Edmonton — ATB Financial—Alberta’s largest homegrown financial institution—has launched a new guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) that’s tied directly to the performance of Alberta’s economy.
The Choose Alberta GIC offers a 1.65 per cent guaranteed return and a one-time bonus connected to the provincial unemployment rate. As Alberta’s unemployment rate drops, the bonus increases, with a maximum bonus of 0.75 percent. The principle amount invested in the Choose Alberta GIC is also guaranteed.
“This truly is a win-win-win scenario,” said Rob Bennett, ATB’s executive vice-president, Retail Financial Services. “When the economy begins to improve and the unemployment rate begins to drop, that’s good for our customers, good for Alberta businesses and good for the province as a whole. Plus, deposits into the Choose Alberta GIC will be used to support Alberta businesses, families and communities.”
The Choose Alberta GIC bonus is based on the provincial unemployment rate at the time of the investment’s maturity. On the first working day of the month a Choose Alberta GIC matures, ATB will pull the unemployment rate for Alberta published on economicdashboard.alberta.ca/
“What we’re saying with the Choose Alberta GIC is that we believe in Alberta,” added Bennett. “We believe that, even with a few battle scars, Alberta will not only survive the downturn, but come back as strong as ever. As that happens, job creation will follow, resulting in a healthier economy and happy ATB customers. Alberta wins, you win.”
Unlike market-linked GICs, which use complex calculations and don’t always perform as promised, the Choose Alberta GIC is easy to understand, delivers a guaranteed rate of return, and includes the possibility of a one-time bonus. Hearing the frustrations of Albertans, ATB stopped selling market-linked GICs in 2013, choosing instead to offer clear products with understandable returns.