LifeView: HSBC study reveals Canada's warm welcome

HSBC Bank Canada headquarters in Vancouver, Ca...
HSBC Bank Canada headquarters in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

immigrants to Canada share their arrival experiences
VANCOUVERNov. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Canada may be known for cold weather, but 82% of new immigrants reveal they felt a warm welcome on arrival here. Montrealers, healthcare professionals and banks/financial institutions are cited as the most welcoming - and 84% of new immigrants confirm they would recommend immigrating here to family and friends.

These are some of the findings of HSBC Bank Canada's New to Canada survey released today, which polled over 600 new immigrants across the country regarding their relocation experience.
The study reveals that, while Canada offers a friendly reception along with quality of life and natural beauty, the arrival and adjustment process is not without its challenges.
Finding employment (62%), missing family (42%) and making friends (34%) were the top three difficulties faced. When reflecting on their experiences in settling their finances, respondents confessed they found it hard to understand Canadian investment options, secure approvals for loans, and obtain credit cards. When asked to share one piece of financial advice with other new immigrants, many said it would be to find a bank that enables you to manage your money both in and outside of Canada.
Betty Miao, Executive Vice President, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Bank Canada, said: "Moving to a new country is an exciting experience on many levels, but it can be a challenge if you haven't prepared for your arrival in advance. In Canada, the financial institution that people first choose is often the one they stay with, so it's important for new immigrants to select the one that best suits their needs."
Other key survey results include:
  • Why Canada? Lifestyle (42%) and family (42%) tie as the top two reasons for choosing Canada - beating out professional reasons (27%), personal education (20%), children's education (15%) and financial reasons (17%);
  • Challenges: Employment (62%), missing family (42%) and making friends (34%) are more of an issue than the weather (29%) finding a home (18%) or adjusting to the language (18%);
  • City rankings: The most welcoming city was Montreal (89%), followed by Calgary/Edmonton (84%), Toronto (79%) and Vancouver(73%);
  • Friendly faces: Banks (86%) and health care workers (77%) were deemed the most welcoming groups. Work colleagues were next (67%), followed by school colleagues (55%) and prospective employers (48%);
  • What do immigrants like about Canada? Quality of life (78%) and its natural beauty and environment (73%) were more important than the people (42%) and education opportunities (39%);
  • What do they dislike? Over half (51%) pegged the cost of living as their top complaint. Interestingly, one in four (25%) expressed no grievance at all;
  • The international referral: 84% of respondents confirm they would recommend immigrating to Canada to family and friends overseas;
  • Financial advice to others making the move: Find a bank that can manage your money both in and outside of Canada was the leading tip (24%), followed by seeking a bank that will recognize your credit history (21%), obtain financial advice (18%), learn more about RRSPs (11%) and learn more about RESPs (6%).
  • Culture shocks: the biggest two shocks were the cost of housing and real estate (56%), closely followed by their education and training being undervalued (50%).
About the New to Canada Survey 
The New to Canada survey was commissioned by HSBC Bank Canada in August 2012 and conducted online by Angus Reid Public Opinion. The survey investigated the arrival experience of 607 adult immigrants across Canada, who had arrived in the country within the last ten years. The margin of error which measures sampling variability is +/- 4.0% for the entire sample. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
About HSBC Bank Canada
HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, is the leading international bank in Canada. With around 6,900 offices in over 80 countries and territories and assets of US$2,652 billion at 30 June 2012, the HSBC Group is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organizations.

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