Monday, January 28, 2013

Wasting Paper

Guess what’s in this picture.


I’ll give you a hint. It’s not a board for either of the old games Bridge-It or Chinese Checkers. It’s also not your skin after seeing an allergy doctor. Another good guess would be an overhead shot of one of those man-made forests with trees all planted in a grid, but that’s not it either.

It’s a pie chart of my asset allocation in an RBC RRSP. This account holds less than a dollar and it’s apparently 100% cash. I got a 5-page statement of my account. My wife got a similar statement for her pennies.

Way back when banks used to pay interest on cash balances, my wife and I cleaned out these accounts, but there was a small rounding error due to interest payments. Now we get yearly statements along with a newsletter containing RBC’s market outlook. I sure hope things pick up soon. My returns for nearly 20 years have been zero.

I keep thinking that one of these decades RBC will contact us about closing these accounts. More likely they’ll switch me to eStatements. At least then we’d kill fewer trees.

10 comments:

  1. I had the same thing happen with Desjardins for 5 years, they'd send me a statement telling me I had a $2.50 credit on my account, instead of paying me $2.50 they spent about 12 * 50 cents * 5 = $30 telling me this?

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  2. At least you're not getting charged a fee for a paper statement. Imagine if they wanted $2 and started sending you invoices for the shortfall :)

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  3. @Big Cajun Man: Is your account closed now? If so, did you have to initiate the closing yourself or did Desjardins do something to cause it to close?

    @Promod: That would be amusing. For a while I figured RBC would just make up a service charge and close my account, but having them chase me for a shortfall would be truly silly.

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    1. I got a letter from RBC earlier this month with $1.22 postage due. The contents? New Year wishes. I made scans for a possible future blog post.

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    2. @Promod: That's a funny one. If you bring that to RBC's attention, they might give you free banking for a year.

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    3. Yes I believe when the store that the credit account was associated with closed their accounts with Desjardins, they paid out the credit in a cheque (but it did take 5 years).

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  4. I've got a similiar problem. We had RRSP money at TD like a decade ago, moved the money in and then out. When the money got transferred out, they transferred the balance but not the interest earned. I have an account that's had about $14 sitting in it for the last decade. The statements just add insult to injury.

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    1. @Glenn: I wonder if it would even be possible for you to get your $14 out or if you would be hit with some sort of withdrawal charge or an account closing fee. In any case, it's likely not worth the bother.

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  5. May I ask why you do not close the account(s)? This would eliminate your tree problem as well as wondering why they send you statements for pennies every year.

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    1. @Mike: Well, I don't have much incentive to close the accounts to get some pennies, and I find the whole business somewhat funny. I'm also interested to find out what will happen in the fullness of time. Will the bank contact me about this at some point? Will they just send the account to the Bank of Canada? Will they make up a charge to empty the accounts and close them?

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