Simplii Financial, the direct banking branch of CIBC, is one of the country’s newest banking brands, having launched in 2017.
Simplii came into being following a mutual agreement by CIBC and Loblaw Companies to end their 20-year joint venture of offering low-fee banking services under the brand of President’s Choice Financial.
More than 2 million Canadians bank and borrow with Simplii, which offers services ranging from banking accounts and mortgages to lines of credit, credit cards and a suite of investment products.
What differentiates Simplii from its parent CIBC is that it has no physical branches. Instead, customers can access ATMs across the country to carry out transactions, as well as doing so online or by phone.
In 2019, Forbes magazine named Simplii one of the World’s Best Banks, and the third best in Canada.
Simplii offers a full slate of mortgage products, like most big banks. They tend to be most competitive with more popular terms like the 5-year fixed.
If you’re putting down less than 20% on a new home, be sure to ask for their high-ratio discount, which is 0.10 percentage points as of this writing.
One benefit of a Simplii mortgage is that the bank offers pre-approvals at its best-advertised rates. By contrast, certain lenders charge customers higher rates for pre-approvals.
One thing you need to watch out for is the penalty. Like major banks, Simplii is not considered a “fair penalty lender.” That means you could pay significantly more if you break the mortgage early, relative to many other discount lenders.