Laurentian Bank LBC Digital Savings Account Review

Initially, Laurentian Bank came out with one of the highest LBC Digital high interest savings account that offered 3.3% interest on deposits but now it is lower, at 3.00%.  They launched in November 2019 as per The Globe and Mail.  I’m a savings account hoarder and I wasn’t planning on signing up for a new savings account but I did anyway since I am hoarding cash right now with the sale of my condoHere’s my Laurentian Bank’s LBC Digital Review.

Updated April 2023

Laurentian Bank is one of Canada’s oldest banks, originating in Quebec, and going all the way back to 1846. 

First of all, the LBC Digital Savings Account is JUST a savings account.

To do anything else, you need to move money out with the electronic fund transfer feature to your bank that you normally do day-to-day chequing activities with, or to the LBC Digital Chequing Account, where you can send INTERAC e‑Transfer®.

Bill payments are also free from the LBC Digital Chequing Account.  You can also access your money via THE EXCHANGE® network ATMs, which include all credit unions and HSBC bank ATMs.

Related: Best high interest savings accounts in Canada.

Here are some features of the LBC Digital Savings Account.

LBC Digital High Interest Savings Account Features

  • Everything is done online.  There are no cards that are mailed to you, all forms are completed online.  You have to feel comfortable with online banking (very comfortable) with the LBC Digital Account.
  • 3.00% interest rate on deposits up to $500,000 as of October 21 2022.  After this value, the amount is tiered, and any deposits over $500,000.01 will also earn 3.00% interest.

LBC Digital Review

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see genymoney.ca’s disclaimer for more information.

  • Laurentian Bank is a member of CDIC, which means that your deposits (principal and interest combined) up to $100,000 are secure
  • There is no minimum balance
  • There is no monthly fee
  • Free electronic fund transfers (you set up micro deposits with your linked bank account from another financial institution and then transfers between banks will be very easy)
  • There is a lack of activity charge of $25 (a dormant fee) if no activity for 2-9 years, over 10 years, you will get charged with $40.
  • This is a unique bonus since most places charge for paper statements, but the electronic and monthly paper statement is free
  • Customer service staff can be contacted via telephone, and their hours are Monday to Friday 8:00am-10:00pm EST and 9:00am-5:00pm EST on Saturday and Sundays.  The phone number is 1-866-249-1489.  It was difficult to get through during weekday hours, but I was able to get through on the weekend quite quickly.  I anticipate they will be more accessible once the new account openings influx dies down.

LBC Digital Savings Account Interface

The LBC Digital Savings Account looks simple and straight forward, it looks very ‘no frills’.

This is what the LBC Digital Savings Account interface looks like.  It looks a little sad right now because of the low balance…I am waiting to transfer my money into this account hence the $0.00, haha.

LBC Digital Review

Pros of LBC Digital Savings Account

What are some of the pros of the LBC digital savings account?

One of the best things about the account was the super high interest rate (almost 3.5% which is a great source of passive income), but this has since come down to 3.00%. 

This is lower than the Motive Savvy Savings Account (4.10%) which I find a lot more usable.  The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is also 2.50%* at the time of writing, and it has the best functionality of them all.

Free electronic fund transfers make this account easy to use.

Another positive thing about the LBC Digital accounts is that to set up your electronic fund transfers, you set up micro-deposits.  Micro-deposits show up in the account that you want to link to very quickly.  They also send you a lot of emails reminding you that you can link your account, or that your account is now linked.

Cons of LBC Digital Savings Account

There are a number of cons to the LBC Digital Savings Account.

The poor usability is a big detriment-  first of all, I had difficulty signing up.  I signed up multiple times and must have filled out their form to sign up for a new account over 8 times in different time periods (usually in the evening).  The only time I had available to sign up was during non-office hours (e.g. at night).

At first I wasn’t able to get through to credit check portion of the application.  Then I got through to the credit check portion of the application (they use Equifax (Borrowell), by the way) it still said “there’s an error with your application, please call Equifax“.

Well, I never got the chance to call Equifax because I rarely even get a chance to go to the bathroom with two young kids during the day.  Then, about a few days to a week later, I got an email welcoming me to Laurentian Bank.  I manage to call during their opening hours and Laurentian Bank confirms that I am indeed approved for the bank account.

I am assuming that the multiple computer glitches are probably a result of the high demand.  Laurentian Bank is probably overwhelmed with savings account requests since this is now the highest savings account rate in Canada.

Laurentian Bank Savings Account Review
An example of the error message

The other downside is that website also looks quite archaic and when you click a button,  sometimes there’s no response, or you’re having to refresh the page to click the button again.

As I mentioned, there’s a lot of error messages.

To be honest, I find the archaic website and error messages a bit worrisome but I am comforted with the CDIC guarantee.  For an ‘online only’ bank presence, you would think they would make sure the online interface is glitch free and streamlined and more easy to use.

This is a minor con, but they don’t have a bank bonus of $300 or free iPads like the big banks with new chequing accounts to encourage you to sign up.

Genymoney.ca’s LBC Digital Review

What’s my LBC Digital review?

Given that the interest rate has decreased to 3.00% I don’t think it’s worth it to open up an account because the other high interest savings accounts are much better when you access the online platform.

The only scenario where you might want to open up an account is if you are opening up an additional account because you have maxed out the CDIC $100,000 coverage (it’s usually covered up to $100,000 at each institution).

Related: Best High Interest Savings Joint Bank Accounts in Canada

I’ve tried most of the popular ‘highest interest rate savings accounts’ in Canada (EQ Bank, Motive Financial, and now LBC Digital).

Personally, I find the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account to be the easiest to use because it is a ‘hybrid’ account in that you can do chequing functions from it.

I like Motive as well but have gotten dinged with the chequing account (and writing personal cheques that have insufficient funds because I hadn’t transferred from savings to chequing).

LBC Digital would be ranked number three of these high interest savings accounts because of the trouble navigating the website and all the error messages and the difficulty signing up with an account in the first place.

Related:

In addition, Laurentian Bank has been the only Canadian bank in 2020 to announce a dividend cut (they cut their dividend by 40%), so that’s a little worrisome.  I will be moving my money slowly over to my investment brokerage anyways.

That’s my LBC Digital Review!  Hope you found it useful.

In summary, personally, I think there are other better no fee banking options in Canada.

Do you have a LBC Digital High Interest Savings Account?  What do you think of it?

Get the Young Money Bootcamp eCourse FREE

Free Dividend Yield Spreadsheet Tracker Download and Blog Updates

12 thoughts on “Laurentian Bank LBC Digital Savings Account Review”

    • @Tom- They claim this is not a teaser rate. We’ll see how long it lasts. They already announced that any deposits over $500K will not be at 3.3% though effective January 2020.

      Reply
  1. Yeah, that is a high interest rate for a savings account. The accounts I have are at 2% or just over, so hopefully it will keep getting higher and maybe reach 3.5%.

    Reply
  2. Good review. I too had to try multiple times to sign up as Equifax kept saying it couldn’t recognize me.
    The last attempt did give me the Equifax questions and I was able to create an account successfully.

    Linked an external account no problem and transferred money which took 1 business day. There is up to a 5 day hold on the funds (it seems to be 3 business days whenever I’ve done it).

    LB credits your acct immediately (it shows both amount in your acct and amount available) but when I checked the interest at month end, it appears that interest is calculated from the day after initial deposit even though they claim it’s as of day of deposit (not a big deal but a little misleading).

    The 3.3% rate is exceptional and won’t last but LB says they are committed to being competitive so I assume they will continue to offer a good rate.

    EQ Bank also started with a great rate (3%) and are now at 2.45% which is pretty good. As you mentioned, EQ allows bill payments so it’s a cross between a chequing and savings account. The LB acct is savings-only but they do offer an accompanying chequing acct if desired.

    I’m not a millennial, but I highly encourage millennials to take advantage of online savings banks for the higher interest.
    I’ve dealt with both TD and BMO for years and the most they offer on their HISA’s is 1.6%. I’m finally smartening up.

    Reply
    • @DZ- Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m glad I’m not the only one with the weird Equifax messages. I thought I was going crazy. Yes, I also found that it showed as ‘deposited immediately’ but the money had not left my other account. Yes, the big banks have to pay for their big in-person staff, that’s why they pay out 1.6% interest instead of 2.45% and up 🙂

      Reply
  3. My account registration ran into technical problems because at the time of registration I included special characters in my password. The LBC Digital platform does not accept special characters, which is a little silly for 2019/2020. As a result, it took around 2 months for my account to actually be created.

    Still waiting for EQ Bank to fix technical issues on my account registration from the same time frame…

    Reply
  4. I signed up with them two weeks before I’ve received an email of the change in HISA interest rate to 2.80%. booh… Now I can’t even access my account, constantly receiving “an error in services” message when I’m trying to login. I called the customer service number, only to spend 15minutes with a person, who set me up with a new password that didn’t work and send me off to try later in the day…. Well, I’m still without access, and by now I’m too disappointed with their service. I’ll be moving to another bank Motive, or Tangerine.

    Reply
    • @Kate- Oh man, what a headache. Some people report no problems and others like you and I, had a lot of difficulty. Once I got access and an updated pw, though, it was much easier to get in. However, I think Motive is much better, or EQ Bank.

      Reply
  5. For daily banking: STAY AWAY, you will struggle with everything
    OK only if you want to park money

    For daily banking, wait t’ill they change the platform; it is scheduled to change.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.