Canada Trust comes to Shoppers CT branch office a hit

Canada Trust is calling its latest experiment in non-traditional banking a huge success.Last October, the London, Ont.-based company opened a full-service trust branch in a Toronto outlet of Shoppers Drug Mart.Both firms are divisions of Toronto-based Imasco.Richard Sullivan, Canada Trust's manager...

Canada Trust is calling its latest experiment in non-traditional banking a huge success.

Last October, the London, Ont.-based company opened a full-service trust branch in a Toronto outlet of Shoppers Drug Mart.

Both firms are divisions of Toronto-based Imasco.

Richard Sullivan, Canada Trust’s manager of merchandising promotions and local level marketing, says the new branch has performed strongly, drawing business from the steady flow of consumers passing through Shoppers.

As well, Canada Trust and Shoppers have run joint, in-store promotions aimed at encouraging their respective customers to patronize both firms during the same visit.

Trust customers can enter the branch either from the street or from inside Shoppers.

The opening of the new branch is part of a trend among financial institutions to find innovative ways of offering basic financial services.

Last July, for instance, Canada Trust opened a full-service branch in a Zehrs grocery store in Cambridge, Ont.

Earlier in the year, it also acquired four in-store branches in Sobey’s grocery stores in Atlantic Canada when it bought a number of National Trust outlets.

In addition to establishing branches in non-traditional locations, Canada Trust is also aggressively opening Drive-Thru automated banking machines. (Since first experimenting with the concept in August 1991, it has opened 50 – 36 in 1993 alone.)

And it is rapidly expanding its Easyline telephone banking service, established in 1992.

While Canada Trust and Shoppers share a common parent company, that relationship does not seem likely to result in Canada Trust opening a slew of branches in Shoppers outlets across the country.

Arthur Konviser, Shoppers’ senior vice-president of public affairs, says the arrangement is a one-shot deal, explaining the Shoppers outlet in question had an excess of space for which it was looking to find a use.

‘We’re not going to open 700 Canada Trust branches in 700 Shoppers Drug Mart stores,’ Konviser says. ‘That’s not going to happen at all.’