On Saturday at 9:15 pm, I handed in my pass and walked out of Citizens Bank of Canada for my last time.
All good things must come to an end.
Many readers will know of my longstanding love affair with Canada’s best-kept-secret bank. It’s appeal to me has been threefold:
- First and foremost, the fact that it’s owned by Vancity, a credit union, makes all the difference. It means the profits don’t go to shareholders around the world, who may or may not give a damn about Canada. Instead the profits go back to the community. Each year, members of the bank get to both nominate and vote for who gets the profits. Loads of non-profits, mostly local but some in other parts of the globe, have received significant boosts from CB. For example, a Soya Coop in Ghana received $60K for two consecutive years. Last year, Habitat for Humanity received $50K. I personally also helped build the home the money funded. Cool, eh?
- The pricing can’t be beat. The chequing account is completely free, plus now you don’t get dinged for international ATM use. The savings account usually (but not always) is the highest in Canada. So start saving there, if nothing else!
- It’s online. I don’t know about you, but going into a branch is the last thing I want to do with my time. CB is all online, baby, with a couple exceptions in downtown Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Inside scoop: It’s phones are open 24/7/365 and the standard is for every call to be picked up within 1 minute and we nearly always hit that target.
I’m really proud that Canada has this bank – ING isn’t the only game in town! (although frankly I think ING is fabulous too. Really set the pace.)
So a year ago, as many readers may recall, I pitched and got a trial role of Bank Evangelist – I wanted to tell more Canadians about CB, esp. using social media. But alas, barely a few months into it, we all know what happened in the financial industry. So back I went to being a banker instead of the evangelist.
Meantime, an amazing opportunity opened up in Yellowknife, NWT, and I got the job. I’ll blog about this tomorrow (a number of people have been asking).
Leaving a workplace is never easy. I was there 3.5 years, albeit part-time, and as you can guess, am deeply passionate about the bank. (That doesn’t change just because I’m leaving!) I met so many competent, committed and interesting people and over time, you just do start to care about people you rub shoulders with day after day. I’ll miss them. A Lot. And of course I also met a small handful of rascals who just.didn’t.get.it <le sigh>. So like with all changes in life, much as I’m looking forward to my new life in Yellowknife there is the cloud of “loss” that departure from a workplace brings.
Anyway, so long, adieu, Citizens Bank of Canada. I still have my money with you and don’t think I’m not still going to evangelize you so get ready for 5000 new applications from the NWT.
Readers: when was the last time you left a workplace? Was it hard for you too? Or were you more focused on the next thing?