Q&A: Oaken Financial

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A reader wants to know: GIC rates look appealing but how solid is the company?

Q – What do you think about Oaken Financial? They are offering GIC rates that are much better than the major banks. Is this a good company? – George N.

A – Oaken Financial (www.oaken.com) is actually a trademark name of Home Trust, which bills itself as Canada’s largest independent trust company. Home Trust is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). This is important because the CDIC protects qualifying investments up to $100,000 in case a company goes bankrupt.

Right now, Oaken is offering 2.8 per cent on annual compounding five-year GICs (a special promotion that offered a five-year rate of 3.05 per cent recently ended). There are a few small financial institutions that have a higher rate, topped by Community Trust at 3 per cent. You can see all current rates here.

Oaken Financial’s minimum deposit is $1,000 whereas Community Trust requires $5,000. There are no fees for an ordinary GIC account.

I’m not a big fan of locking in for five years in the current low interest rate environment but if you insist on doing so at least get a top rate. – G.P.


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