You will require BES hosting if you wish to use 3rd party applications (instant messaging, google local, etc). However, if you just plan to use the browser to check your banking, then BES is not required. The browser works fine on Bell without BES.
Bell does offer hosting with BES. Go to http://www.businessonthego.ca
and do a search. You will require your own domain name.
Browsing is not, in my experience, faster with BES. Others have reported that it is faster.
Check out Mark Rejhon's FAQ for a list of hosting services. I also recommend the company in my sig.