Friday, December 29, 2017

Misled by National Bank of Canada: "hard" inquiry when opening a chequing account

【By: Jian Yang】

A few months ago, one of my friends opened a chequing account at National Bank of Canada (NBC) and the banker promised that there was only a "soft" inquiry of credit report in this process. However, when my friend checked his credit report on, he found a "hard" inquiry was reported several days after his account opening.

He tried to contact his NBC branch but a manager in charge of this issue did not solve this issue but seemed to delay the investigation process intentionally. NBC promised to solve this problem in ten business days but it already took more than three months. Over three months, this manager replied only once every two weeks in average. Meanwhile, NBC turned back its word whenever it wanted, for example:

The manager first said "I can give you a letter stating that it was an error on the bank’s part that a full credit report was done."

Then he requested "I asked if you had a copy of your Equifax report.  Please provide a copy of the Equifax report ,in order to confirm there was a hard hit."

After my friend submitted the Equifax report, another manager then said "The credit bureau information you provided does not conclusively determine whether the inquiry was a “hard” or “soft” inquiry. The credit bureau inquiry in question did not result in any financial impact to yourself."

I never saw such a big bank billy their customer like this. I can't believe they can't identify whether the inquiry was a “hard” or “soft” inquiry from an official Equifax report, and whether a "hard" inquiry would result in any financial impact.

I would like to share my friend's story here with more friends because it was not a unique case. As far as I know, many bankers tend to mislead their customers in terms of whether a “hard” or “soft” inquiry for chequing account opening.

I don't say the bank can't conduct a "hard" inquiry for their customers but at least, the bankers should get the permission rather than misleading their customers. What was worse, I think it was really a bad manner to intentionally delay the investigation and turn back their words like NBC.