Banker's hours, RIP

Competition for lucrative in-store sales has banks offering Sunday service.

Use of the term “banker’s hours” may soon become an anachronism, as competition among retail banks has TD Canada Trust now staying open on Sundays. In an age of Internet banking, it might seem odd to extend hours at the brick-and-mortar branches, but with more people doing their routine banking online, the transactions customers do in the bank tend to have wider profit margins, making longer hours more cost-effective.

TD is the first of the Big Six to introduce Sunday service on a large scale, but analysts predict the others will eventually do the same. Credit unions, however, are unlikely to follow suit. Kerry Hadad, CEO of Your Neighbourhood Credit Union, which has roughly 25,000 members across southern Ontario, says they are more concerned with meeting their member’s needs than competing for market share.

In recent years, credit unions have become more competitive with the big banks, but Ali Mozaffari, a banking analyst at Moody’s, says the people who choose credit unions aren’t likely to switch because of convenient hours. “[Opening on Sunday] is really something the big banks are doing to keep up with each other,” says Mozaffari. “I don’t think the benefit to them [the credit unions] is great enough to justify the additional cost.”