Coercive Tied Selling - What You Need to Know

Expand Why are we providing this information?

The Bank Act requires banks to inform customers in plain language that coercive tied selling is illegal. To comply with the law, CUETS Financial is providing this information explaining:

  • what coercive tied selling is, and
  • what coercive tied selling is not.
Expand How Can You Contact Us?

Please let us know if you have any questions, problems or concerns about your dealings with CUETS Financial.

If you have a situation with your account and you need our help to resolve it, you may contact a CUETS Financial Customer Service representative by calling toll free at 1-800-561-7849, or visiting our website at choicerewards.ca.

Expand What is Coercive Tied Selling?

Coercive tied selling is prohibited under Section 459.1 of the Bank Act. More specifically, it is against the law for a bank to "impose undue pressure on, or coerce, a person to obtain a product or service from a particular person, including the bank and any of its affiliates, as a condition for obtaining another product or service from the bank."

You cannot be unduly pressured to buy a product or service that you don't want from a bank or one of its affiliates, in order for the bank to agree to provide another bank product or service to you.

The following two examples will help to explain coercive tied selling and what is not allowed.

  • Your financial institution's mortgage specialist tells you that you qualify for a home mortgage. However, you are also told that they will approve your mortgage only if you transfer your investments to the financial institution or its affiliates. You want the mortgage, but you do not want to move your investments.
  • Your financial institution's credit officer tells you that you qualify for a loan, with which you did not intend to buy your financial institution's investment products. However, you are also told that the bank will approve your loan only if you use the money to buy your financial institution's investment products. You want the loan, but you want to invest the money somewhere else.

Both of the above practices are against the law. If you qualify for a product, financial institution is not allowed to unduly pressure you to buy another unwanted product or service as a condition of obtaining the product you want.

Expand What is Our Commitment to You?
We expect all employees at CUETS Financial to comply with the law by not practicing coercive tied selling. We provide our employees with information and training programs on acceptable sales practices. We urge you to let us know if you believe that you have experienced coercive tied selling in any dealings with us.
Expand What is NOT Coercive Tied Selling?
Most businesses, including CUETS Financial, look for tangible ways to show their interest in your business and appreciation for your loyalty. Sales practices, such as preferential pricing and bundling of products and services, offer potential and existing customers better prices or more favourable terms. Reasonable Credit Risk Management practices may require a borrowing customer to open an operating account. These practices should not be confused with coercive tied selling, as defined by the Bank Act. Many of these practices will be familiar to you in your dealings with other businesses.
Expand What is Preferential Pricing?

Preferential pricing means offering customers a better price or rate on all or part of their business. For example, a fast food outlet offers a $0.19 hamburger if you buy a large fries and a drink. A shoe store offers a second pair of shoes at half price.

Similarly, a financial institution may be able to offer you preferential pricing - a higher interest rate on investments or a lower interest rate on loans - if you use more of its products or services. The following two examples will help to explain preferential pricing in financial institutions.

  • After approving your application for a home mortgage from the financial institution, your financial institution's mortgage specialist tells you that this mortgage would be available at a lower interest rate if you transferred your investments to the institution or its affiliates.
  • After approving your application for a loan to make a contribution to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), your financial institution's credit officer offers you a lower interest rate if you use the loan to buy the financial institution's mutual funds.

The above practices are acceptable. The approval of your mortgage and RRSP loan is not conditional on your taking another financial institution product or service. Rather, you are offered preferential pricing to encourage you to give the financial institution more business.

Expand What is Bundling of Products and Services?

Products or services are often combined to give consumers better prices, incentives or more favourable terms. By linking or bundling their products or services, businesses are often able to offer them to you at a lower combined price than if you bought each product on its own. For example, a fast food chain advertises a meal combination that includes a hamburger, fries and a drink. The overall price is lower than if you bought the three items separately.

Similarly, financial institution may offer you bundled financial services or products so that you can take advantage of package prices that are less than the sum of the individual items.

The following example will help to explain the bundling of bank products and services.

  • You plan to open a deposit account that charges you for individual transactions. The financial institution representative offers you a package of services that includes a comparable deposit account, a credit card with no annual fee and a discount on purchasing travelers cheques. The total price for the package is less than if you purchased each part of the package separately.

Bundling products in this way is permitted because you have the choice of buying the items individually or in a package.

Expand How Do We Manage Our Credit Risk?

To ensure the safety of their depositors, creditors and shareholders, financial institution must carefully manage the risk on the loans and credit cards they approve. Therefore the law allows us to impose certain requirements on borrowers as a condition for granting a loan - but only to the extent necessary for us to manage our risk.

The following example will help to explain how banks manage such risk.

  • You apply for an operating loan for your business. To manage the risk associated with the loan, your financial institution requires your business to have an operating account with the financial institution as a condition for obtaining the loan.

The above example is legal and appropriate. Having your business's operating account at the financial institution allows your financial institution to assess possible risks associated with your business's cash flow and manage the risk associated with the loan.

At CUETS Financial, our requirements for borrowers will be reasonable and consistent with our level of risk.

Contact Us

If you would like more information, simply call 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
1-800-561-7849
TTY (text telephone)
English 1-800-872-5758
French 1-800-872-5280
or visit our website at
choicerewards.ca

CUETS Financial is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

CUETS is a trade-mark of Credit Union Central of Canada, used under licence.