CIBC can be stupidly tedious (2024)

Despite more technology and more forms of communication possible, how is it that communicating with your bank can be so hard? It really still comes down to people. They can use the technology, but if there's no proper follow-up, it's all useless. Which ultimately leads to simply looking for another financial institution.


Earlier this year, I received an email from a CIBC "Financial Service Representative", Tej Gill. This was the second time that this person has emailed me. When I emailed them back the first time, they did not reply and simply sent me another email weeks later, in March.


The email I received in March (slide 1 below) was just as vague and thoroughly uninformative as the first one:

I tried reaching out [top] you regarding one of your investment accounts. Please give a call at below number [sic].

Is this some attempt to sell me more stuff? What is this about? I didn't want to waste my time calling, hoping that this person might be in and available to talk. Or worse, just get put on hold and watch my airtime wasted. The last time I had to call CIBC it was about a VISA dispute and even though I was at a bank branch and an accounts manager was making the call, we were put on hold for over an hour.

So I emailed them AGAIN -- remember, this is the second email from them, and they hadn't yet replied to me the first time.

And AGAIN, I get nothing back.

Why does this person give out their email address as one of the ways to contact them if they won't even respond to their email?


It's TWO MONTHS later and Tej Gill still hasn't responded. Obviously it's not important, right?

It's now May and I get a third email from CIBC, this time from a "Banking Centre Leader", Atabak Elekteristeh.

The email actually more information in what looks like basically a form letter. And it's coming from "an account that is only used to send messages -- please do not reply to this email".

Elekteristeh's email (slide 2) says they need to update my KYC (Know Your Client) information and this is a regulatory requirement. Was this what Tej Gill wanted to speak with me about? Why couldn't they just say it in their email?

Elekteristeh's email ends this way:

Please reach out to the banking centre directly to set up an appointment at your earliest convenience.


I go to the branch indicated in the signature of Tej Gill's emails. I show the teller my mutual fund statement, and tell him I received an email to update my KYC and I want to make an appointment with someone.

They ask me if this is related to Investor's Edge. I have no idea. My statement says nothing about "Investor's Edge". All I know is I need to get my KYC updated.

The teller says there is no one I can make an appointment with to handle this and to call whatever number was indicated in the email.

I tell them I don't want to waste my time making a phone call and getting put on hold, and I prefer to just make an appointment. They tell me to wait and they go away to consult with someone to figure out what to do. When they come back, they tell me someone will call me.

This doesn't make sense. If someone can call me, why can't I make an appointment with them? Are they from head office? Another branch? Whatever. I agree to a phone call.

I set it up for morning of the next day. I ask for a specific time but the teller couldn't provide me one. He said the branch opens at 9.30am so some time after that.

I ask what number they would call from. When I got home, I checked the number against Tej Gill's emails as well as the branch phone number. It is the same.

So someone will call me from the branch I walked into, but I cannot make an appointment with anyone there? It's the same branch where Tej Gill works, the same Tej Gill who probably wanted to talk to me about my KYC. But it was not possible to make an appointment with anyone? Huh.


Today is the day I'm supposed to get a call from someone from CIBC to handle the KYC.

I waited from 9.30am till Noon. Morning is officially over. No one called.

(6) UPDATE: May-19

After I shared my blog post on Twitter, I received a response from @CIBC on Twitterasking me to contact them so they can resolve this situation satisfactorily. I message them privately, they get my information, and a couple of days later I got an email (slide 3) indicating my complaint has been acknowledged.

According to the "Our Service Commitment to You" PDF they linked in the email, my complaint will automatically be escalated after 14 days unless it is resolved by the person who received the complaint (slide 4).

Meanwhile, I had already written to my account manager at ScotiaMcLeod about transferring my assets over from CIBC. I got a response within two days. They confirmed it would be possible, so I initiated the process. I was told to expect a letter of direction for me to sign.

(7) UPDATE: May-21

I got a response (slide 5) from a "Case Manager" who wrote,

I received your file today and happy to assist where possible. Notes indicate you have been waiting for contact from a Branch.

I apologize for the lack of communication.

Please connect with me at your earliest opportunity so I can assist you.

I didn't want to rehash my issue, so I wrote back,

I have already tried to go to a branch to make an appointment for my issue but that failed.

So what is the next step?

Honestly I expected that they would already have analyzed the situation, arranged for a response to settle my issue, and then tell me who to contact to finalize details.


I'm going to look into transferring my assets to another financial institution. If it can be done before the KYC update deadline at the end of this year, I can safely ignore all communications from CIBC.

CIBC can be stupidly tedious (2024)


Is CIBC a good bank to deal with? ›

CIBC ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction for Small Business Banking in the J.D. Power 2023 Canada Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study, outperforming peers across many factors, most notably in people, level of trust and problem resolution. Learn more.

How to make a complaint against CIBC? ›

You can contact the CCAO online, by phone, by email or by mail.
  1. Online. CCAO Opens in a new window.
  2. Phone. 1-888-947-5207 Opens your phone app.
  3. Email. Opens your email app.
  4. Mail. CIBC Client Complaint Appeals Office. Commerce Court, P.O. Box 342. Toronto, Ontario. M5L 1G2.

What is CIBC best known for? ›

Canadian Commercial Banking and Wealth Management provides high-touch, relationship-oriented banking and wealth management services to middle-market companies, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals and families across Canada, as well as asset management services to institutional investors.

Is CIBC safe to use in the US? ›

To open a checking account or money market account in the US, you must live in a state that has a banking center. Customer support is available 24/7 by phone. The bank's mobile app has 4.1 out of 5 stars in the Google Play Store and 3.9 out of 5 stars in the Apple Store. CIBC Bank USA is FDIC-insured.

Which bank is the hardest to get into? ›

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What US bank is affiliated with CIBC? ›

CIBC and its affiliates including CIBC Bank USA, US Commercial Real Estate and Real Estate Finance, and CIBC Private Wealth have offices strategically located across the United States to serve clients coast to coast.

What are the pros of CIBC? ›

CIBC offers Visa and Mastercard options for personal, business, student and U.S. dollar spending. Clients receive travel points, privileges, cash-back or no annual fee benefits on CIBC reward cards from partners — Aventura, Aeroplan and Costco. A few of the featured cards include: CIBC Costco Mastercard.

Is CIBC a big 5? ›

Big Five is the name colloquially given to the five largest banks that dominate the banking industry of Canada: Bank of Montreal (BMO), Scotiabank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD).

What is the safest bank to put your money in USA? ›

Summary: Safest Banks In The U.S. Of May 2024
BankForbes Advisor RatingProducts
Chase Bank5.0Checking, Savings, CDs
Bank of America4.2Checking, Savings, CDs
Wells Fargo Bank4.0Savings, checking, money market accounts, CDs
Citi®4.0Checking, savings, CDs
1 more row
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Is my money safe with CIBC? ›

CDIC is fully funded by our members and coverage is free and automatic - you don't have to sign up. CDIC protects eligible deposits in Canadian and foreign currency for up to $100,000 (Canadian dollars) in each of CDIC's insurance categories.

Is CIBC Canadian only? ›

It has international operations in the United States, the Caribbean, Asia, and United Kingdom. Globally, CIBC serves more than eleven million clients, and has over 40,000 employees.

Is my money safe in CIBC bank? ›

CDIC is fully funded by our members and coverage is free and automatic - you don't have to sign up. CDIC protects eligible deposits in Canadian and foreign currency for up to $100,000 (Canadian dollars) in each of CDIC's insurance categories.

Is CIBC Bank secure? ›

Secure online banking and investing

When you sign on to your CIBC banking and investment accounts, your access is secure. You can check your balances, transfer funds and pay bills quickly and safely.

Who is the best bank to deal with in Canada? ›

The 4 Best Banks in Canada For 2024
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