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A financial company based in Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia. I just signed up with them today. They offer an impressive five percent interest rate on your savings account with no transactional fees. If you live in Canada you've probably seen their television commercial with a guy with a cool German accent. Check them out at http://www.ingdirect.ca/.

ING Direct is a virtual bank; it has no physical existence in the sense of branches, as most other financial institutions do.

Originating in Holland, it has used the slogan- La, ou votre argent est heureux or, "There, where your money is happy."

When the British trading house Berings went under because of a billion dollars or two in illegal trades by a trader whose name escapes me at the moment, ING bought it.

Although I originally opposed the idea of foreign banks taking up residence in Canada, I have come to like this one. I have had a savings account with them since October, and have made almost $12 in interest. This may not seem like much, but when my conventional money multiplyer account at CIBC generates fees at least that high every month, with interest in the $.50 range. . .well, you get the idea.

ING has just offered me an unsecured loan at less than 9%, which is less than the card with which I bought my computer, easily, and even less than the rate on my VISA. I access my money at regular bank machines, on the phone, or online.

Maybe, this is the future, I'm not sure, and maybe my money is happy there; I know I am.

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