie. Both banks offer a wide assortment of credit cards that feature a variety of perks, such as travel rewards, low interest rates, cash-back, and more. We want to point out that you do not have to do your everyday banking with either CIBC or Scotiabank in order to access their credit cards.

Most financial institutions will issue a credit card to anyone who meets their requirements and pays an annual fee, including those who are not bank customers.

Loan, Mortgage, and Investment Products

CIBC

At CIBC, you will find numerous loan, mortgage, and investment products to choose from. You’ll find wealth management products, too. The following is a brief snapshot of the loan, mortgage, and investment products that CIBC offers:

  • Loan products. CIBC offers a variety of loans, including lines of credit, personal loans, auto loans, student loans, and commercial loans.
  • Mortgage products. You can find mortgage products with fixed or variable rates at CIBC, as well as home equity lines of credit.
  • Investment products. At CIBC, there are several different products available that are designed to help you grow your money, including term deposits, ETFs, mutual funds, and even self-directed investments. The financial institution offers retirement and wealth management planning and support, too.

 

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Scotiabank

Like CIBC, Scotiabank also offers several different loan, mortgage, and investment products for its customers, including:

Loan products. At Scotiabank, customers will have access to personal loans, lines of credit, newcomer loans, auto loans, commercial loans, and student loans.

Mortgage products. Scotiabank also offers flexible mortgage products, including both fixed and variable rate options. They offer home equity line of credit, too.

Investment products. At Scotiabank, you will find several different products that can help you grow your wealth, such as term deposits, mutual funds, registered products, ETFs, and self-directed investments. The bank offers retirement and wealth management and planning, as well.

The Winner: Tie

Once again, CIBC and Scotiabank tie in the loans, mortgage, and investment products category. These banks offer similar products in all of these areas, which can likely be attributed to the fact that they are major competitors. Not only are the products they offer similar, but so are the rates.

If you are considering GICs, however, you will more than likely have better luck at one of Canada’s digital banks. But, for all other loan, mortgage, and investment products, CIBC and Scotiabank are both well-positioned to meet your needs.

Customer Service

CIBC

Customer service is a very important factor to take into consideration when you are trying to decide which bank to do business with. CIBC is well aware of this, and as such, they take customer service very seriously.

Some of the key features that CIBC is known for in regard to customer service include:

  • More than 1,000 branches and thousands of ATMs throughout Canada, which can be used for no additional cost
  • Responsive and knowledgeable associates
  • Minimal wait times on the phone
  • An award-winning mobile app that has been recognized by numerous well-known institutions, such as Forrester Research, JD Power, and Global Finance Magazine.
  • Excellent opportunities for international students who are traveling to or studying in Canada

While CIBC does take part in the community, this is an area where they are lacking. This is particularly true when the bank is compared to Canadian credit unions. Finally, CIBC does disclose financial reports on an annual basis, so they are transparent.

 

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Scotiabank

Scotiabank prides itself on putting customers first. They are well-regarded in the community for offering the following:

  • A financial leader in the Americas
  • Responsive, informative, and helpful associates
  • Scene+ rewards program, which is certainly a perk
  • Robust in-person and mobile banking services

Scotiabank has a strong community presence. The financial institution actively participates in community events, which is certainly positive. Additionally, Scotiabank is transparent with its earnings, as they always disclose annual reports.

Winner: Depends on your needs

When it comes to customer experience, it’s up to you to decide who the winner is. Everyone has different experiences, and everyone has different needs. In all, both banks appear to have a good standing in terms of customer service; however, it really is ultimately up to you to decide which one you feel the most comfortable banking with.

We suggest scheduling an in-person appointment or having an over-the-phone consultation with representatives from each of these financial institutions. During your consultations, you will be able to acquire more in-depth information, and you can get answers to the questions that are most important to you.

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  • Lowest and most transparent commissions
  • Large number of tradable security types
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Conclusion

When it comes to banking in Canada, CIBC and Scotiabank are two of the two biggest institutions. Both are well-established, both have a large customer base, both have impressive portfolios, and both offer a diverse array of products and services.

With that said, we strongly recommend speaking with each bank to determine which one will best suit your individual needs.