HSBC vs BMO: A Comparison of the Banks

When we think of a bank, we tend to put all banks under one umbrella, and we assume they all offer the same blanket range of services and fees. However, that’s not the case. Banks operate independently, with each of them establishing policies and procedures for how they conduct business.

In this review, we’ll be examining the differences between two of the biggest banking giants in Canada; HSBC and BMO.

HSBC Bank Review

With HSBC, you get access to 4-types of checking accounts and 3-types of savings accounts. For mid-term savings vehicles, HSBC offers three-term options for CD’s; 6, 12, and 24-months.

Fortunately, the minimum deposit for savings accounts is $1, making it possible for anyone to open a bank account, provided they meet the legal requirements. For CDs, you’ll need a minimum investment of $1,000 to start.

Businesses services on offer from HSBC include savings and checking accounts, as well as Loan and credit card services. Corporates can register accounts with the bank, and there are different types of cash management models available to suit your business.

HSBC also facilitates loans and credit accounts, providing personal loans and credit cards for private individuals and businesses. As an HSBC customer, you also have access to other financial products such as insurance and currency exchange services.

All checking accounts come with monthly management fees ranging between $3 to $50 per month, depending on the type of account. HSBC also offers exceptions to waive the account fees if you meet specific criteria. To waive the costs, you musty maintain a minimum balance of between $1,500 and $100,000, depending on the type of account you have with the bank.

Savings rates are not impressive and are in-line with other large banks.

BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO offers you all the services you would expect from a high-street Canadian bank, including checking and savings accounts, as well as Money market services. When it comes to investments, you have access to CD’s, with options ranging from 3 to 60-months, as well as structured IRA plans.

The Bank of Montreal also offers competitive rates on lending options, such as credit card facilities and personal loans. Opening a CD account with BMO requires a minimum starting balance of $1,000 to $100,000, depending on the investment you choose.

Some other BMO accounts also feature high minimum starting balances to open an account. You need a balance of $5,000 to open a money market, and at least $5,000 to start with CDs. The jumbo CD product requires a minimum starting balance of $100,000.

Monthly fees for checking accounts vary between $5 to $30, with monthly service fees on checking accounts being $5. However, if you keep a minimum balance of between $100 to $5,000 in your account, the bank waives the monthly fee.

BMO also provides a range of other banking services, including currency exchange and insurance products.

BMO savings account interest rates aren’t very good, but  they’re in-line with other main-street banks. However, they offer competitive rates on CD accounts and money market services. The premier checking account also comes with a tiered interest rate package.

The Verdict: HSBC Vs. BMO – Which bank is Better?



BMO Pros

BMO Cons

The Final Word

If you’re a consumer looking for a traditional bank for transactions and savings, go with HSBC. If you’re a corporate HSBC, also offer you the best option.

Investors or individuals looking to park money with a banking institution should consider the Bank of Canada instead.