Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: Wikis


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Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Banque Canadienne Impériale de Commerce
Type Public
Founded 1867
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Key people Gerald T. McCaughey, CEO
Industry Financial services, Banking
Revenue $9.9 billion CAD (2009)
Net income $1.2 billion CAD (2009)
Total assets $335.9 billion CAD (2009)
Employees 41,941 (Full-time equivalent, 2009)
Subsidiaries CIBC World Markets
CIBC RetailMarkets
CIBC Imperial Service
CIBC Wood Gundy

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (in French, Banque Canadienne Impériale de Commerce, and commonly CIBC in either language) is one of Canada's chartered banks, fifth largest by deposits. The bank is headquartered at Commerce Court in Toronto, Ontario.

CIBC also operates in the United States, the Caribbean, Asia and the United Kingdom, and serves more than eleven million clients and has more than 40,000 employees worldwide. The company ranks at number 159 on the Forbes Global 2000 listing.[1]


Current operations

Company divisions

CIBC has two strategic business units:

The functional groups that provide support across CIBC are:

  • Risk Management
  • Administration Division
  • Corporate Development
  • Technology and Operations
  • Finance

Operational facts

  • Total Employees (worldwide): 41,941 (2009)
  • Total Branches (Canada): 1,069 (2009)
  • Total ATMs (Canada): 3,850 (2009)
  • Total Assets: $335.9 billion (2009)
  • Market capitalization: $23.8 billion (2009)
  • Revenue: $9.9 billion (2009)
  • Net income: $1.2 billion or $2.65 per share (2009)
  • In 2009, almost $27 million was contributed through the CIBC group of companies to charitable and non-profit initiatives in Canada. Of this, close to $20 million was for charitable donations, supporting a wide variety of national, regional and local organizations.


CIBC is a member of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) and registered member with the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), a federal agency insuring deposits at all of Canada's chartered banks. It is also a member of:

Recent Events

La Tour CIBC from the east in Downtown Montreal.
  • Li Ka Shing, Hong Kong billionaire was the largest foreign shareholder in the bank for over two decades, but in early 2005 he sold his portion (est. C$1.2 billion) to establish a Canadian charity, the Li Ka Shing Foundation. CIBC was Mr. Li's choice for financing many of his Canadian ventures, like Husky Energy. Mr. Li had reportedly backed personal and commercial banking head Holger Kluge to succeed Al Flood as CEO of CIBC in 1999.
  • CIBC is well known for its publicized battles of succession to the top position of President and CEO (formerly styled Chairman and CEO until 2003 when the positions were separated). When Al Flood became CEO, one of his first acts was to fire his chief rival Paul Cantor. 1999 saw a competition between Wood Gundy (now CIBC World Markets) chief John S. Hunkin and Personal/Commercial banking head Holger Kluge, with Kluge retiring the firm after Hunkin was selected. In February 2004, Hunkin forced his friend and heir-apparent David Kassie to resign as Chairman and CEO of World Markets after several scandals in the US (both men had given up their bonuses in 2002 after that year produced the worst results in the history of CIBC). Kassie afterwards founded Genuity Capital and was alleged to have raided 20 key employees from World Markets for his new startup, causing CIBC to file a lawsuit. [2][3] Gerald T. McCaughey was named as Kassie's replacement for World Markets. Not long after he was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer, assuring his succession to CEO, Jill Denham, Vice Chair of Retail Markets and a potential candidate for the CEO post, was reportedly dismissed by McCaughey. Denham was reported close to Hunkin and Kassie and McCaughey wanted to build his own senior executive team.[4]
  • CIBC announced a US$2.4 billion payout agreement in principle to settle the Enron class action litigation on behalf of Enron security purchasers on August 2005, but this led to a drop in share prices and outcry from the bank's shareholders. Some demand former chief executive John S. Hunkin to pay back some of his bonuses and shares in light of this large fine payout. CBC News reported that Hunkin is on vacation in Chester, Nova Scotia and avoiding all questions relating to Enron.
  • In 2005, CIBC stock had a roller-coaster ride. It starting the year at $70 per share when Li Ka Shing sold his stake and steadily rose to $80. It dropped to $70 upon the announcement of the Enron settlement. However, it had recovered to over $80 at the end of the year.
A CIBC branch in Toronto.
  • CIBC participates in a number of local events across Canada and globally. One of their better known promotional programs is the CIBC Run for the Cure which raises money for breast cancer research with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The 15th Annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure on October 1, 2006 raised $23.4 million nationwide.
  • CIBC sold their corporate and purchasing credit card business to US Bank Canada in October 2006. The buyer has previously acquired business charge cards from RBC.
  • On May 29, 2008, CIBC announced their Q2 operational results for the 2008 fiscal year: A net loss of $1.11 billion CAD compared to a net gain of $807 million CAD for the previous period a year prior.[5]


The oldest component of CIBC's many ancestor banks is the Halifax Banking Company founded in 1825 by Enos Collins.

Co-Founded by Jason T. Paul and William Owens in 1867 the Canadian Bank of Commerce opened in Toronto with a charter in 1866 that it purchased from the defunct Bank of Canada, which folded in 1858. Headed by Henry Wise Wood and it's Chief of Financial Officer, Robel Kidane, Imperial Bank of Canada opened a few years later in 1875, also in Toronto. Imperial Bank established a foreign exchange office in New York in 1875. Canadian Bank of Commerce opened a branch in London in 1901.

In 1961 the two banks merged to form the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and in 1962, opened a major new banking centre in Montreal with the construction of the CIBC building.

CIBC was the first Canadian bank to introduce bank machines, with the Automated Cash Dispenser in 1969. In 1988 CIBC moved into the investment market by purchasing Wood Gundy Inc. In 1997 it did the same in the United States by purchasing Oppenheimer & Co..

Besides its Canadian operations, CIBC has operations globally. CIBC opened a branch in Asia (Hong Kong) in 1970. CIBC National Bank was established in the U.S. in 1999.

Along with Loblaws, CIBC helps operate President's Choice Financial, started in 1996.


Canadian Bank of Commerce

Commerce Building circa 1930 now known as Commerce Court North in Toronto.

Halifax Banking Company - 1903 Established in 1825 by Enos Collins with Hon. Henry H Cogswell as President from 1825-1834:

  • Robie Uniacke - President 1882-1903
  • Horatio Newelham Wallace - Cashier 1892-1903

Gore Bank Formed in 1836 and merged with the Commerce in 1870:

  • Colonel James W Wythe - President 1836-1839
  • Colin C Ferrie - President 1839-1856
  • Andrew Steven - President 1856-1861; Cashier 1836-1856
  • Thomas Clark Street - President 1862-1868; later Bank of Commerce Director

Eastern Townships Bank Formed in 1859 and merged with the Commerce in 1912:

  • Colonel Benjamin Pomroy - President 1859-1874
  • Richard W Heneker - President 1874-1902
  • William Farnell - President 1902-1912
  • James MacKinnon - Cashier 1902-1912

Bank of British Columbia Established with a Royal Charter in 1862 and merged with the Commerce in 1901:

  • Thomas W.L. Mackean - Chairman 1862-1876
  • Sir Robert Gillespie - Chairman 1876-1901
  • Eden Colville - Director 1876-1893
  • James Anderson - 1862-1897, Manager 1862, General Manager 1867-1875, Director 1876-1890

Merchants Bank of Prince Edward Island Formed 1856 and merged with the Commerce in 1906:

  • W.A. Weekes 1864-1865
  • Robert Longsworth 1871-1882
  • Right Hon. Sir Louis Davies 1887-1897
  • Benjamin Heartz 1897-1904
  • W.A. Weekes 1904-1906

Bank of Hamilton merged with the Commerce in 1924.

The Standard Bank of Canada, which had begun as the St Lawrence Bank (1872-1876), merged with the Commerce in 1928.

Imperial Bank of Canada

CIBC 1961

  • Canadian Bank of Commerce 1867-1961
  • Imperial Bank of Canada 1875-1961
  • Wood Gundy Incorporated 1988 - forming CIBC Wood Gundy and renamed CIBC World Markets.
  • TAL Private Management 1994-2005 - formerly Timmins and Associates Ltd, merged with CIBC Investment Management Corporation in 1994, named changed to TAL Global Asset Management Incorporated in 1998 and finally full acquired by CIBC in 2001. Rename to CIBC Asset Management effective January 1, 2006.


There was an attempt by CIBC to merge with the Toronto-Dominion Bank in the late 1990s. However, the Government of Canada at the lead of then Finance Minister Paul Martin blocked the merger from occurring.

CIBC in the Caribbean

In 1920, Canadian Bank of Commerce established its first branches in the West Indies in Bridgetown, Barbados and in Kingston, Jamaica. That same year it also opened branches in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Havana, Cuba. The bank had already opened a branch in Mexico City in 1910. In 1957, the bank opened a branch in Nassau, the Bahamas, and in the subsequent years expanded its operations in Jamaica. Between 1963 and 1988, the bank expanded its branch network in Barbados opened branches in St. Vincent, Antigua, and St Lucia. In 1988, CIBC sold 45% of its shares in CIBC Jamaica via a public share issue. Between 1993 and 1996, CIBC restructured its holdings in the Caribbean, with the incorporation of CIBC West Indies Holdings Limited and CIBC Caribbean Limited. CIBC West Indies Holdings then sold 30% of its shares to the public. In 1997, CIBC issued 5 million shares in CIBC Bahamas Limited to the public. On October 31, 2001 Barclays Bank PLC and CIBC agreed to combine their Caribbean operations to establish FirstCaribbean International Bank. In 2006, CIBC bought out Barclays Bank's stake to give it about 92% of FirstCaribbean International Bank.[8] In 2010, CIBC acquired a 22.5% equity of Butterfield Bank of Bermuda.[9]

Joint Ventures

  • Canadian Eastern Finance Limited (CEF)- formed by CIBC and Hutchison Whampoa of Hong Kong; includes CEF Capital Limited, CEF Investment Management Limited.
  • President's Choice Financial - A joint venture between CIBC and Loblaw Companies Limited; PC Financial operates as a low cost 'virtual bank' serving nearly 3 million Canadians. Banking services such as deposit accounts, investments and credit products (excluding Mastercard) are provided by a division of CIBC Retail Markets, formerly Amicus Bank. Other services under the PC Financial banner, including credit cards, and PC points are issued/provided by a subsidiary of LCL, President's Choice Bank, which has no connection to CIBC. In 2005 Amicus was dissolved as a separate legal entity.
  • Amicus FSB - A similar setup as President's Choice Financial, it was created in 1999 in the United States with Winn Dixie and Safeway Stores under the Marketplace Bank and Safeway Select Bank brands. It was disbanded in 2002 and sold to E*Trade Bank.
  • Soltrus Inc 2001 - provider of digital trust services for businesses and consumers to communicate and transact over digital networks owned by CIBC, Telus Corp and VeriSign Inc.
  • Aplettix Inc 2000 - firm specializing in secure transaction systems in the banking sector. CIBC signed an agreement with the New York based firm in 2000, but the project was later abandoned for alternatives such as VeriSign.
  • Canadian Defence Community Banking - CIBC and the Department of National Defence have worked together to develop Canadian Defence Community Banking, a banking program created specifically to meet the unique needs of the Canadian military community. Services are provided by CIBC Retail Markets in the same way as the CIBC PC Financial products.

Sell Off/Restructuring/Outsourcing

  • EDULINX Canada Corporation: Established in 1999, it was sold to Nelnet Canada Inc, the Canadian unit of Nelnet, Inc. of the U.S., in late 2004.
  • HP Intria Items (Intria Corp): Formed by CIBC with Hewlett Packard and Fiserv Canada in 1996. In 2005, CIBC acquired the remaining shares from Fiserv and Intria becomes a unit of CIBC.
  • Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club: Founding owners of the MLB team in 1977 and had a 10% stake with majority owner Labatt's Breweries (later acquired by InterBrew NV) and sold to Rogers Media in 2000.
  • TSYS In 2002 a 10 year agreement was signed with Total Systems Services Inc of Columbus GA to outsource credit card processing operations.
  • CIBC Leadership Centre: In 2001, the King City facility was sold to Benchmark Hospitality as the bank began to divest real estate or investment in areas outside of its business strategies.
  • Juniper Financial Corporation: The bank acquired the Wilmington DE credit card issuer 2001 and sold to Barclays Bank in 2004.


2003: Enron

On December 22, 2003, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined CIBC US$ 80 million for its role in the manipulation of Enron financial statements. This consists of $37.5 million to repay ill-gotten gains, a $37.5 million penalty and $5 million in interest. The money is intended to be returned to Enron fraud victims pursuant to the Fair Fund provisions of Section 308(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.[10]

The SEC also sued three of CIBC's executives. CIBC Executive Vice President Daniel Ferguson and former CIBC Executive Director Mark Wolf agreed to settle for US$ 563,000 and US$ 60,000, respectively. Ian Schottlaender, former managing director in CIBC's corporate leveraged finance group in New York initially contested the charges[11] but on July 12, 2004 he agreed to pay US$ 528,750 as well as be barred from serving as an officer or director of a publicly traded company for a period of five years.[12] Under these agreements the individuals neither admit nor deny wrongdoing.

The SEC complaint charges that "CIBC and the three executives with having helped Enron to mislead its investors through a series of complex structured finance transactions over a period of several years preceding Enron's bankruptcy." The agreement reached between the SEC and CIBC permanently enjoins CIBC from violating the antifraud, books and records, and internal control provisions of the federal securities laws.[10][11]

On August 2, 2005 CIBC paid US$ 2.4 billion to settle a class action lawsuit brought by a group of pension funds and investment managers, including the University of California, which claims that "systematic fraud by Enron and its officers led to the loss of billions and the collapse of the company."[13]

2003: market timing

On July 25, 2005 CIBC confirmed it would pay US$ 125 million to settle an investigation into its role in the 2003 Mutual-fund scandal. Linda Chatman Thomsen, director of the SEC's division of enforcement, said, "by knowingly financing customers' late trading and market timing, as well as providing financing in amounts far greater than the law allows, CIHI and World Markets boosted their customers' trading profits at the expense of long-term mutual fund shareholders."[14] Under the settlement, CIBC neither admits nor denies the allegations.

2004: CIBC Visa Cardholders

On August 27, 2004 CIBC confirmed that it would settle a class-action lawsuit on behalf of CIBC Visa cardholders. The plaintiffs, represented by Paul Pape and Harvey Strosberg of the Toronto law firm Pape Barristers, alleged that the conversion of foreign-currency transactions resulted in an undisclosed or inadequately disclosed mark-up.[15] After having been approved by an Ontario Superior Court judge, CIBC announced on October 15, 2004 that the settlement will result in the bank paying $13.85 million to its cardholders, $1 million to the United Way, $1.65 million to the Class Action Fund of the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario), and $3 million in legal fees. [16] The bank also announced that it has not admitted any liability and is settling to avoid further litigation with its cardholders.

2004: Erroneous Charges

On May 20, 2004 CIBC announced that it would refund $24 million to some of its customers as a result of erroneous overdraft and mortgage charges which were discovered in the course of an internal review. "This is being done as part of CIBC's effort to correct its error and to ensure that it distributes to customers all of the money it received in error," the bank said.[17]

In another similar incident, CIBC announced on April 27, 2006 that it's refunding an additional $27 million to about 200,000 clients who were overcharged for certain overdraft fees and other borrowing transactions, some of which date back to 1993.[18] In cases where clients were undercharged, the bank decided not to seek reimbursement.[19]

2005: Privacy

On April 18, 2005 the Privacy Commissioner of Canada expressed disappointment in the way CIBC dealt with incidents involving the bank misdirecting faxes containing customers' personal information.[20] One involved misdirecting faxes to a scrap yard operator in West Virginia from 2001 to 2004. The misdirected faxes contained the social security numbers, home addresses, phone numbers, and detailed bank account data of several hundred bank customers.[21] The second incident involved a Dorval businessman and allegedly took place from 2000 to 2004.[22] In both cases, the commissioner noted that the bank did not inform the affected clients, whose personal information was compromised, until the incidents became public and an investigation was underway.[23] A few days after the story broke on CTV News and The Globe and Mail, CIBC announced that it had banned its employees from using fax machines to transmit any documents containing confidential customer information.[24]

2007: Privacy

On January 18, 2007 CIBC Asset Management announced that the personal information of about 470,000 current and former clients of Talvest Mutual Funds, a CIBC subsidiary, has gone missing. The information may have included client names, addresses, signatures, dates of birth, bank account numbers, beneficiary information and/or Social Insurance Numbers.[25] The incident emanated from the disappearance of a hard drive containing information on "the process used to open and administer" customer accounts as it was traveling between the bank's Montreal and Toronto offices.[26] The Privacy Commissioner of Canada stated, "Although I appreciate that the bank notified us of this incident and that it is working cooperatively with my Office, I am nevertheless deeply troubled, especially given the magnitude of this breach, which puts at risk the personal information of hundreds of thousands of Canadians." She immediately launched a privacy investigation.[27]

2007: Employee Overtime

In June 2007, CIBC was named in a $600 million class-action lawsuit regarding the lack of overtime pay to its customer service staff.[28] The lawsuit was launched by Dara Fresco, a head teller at the bank, who is being represented by the law firms Roy Elliot Kim O'Connor LLP and Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP.[29] A class-action case management judge is being assigned to the case and the class-action certification is being assessed - a process that could take up to one year. [30] The case was recently dismissed by Madam Justice Joan Lax of the Ontario Superior Court where she stated the evidence "provides no basis in fact that there is a systemic practice of unpaid overtime at CIBC." [31]

Corporate governance

  • Gerald T. McCaughey - President and CEO
  • Sonia Baxendale - Senior Executive Vice-President, CIBC and President, CIBC Retail Markets
  • Mike Capatides - Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, Administration Division, CIBC
  • Ron Lalonde - Senior Executive Vice-President, Technology and Operations, CIBC
  • Richard Nesbitt - CEO, CIBC World Markets
  • Richard E. Venn - Senior Executive Vice-President, Corporate Development, CIBC, Managing Director and Deputy Chairman, CIBC World Markets Inc.
  • David Williamson - Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, CIBC
  • Tom Woods - Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer, Risk Management, CIBC

Current members of the board of directors of the company are: Brent S. Belzberg (2005), Jalynn H. Bennett (1994) C.M., Gary F. Colter (2003) F.C.A., Patrick D. Daniel (2009) B.S., M.S. Chem. E, Luc Desjardins (2009), William L. Duke (1991), Gordon D. Giffin (2001), Linda S. Hasenfratz (2004), Nicholas D. Le Pan (2008), [[John Manley (politician)|John P. Manley}}, P.C. (2005), Gerald T. McCaughey (2005), Jane L. Peverett (2009), Leslie Rahl (2007) B.Sc., M.B.A., Charles Sirois (1997) C.M., B.Fin., M.Fin., Robert J. Steacy (2008), Ronald W. Tysoe (2004)

Past presidents, CEOs and chairmen

Canadian Bank of Commerce



Imperial Bank of Canada


  • Henry Stark Howland 1875-1889 - founder and former Bank of Commerce VP 1867-1875; former reeve and postmaster for the Village of Kleinburg 1859-1860, York County Warden .
  • George Albertus Cox 1890-1896 - Liberal Senator 1896-1914


  • Lindsay Stuart Mackersy MC 1961-? - First President of CIBC

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce


  • Lindsay Stuart Mackersy MC 1961-? - Former Chairman of Imperial Bank of Canada
  • John S. Hunkin 1999-2004


  • Russell Harrison
  • Neil MacKinnon
  • Donald S Fullerton
  • A.L. Flood CM - 1988-1998
  • John Hunkin - 1999-2003
  • Bill Etherington - 2003-2009
  • Charles Sirois 2009-present


  • John S. Hunkin - Chief Executive Officer 2004-2005; President and CEO of CIBC 1999-2004; CEO and President of CIBC World Markets 1990-1992, President of Investment and Corporate Banking - CIBC Wood Gundy 1992-1997, President of Investment and Corporate Banking - CIBC World Markets 1997-1999.

Notable former employees

A list of important people in CIBC's history:

  • John S. Hunkin - CEO of CIBC
  • Jill Denham - EVP Wealth Management
  • Holger Kluge - CIBC EVP
  • Robert W. Service, poet and former clerk with Canadian Bank of Commerce
  • George Herbert Wood and James Henry Gundy - founders of Wood Gundy Incorporated
  • William McMaster - founder of the Canadian Bank of Commerce
  • Paul S. Cantor - member of the Board of Directors of CIBC
  • David Kassie - former CEO of CIBC World Markets and now CEO of Genuity Capital Markets
  • Brian Molony - former assistant bank manager who stole more than 9 million U.S. dollars from CIBC and lost all of it gambling.
  • Robert Winters - former CIBC Vice-President and federal cabinet minister under Pierre Trudeau
  • A.L. Flood - former CIBC chair
  • Donald R. Lindsay - former President of CIBC World Markets Inc., and now CEO and Director of Teck Cominco


Currently only select branches are unionized. The Sudbury branch staff and CIBC VISA department are part of the powerful United Steelworkers union.

Significant buildings occupied by CIBC


  • A History of the Canadian Bank of Commerce by Victor Ross (1920-1934)

External links

Personal Banking Websites
Business & Corporate Banking Websites
Related Websites
CIBC stock profiles and quotes



Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Chief Executive Officer: Gerald T. McCaughey | FY 2007 Statistics: Net income: $2.64 billion CAD (8%) | Market capitalization: $34.2 billion CAD | Assets: $342.18 billion CAD | Employees: 37,308 | Stock symbols: TSXCM NYSECM | Website:

Major brands by financial service
Master: CIBC | Financial group: CIBC | Canadian banking: CIBC | International banking: CIBC Private Wealth Management | Canadian mutual funds: CIBC Mutual Funds | Canadian brokerage: CIBC Investor's Edge and CIBC Wood Gundy | Canadian insurance: CIBC Insurance | Capital markets: CIBC World Markets | Custodial: CIBC Mellon

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