Canadian banks are beefing up efforts to attract newcomers by offering such incentives as multilingual service and lower fees.
Immigrants are one of the fastest growing demographics in Canada, while population growth within the country is relatively stagnant. Some projections estimate that by 2036, over 70 percent of population growth will be from immigration alone. Increasingly, Canada’s largest financial institution are recognizing and attempting to tap into this potential market.
“It’s really somewhat of a clear-cut business case,” says Royal Bank’s director of multicultural markets Paul Sy. “The forecasts are quite clear that Canada is an aging population. Moving forward, newcomers are really the key source of growth and will be fuelling the … growth of the Canadian economy for years to come.”
One of the newest strategies to attract newcomers is to offer unsecured credit cards, which allows those with little or no credit history in Canada to obtain credit cards with higher limits. Some advocates warn that this could potentially do more harm than good if newcomers are not familiar with credit systems and run up their debt without being able to pay.
Still, say financial experts, most newcomers are highly educated people who would make desirable clients at these institutions. Most are motivated to succeed, and likely to be loyal to companies which give them a chance to do just that. The fact that banks are now sending recruitment specialists abroad to further tap into this market shows just how valuable these newcomers are.
Source: Globe and Mail
A new study by Statistics Canada reveals that Canadian families have become wealthier during the past several years, based on their rising net worth. The study published all its figures in inflation-adjusted dollars.
According to the study, which takes a long-term view on the state of Canadian finances, the 2012 medium net worth among family units comprising two or more members rose by 44.5 percent since 2005 to $243,800. This increase almost touched the 80 percent mark, on comparing current net worth with data from 1999.
Interestingly, this increasing net worth comes despite two major negative factors i.e. the setbacks arising from the recent recession as well as the well-documented growth in household debt.
The agency found that family units comprising two or more family members also accumulated a total debt of $1.3 trillion in 2012, of which $1 trillion is mortgage debt. Thus, while the net worth showed an increase of 44.5 percent since 2005, the mortgage debt also rose by 41.6 percent since 2005.
The study showed that total family assets in Canada rose to $9.4 trillion in 2012, with the families’ principal home accounting for a third of the total assets. People owning their own homes showed the median reported value of their residence at $300,000 – an increase of 46.6 percent since 2005 and of 83.2 percent since 1999.
Pension assets e.g. employer plans and private pension plans, made up 30 percent of the total. Other real estate holdings e.g. rental properties, cottages, timeshares and commercial properties, accounted for nearly 10 percent of the total assets.
The study also revealed large disparities in net worth, depending on factors like the age, nature of the family unit and regions of the country. Thus, the median net worth was highest for families where the highest earner was 55 to 64 years old or for families residing in British Columbia.
According to Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter, over the 13-year period, the net worth rose by over five percent annually, which also ensured that the assets exceeded the size of debt by about seven times. He felt that this was the most significant aspect of the study.
Source: National Post
NACC to Receive Funding Worth $800,000 for Helping Skilled Newcomers Obtain Jobs in their Chosen Fields
Ottawa is set to commit $800,000 to the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) to help skilled newcomers to Canada, find work in their chosen fields. The NACC represents an array of schools across Canada that offer training in sectors facing a shortage of skilled workers.
The Employment Minister Jason Kenney said that the funding aims to support about 5,000 internationally trained and educated workers, who are unable to find work in their fields, to obtain jobs closely related to their core expertise or to explore other career opportunities.
The NACC’s new Alternative Pathways for Newcomers project aims to get skilled workers from overseas move out of the menial jobs they currently hold, and get involved in professions closely related to their chosen vocations.
NACC head Serge Buy stated that several workers visited Canada based on promises made while promoting immigration to Canada from overseas. However, once these people landed in Canada, they ended up working in taxicabs or fast-food kitchens instead of practising in the fields of their choice.
The NACC program would publish information materials on alternative careers and develop a website, where skilled newcomers could access this information easily. The association would also establish regional information centres for enabling newcomers and community organisations to access and share information.
Thus, after doing the appropriate course, a lawyer from another country could work as a paralegal or an immigration consultant. Similarly, a nurse could find employment as a personal support worker or a pharmacy assistant.
Expectedly, the Liberals criticised the latest move. They said that career colleges had the highest average student loan sizes and default rates in the country. Therefore, by funding institutions that carry high costs and high default rates, the government was making profligate use of its funds.
Two years ago, the government launched the so-called Foreign Credential Recognition Loans pilot project. It resulted in the disbursement of over 1,000 loans to skilled newcomers for helping them cover the costs of having their credentials recognised in Canada. This latest move is yet another step to help this community contribute to the development of the country.
Source: City News Toronto