Royal Bank of Canada: Wikis


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Royal Bank of Canada
Type public
Founded Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1864
Headquarters Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Key people Gordon Nixon,
chief executive officer
Industry financial services
Revenue $29.1 billion CAD (2009)
Net income $3.9 billion CAD (2009)
Total assets $655.0 billion CAD (2009)
Employees 71,186 (Full-time equivalent, 2009)

The Royal Bank of Canada (in French, Banque Royale du Canada, and commonly RBC in either language) is the largest financial institution in Canada, measured by deposits, revenues, and market capitalization. The bank serves seventeen million clients and has 80,100 employees worldwide.[1] The company's primary corporate offices are located in Toronto, Ontario, while it is officially headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. The bank was founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In Canada, the bank is branded as RBC Royal Bank in English and RBC Banque Royale in French and serves approximately ten million clients through its network of 1,197 RBC Bank is the US retail banking subsidiary with 439 branches across six states in the Southeast, which serve more than a million customers.[2] RBC also has 127 branches across seventeen countries in the Caribbean, which serve more than 1.6 million clients.[1] RBC Capital Markets is RBC's worldwide investment and corporate banking subsidiary, while the investment brokerage firm is known as RBC Dominion Securities. Investment banking services are also provided through RBC Bank with a focus on middle market clients.

RBC is listed as the largest Canadian company by revenue and market capitalization by The Globe and Mail[3] and is ranked at number 55 on the Forbes Global 2000 listing.[4] The company has operations in Canada, the United States, and 48 other countries.[5]



  • 1864 - Merchants Bank founded in Halifax.
  • 1869 - Changed name to Merchants' Bank of Halifax.
  • 1869 - Federal charter received.
  • 1870 - 1880s - Expansion in Maritime Provinces.
  • 1901 - Changed name to Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
  • 1907 - Head Office moved from Halifax to Montreal.
  • 1910 - Merged with Union Bank of Halifax.
  • 1912 - Merged with Toronto-based Traders Bank of Canada in order to improve its position in Ontario.
  • 1917 - Merged with Quebec Bank, which was founded in 1818 and chartered in 1822 in Quebec City.
  • 1918 - Merged with Northern Crown Bank, which was the result of the merger in 1908 between Northern Bank (established in 1905 in Winnipeg) and Crown Bank of Canada (1904), based in Ontario. RBC's acquisition gave it a strong presence in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
  • 1925 - Merged with Union Bank of Canada, which had begun in Quebec City in 1865 as the Union Bank of Lower Canada, but changed its name in 1886. Union Bank of Canada had moved its headquarters to Winnipeg in 1912, and built a strong presence in the Prairie Provinces.
  • 1932 - RBC closed its branch in St. Lucia.
  • 1959 - RBC opened a branch in St. Vincent.
  • 1960 - RBC returned to St. Lucia.
  • 1961 - Installed its first computer, which was also the first in Canadian banking.
  • 1964 - RBC opened a branch in George Town, Grand Cayman.
  • 1993 - Merged with Royal Trust.
  • 2000 - Merged merchant credit/debit card acquiring business with BMO Bank of Montreal's to form Moneris Solutions.
  • 2006 - Created Institutional Investment Joint Venture with Dexia. It is a 50/50 Partnership called RBC Dexia Investor Services. [6]

International timeline

The Royal Bank Plaza building in Toronto, Ontario
An RBC branch in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

RBC Royal Bank has carved out a name for itself as a leader in the Caribbean region, especially in the anglophone Caribbean.

RBC opened a branch in the Dominican Republic; three more follow.
  • 1913 - RBC opened a branch in Grenada.
  • 1914 - RBC bought out Bank of British Guiana (est. 1836), in British Guiana, and converted it to a branch.
  • 1915 - RBC opened branches in Costa Rica, Antigua, Dominica, and St. Kitts.
  • 1916 - RBC opened a branch in Venezuela.
  • 1917 - RBC opened branches in Antigua, Dominica, St. Kitts, Montserrat, Nevis, and Tobago.
  • 1918 - RBC opened a branch in Barcelona, and another in Vladivostok that lasted less than a year.
  • 1919 - RBC opened branches in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paris, Martinique, Guadaloupe, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
  • 1920 - RBC opened a branch in Colombia and a branch in Castries, St Lucia.
  • 1923 - RBC bought and consolidated the banking operations of Pedro Gomez Mena e Hijo in Cuba.
  • 1925 - RBC opened a branch in Peru, and acquired the American-owned, and failed, Bank of Central and South America. The purchase of BCSA brought with it subsidiaries, and their branches, in Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, and Venezuela
  • 1940 - RBC closed its Branches in Martinique and Guadaloupe.
  • 1960 - The Castro regime acquired the RBC's operations in Cuba. At the time of the forced sale, RBC had 24 branches in Cuba. From 1961 to 1965, RBC maintained a Special Representative in Havana to facilitate trade between Cuba and Canada. Actually, the Special Representative’s primary function after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 was to act as a financial intermediary between the American and Cuban governments to manage the ransoming of the prisoners for food and agricultural machinery.
  • 1970s - As a result of Law 75, RBC's operations in Colombia became Banco Royal Colombiano.
  • 1973 - RBC was forced to incorporate its operations in Jamaica, which became Royal Bank (Jamaica).
  • 1980 - RBC purchased Banco de San Juan in Puerto Rico, adding its 14 branches to the six that RBC already had in Puerto Rico. :RBC sold to Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, its assets in Grenada.
  • 1985 - RBC started to withdraw from much of the Caribbean.
It sold its 12 branches in the Dominican Republic to Banco de Comercio Dominicano.
It also sold its stake in Royal Bank (Jamaica) to Jamaica Mutual Life Assurance.
The Government of Guyana nationalized its operations there and renamed the bank the National Bank of Industry and Commerce Ltd. [7], [8], [9]
Additionally RBC incorporated its operations in Trinidad and Tobago locally, floating the shares, thereby divesting itself of ownership. The new bank took the name Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (RBTT).

RBC Bank (USA)

A typical RBC Bank branch in Durham, North Carolina.

RBC has a large retail banking presence in the southeastern United States, marketing itself there as RBC Bank. RBC Bank is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina. The bank has recently merged with Flag Bank, increasing its presence in Georgia. RBC continues to grow in the Southeast after acquiring 39 branches of AmSouth Bank in Alabama on March 9, 2007 (previously RBC Centura had no locations in this state).[6] RBC announced on January 17, 2008 that it would abandon the "Centura" brand in April 2008 and the U.S. operations would operate as RBC Bank. RBC's footprint in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida expanded significantly after it completed its acquisition of Alabama National Bancorporation in June 2008.

Scott Custer, Chariman and CEO of RBC's US Operations, will retire effective November 1, 2009.

Royal Bank of Canada's previous logo (the crown was removed).

The bank's symbol is a golden lion clutching a globe, on a blue background. An older version had a crown above the globe and had the lion facing to the left rather than the right. The change coincided with an expansion in United States markets. The logo is known and recognized in Canada as a famous symbol.

Corporate governance

Edson Loy Pease (1856-1930), a Quebec native, was a chief executive and managing director of the bank and one of the key people in its history. An employee of the Merchants' Bank of Halifax, he built that bank's Quebec business to where Montreal became its centre of operations. His efforts saw the Bank formally relocate its head office in 1907 to St. James Street in Montreal following which he induced the prominent Montreal business magnate Herbert S. Holt to accept an appointment as the bank's new President. While at the time Holt's presidency was largely a ceremonial position, his name substantially raised the bank's profile and broadened its business connections.

The title of Royal Bank's top executive has changed several times. Initially it was styled as President. Later, it became Chief Executive Officer and one often carried additional responsibilities as Chairman of the Board, while the second-in-command was the President. Allan R. Taylor was Chairman and CEO from 1986 to 1994, and he was succeeded by John Cleghorn in that capacity from 1994-2001. Gordon Nixon is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer, as the bank decided to appoint a non-executive chairman after Cleghorn's retirement.

Chief Executive
Chairman (non-executive)

Current members of the board of directors are: Geoffrey Beattie, Douglas Elix, John Ferguson, Paule Gauthier, Jacques Lamarre, Brandt Louie, Gordon Nixon, David O'Brien, Robert Peterson, Pedro Reinhard, Timothy Hearn, Kathleen Taylor, Victor Young, Michael McCain, Alice Labeige.

History of Head Offices

The RBC's office in Montreal at the Place Ville-Marie.

RBC's official legal corporate headquarters still remains in Montreal at Place Ville-Marie. However, the great majority of management operations were moved to its current location in Toronto at the Royal Bank Plaza, making this the company's operational corporate headquarters.

Awards and recognition

RBC has been awarded with many awards and recognition for its financial products and services. RBC is the most "valuable brand" in Canada for over three consecutive years. RBC is also one of the top 100 sustainable companies in the world. Other awards and recognitions include:

  • In 2007, awarded the "Best Bank" in Canada by The Banker, one of the oldest banking magazines,
  • In 2007, RBC was recognized as the Top Most 100 powerful brands in the world,
  • Was recognized as the "most respected corporation" in Canada[7]
  • In October 2008, RBC was named one of "Canada's Top 100 Employers" by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Maclean's newsmagazine. Later that month, RBC was also named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers, which was announced by the Toronto Star newspaper.[8]

According to a global Newsweek ranking, which measures how effectively companies manage environmental risks and opportunities relative to their industry peers, Royal Bank of Canada is the most environmentally friendly company in the world.[9]

In 2002, RBC purchased the naming rights for the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Raleigh, NC, home to the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League and North Carolina State University basketball. The arena was renamed the RBC Center, with a 20-year lease at a cost of $80 million. In June 2006, the RBC Center was host for the NHL's Stanley Cup Finals, and on June 19, 2006, the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Edmonton Oilers in the RBC Center to win the Stanley Cup.


On January 15, 2007, CBC Radio reported RBC is "refusing" people of certain nationalities to open U.S. dollar accounts with the bank.[10] Canadian citizens with dual citizenship in Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, North Korea or Sudan (mostly countries with U.S. sanctions) are affected. The U.S. Treasury Department restricts certain foreign nationals from using the U.S. dollar payment system to limit terrorism and money laundering after the September 11, 2001 attacks. RBC replied that compliance with such laws does not represent an endorsement by the bank and on January 17, clarified its position on the application of the U.S. laws, specifying that "with some exceptions" it does open accounts for dual citizens of the sanctioned countries.[11] Toronto Star business and consumer affairs columnist Ellen Roseman regularly reported on RBC lack of customer service.[12]

Certain environmental groups have criticized RBC's financing of oil sands bitumen extraction and expansion, cumulatively issuing "more than $2.3 billion in loans and financing more than $6.9 billion in [corporate] debt between 2003 and 2007 for 13 companies including: EnCana, Husky Energy, OPTI Canada, Delphi Energy, Canadian Oil Sands Trust, Northwest Upgrading, Suncor, Total, Connacher Oil and Gas, InterPipeline and Enbridge." [13][14 ] The oil sands development has caused damage to the Athabasca river watershed and the people of the Cree Nation. The tailing ponds of water polluted by bitumen processing are extensive.. [13]


RBC 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:


  • McDowall, Duncan. 1993. Quick to the Frontier: Canada's Royal Bank. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1993 and (in French as) Au coeur de l'action: Banque Royale, Montreal: les Editions de l'Homme, 1993.

Canada China Business Council

External links

Historical bank notes

Royal Bank of Canada

Chief Executive Officer: Gordon Nixon | FY 2007 Statistics: Net income: $5.5 billion CAD (9%) | Market capitalization: $63.8 billion CAD | Assets: $600.3 billion CAD | Employees: 66,748 | Stock symbols: TSXRY NYSERY | Website:

Major brands by financial service
Financial group: RBC | Canadian banking: RBC Royal Bank | U.S. banking: RBC Bank | Caribbean banking: RBC Royal Bank of Canada and RBTT | Private banking: RBC Wealth Management | Canadian mutual funds: RBC Funds | U.S. mutual funds: Tamarack Funds | Canadian brokerage: RBC Direct Investing and RBC Dominion Securities | U.S. brokerage: RBC Dain Rauscher | Canadian insurance: RBC Insurance | U.S. insurance: RBC Insurance | Capital markets: RBC Capital Markets | Custodial: RBC Dexia


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