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CIBC Acquisition Could Mean Fewer Choices For Canadians

Today’s Financial Post article on the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s acquisition of a $2.1-billion credit card portfolio from Citigroup’s Canadian Mastercard business, will firmly intrench the CIBC as the largest issuer of credit cards in the country.

Why is that newsworthy?

By acquiring Citigroup’s Mastercard business, as well as two other recent acquisitions of CIT cards, and a minority stake in Bermuda-based bank N.T. Butterfield & Son Ltd, CIBC has effectively reduced the competitive field in Canada by gobbling up the competition.

That could mean fewer choices for those anxious to acquire new credit after a discharge from insolvency. It could also mean fewer choices, fewer options and fewer deals for Canadian consumers, as CIBC amasses more control over the credit card marketplace in our country.

CIBC cites the acquisition as being directly aligned with its “strategy to grow our core Canadian operations and further strengthen our highly successful credit card business.” This according to Gerry McCaughney, CIBC’s chief executive officer.

Fewer choices in an already tight lending economy = fewer options for those struggling with debt or, after insolvency, attempting to rebuild credit. And with more and more American firms considering a pull-out from the Canadian marketplace (as Wells Fargo did last week with its lending and mortgage businesses), consumers in Canada will need to do even more homework to locate the right credit products for their needs.

Do you need to rebuild your credit? Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation, in which we can discuss your options to become debt free and/or rebuild your credit.