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Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada
Traded as TSX: RY
Industry Financial services
Founded Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1864

Toronto, Ontario, Canada[1]

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Key people
David I. McKay (President & CEO)
Revenue C$34.108 billion (2014)
C$9.004 billion (2014)
Total assets C$940.550 billion (2014)
Number of employees
73,498 (FTE, 2014)
Website .comrbc

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC; French: Banque Royale du Canada), RBC Royal Bank or RBC Financial Group is the largest financial institution in Canada. The bank serves 18 million clients and has 80,100 employees worldwide.[3] The company corporate headquarters are located in Montreal, Quebec, and its operational head office in Toronto, Ontario.[1][2] The bank was founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. RBC's Institution Number (or bank number) is 003.

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 1,209 branches. RBC Bank was the U.S. retail banking subsidiary with 439 branches across six states in the Southeast, which served more than a million customers.[4] RBC also has 127 branches across seventeen countries in the Caribbean, which serve more than 1.6 million clients.[3] 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 and the focus is on middle market clients.

RBC is listed as the largest Canadian company by revenue and market capitalization by The Globe and Mail[5] and was ranked at 50 in the 2013 Forbes Global 2000 listing.[6] The company has operations in Canada, and 40 other countries[7] and has 673.2 USD Bn of assets under management according to the Scorpio Partnership Global Private Banking Benchmark 2014, this represented an increase of 5.6% on the 2013 figure.[8]


  • Timeline 1
    • International timeline 1.1
  • Logo 2
  • Corporate governance 3
  • History of Head Offices 4
  • Awards and recognition 5
  • Sponsorship 6
  • Controversies 7
    • Merger 7.1
    • Discrimination 7.2
    • Environment 7.3
    • 2010 Ottawa branch firebombing 7.4
    • Temporary foreign workers and Canadian layoffs 7.5
  • Memberships 8
  • See also 9
    • Gallery 9.1
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12
    • Official Sites 12.1
    • Historical bank notes 12.2


Place Ville Marie the RBC headquarters in Montreal, Quebec
The Royal Bank Plaza building in Toronto, Ontario
The Royal Centre tower in downtown Vancouver's Financial District
Tour de la Banque Royale in Montreal, Quebec, which housed the head office from 1928 to 1962.
Thomas D'Arcy McGee Building, RBC's office in Ottawa
  • 1864 - Merchants Bank of Halifax founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • 1869 - Officially incorporated as the Merchants' Bank of Halifax.[9]
  • 1869 - Federal charter received.
  • 1870 - 1880s - Expansion in Maritime Provinces.
  • 1895 - Expansion in Newfoundland 31 January 1895 post collapse of Newfoundland Commercial Bank and Union Bank of Newfoundland on 10 December 1894[9]
  • 1901 - Changed name to Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
  • 1907 - Head Office moved from Halifax to Montreal.
  • 1910 - Merged with Union Bank of Halifax.
  • 1910 - bank branch designed by Carrère and Hastings, Winnipeg, Manitoba in beaux-arts classicism proclaims the financial dominance of Winnipeg in the prairies.[10]
  • 1912 - Merged with 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 began 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.
  • 1935 - Crown Savings and Loan Co. merges with Industrial Mortgage & Trust Co.[11]
  • 1961 - Installed its first computer, which was the first in Canadian banking.
  • 1968 - Royal Trust merged with Ontario Loan and Debenture Company (formerly Ontario Savings and Investment Society).[12]
  • 1993 - RBC merged with Royal Trust.
  • 1998 - proposed merger with Bank of Montreal, rejected by federal minister of finance (see Controversies below)
  • 1998 - RBC acquired Security First Network Bank in Atlanta, the first pure Internet bank.[13]
  • 2000 - Merged merchant credit/debit card acquiring business with BMO Bank of Montreal's to form Moneris Solutions.
  • 2013 - RBC completed the acquisition of the Canadian subsidiary of Ally Bank owned by ResMor Trust.

International timeline

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
  • 1932 - RBC closed its branch in St. Lucia.
  • 1940 - RBC closed its branches in Martinique and Guadaloupe.
  • 1959 - RBC opened a branch in St. Vincent.
  • 1960 - RBC returned to St. Lucia.
  • 1960 - Fidel Castro's regime acquired the RBC's operations in Cuba on 8 December.[9] 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.
  • 1964 - RBC opened a branch in Grand Cayman.
  • 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.[14][15]
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).
  • 1986 - RBC sold its two branches in Haiti to Societe Generale Haitienne de Banque, a local bank.
  • 1987 - RBC sold its operations in Belize, ex-British Honduras, to Belize Holdings Inc., which renamed them Belize Bank.
  • 1993 - RBC sold Royal Bank of Puerto Rico to Spain's Banco Bilbao-Vizcaya.
  • 1995 - RBC sold Royal Trust Bank (Austria) to Anglo Irish Bank, which renamed it Anglo Irish Bank (Austria).
  • 2000 - Acquired Dain Rauscher Wessels, a U.S. brokerage and investment banking firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 2001 - RBC acquired Centura Bank based in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
  • 2003 - RBC purchased Florida interest in Provident Financial Group, Cincinnati OH.
  • 2006 - RBC upgraded its representative office in Beijing, China to a branch.
  • 2006 - Created an institutional investment joint venture with Dexia. The 50/50 partnership operated under the name RBC Dexia Investor Services.[16]
  • 2008 - RBC established a representative office in Mumbai, India. RBC re-acquired 98.14% of the shares of Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. This brought RBC back to Trinidad and Tobago some 20 years after it had withdrawn, and provided it with a presence in other islands served by RBTT.
  • 2011 - RBC sold its American operations to PNC Financial Services for US$3.62 billion. PNC ATMs are now used by customers with RBC Bank (Georgia), N.A. providing Canadians with bank options when they are residing in the US.
  • 2012 - RBC completed the acquisition of Dexia's 50-percent stake in RBC Dexia Investor Services Limited, making it the sole owner of the newly named RBC Investor Services.[17] RBC also opened a Branch in Wilemstad, Curaçao.
  • 2014 - RBC "entered into a merger agreement to acquire City National Corporation", a major U. S. bank.[18]
  • 2015 - RBC agreed to sell its Swiss private bank Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) SA to local rival SYZ Group. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) manages CHF 10-billion (USD $10.5-billion, CAD $13.4-billion) of assets for clients in Africa, the Middle East and South America.[19]

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 depicted a crown above the globe and the lion faced to the left. The change coincided with an expansion in United States markets. Over the years, the lion's mane has also become less detailed and more stylized.

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: Geoff Beattie, Douglas Elix, John Ferguson, Paule Gauthier, Jacques Lamarre, Brandt Louie, Gordon Nixon, David O'Brien, Robert Peterson, Pedro Reinhard, Timothy Hearn, Kathleen P. Taylor, Victor Young, Michael McCain, Alice Labeige.

History of Head Offices

RBC's official legal corporate headquarters still remains at Place Ville-Marie in Montreal. However, Royal Bank Plaza in Toronto is its de facto corporate headquarters; the great majority of its management operations are based there.[20]

Awards and recognition

RBC has been awarded with many awards and recognition for its financial products and services. 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[21]
  • 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.[22]

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.[23]


Like many of its competitors, RBC is a key sponsor of many events, community programs, and charities. One percent of RBC's average annual net income before taxes is set aside for charitable partnerships via the arms-length RBC Foundation.

RBC is a major sponsor of numerous cultural events, including the Toronto International Film Festival. It also sponsors the RBC Taylor Prize, a literary award for non-fiction writing in Canada, and hosts a yearly Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award.[24][25] In July 2013, the RBC Foundation partnered with the University of Toronto to revive the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, given to recognize achievement in Canadian theatre.[26]

RBC is one of Canada's largest sponsors of amateur sports and is the longest-running Canadian sponsor of the Olympic Games. It employ dozens of top-tier amateur athletes as part-time spokespeople through the RBC Olympians program. RBC is also a major sponsor of Hockey Canada and owns the naming rights to the Canadian national junior 'A' ice hockey championship, the Royal Bank Cup. In addition, it supports Canadian hockey at the grassroots level through the RBC Play Hockey program.

RBC owns naming rights to the RBC Centre, RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg, RBC Canadian Open, and RBC Heritage (formerly the Heritage Classic). From 2002 to 2012, RBC previously held the naming rights to what is now the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.[27]



In 1998, the Royal Bank of Canada proposed to merge with the Bank of Montreal, at the same time as the Toronto-Dominion Bank proposed to merge with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Both mergers were examined by the Competition Bureau of Canada, and ultimately rejected by Paul Martin, at the time the Finance Minister of Canada.


On January 15, 2007, CBC Radio reported RBC is "refusing" people of certain nationalities to open U.S. dollar accounts with the bank.[28] 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.[29] There have also been reports that the bank has closed the accounts of some Iranian-Canadian citizens.[30]


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." Some environmental groups believe oil sands extraction has a detrimental effect on the northern Alberta environment.[31]

2010 Ottawa branch firebombing

An RBC branch in The Glebe neighbourhood of Ottawa was firebombed in May 2010. The party responsible later identified themselves on Indymedia and threatened to make their presence at the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, as RBC was one of its key sponsors, as well as at the 2010 G-20 Toronto summit.[32]

Temporary foreign workers and Canadian layoffs

In April 2013 the CBC reported that the Royal Bank of Canada was indirectly hiring temporary foreign workers to replace 45 Canadian Information Technology workers.[33]

The CBC reported May 7, 2013, that during question period the NDP leveled accusations against the government and that Prime Minister Stephen Harper responded that the government has been working on problems with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for more than a year.[34]


RBC is a member of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) and is a 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:

See also



  1. ^ a b "Royal Bank of Canada: Annual Report 2010" (PDF). RBC. 31 October 2010. Retrieved 05-08-2014. 
  2. ^ a b Yusufali, Sasha (16 December 2013). "Royal Bank of Canada".  
  3. ^ a b "Royal Bank of Canada: Annual Report 2008" (PDF). RBC. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 05-08-2014. 
  4. ^ "About RBC Bank: Company Profile". Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  5. ^ "Canada's 100 biggest companies by market cap".  
  6. ^ "The Global 2000".  
  7. ^ "Corporate Profile". RBC. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b c Pound, Richard W. (2005). 'Fitzhenry and Whiteside Book of Canadian Facts and Dates'. Fitzhenry and Whiteside. 
  10. ^ Kalman, Harold D.; Vattay, Sharon (16 December 2013). "Bank Architecture". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Toronto: Historica Foundation. Retrieved 05-08-2014. 
  11. ^ Nineteenth Legislature (1936). Ontario Sessional Papers (PDF). p. iii.  
  12. ^ Brock, Daniel J. (2000). "Jeffery, Joseph".  
  13. ^ Jordan, Meredith (3 June 2002). "RBC Centura aims high with Eagle Bancshares".  
  14. ^ "The Impact of Privitisation on the Banking Sector in the Caribbean" (PDF). United Nations: Econimic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. 30 November 2001. Retrieved 05-08-2014. 
  15. ^ "Implementation Completion Report on a Credit in the Amount of SDR 3.5 Million to the Co-Operative Republic of Guyana for a Financial & Private Sector Institutional Development Project" (PDF).  
  16. ^ "RBC seeks buyout of Dexia joint venture". Yahoo! Canada – Finance. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 05-08-2014. 
  17. ^ Robertson, Grant (3 April 2013). "RBC buying full ownership of RBC Dexia".  
  18. ^ "RBC to acquire City National Corporation, a premier U.S. private and commercial bank". Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  19. ^ "RBC sells Swiss private bank operations". Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  20. ^ Sasha Yusufali. "Royal Bank of Canada". Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  21. ^ "RBC Financial Group - Corporate Profile - Awards & Recognition". Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  22. ^ "Reasons for Selection, 2009 Canada's Top 100 Employers Competition". 
  23. ^ Global-Warming Ready, Newsweek, 8 April 2007, URL accessed 19 July 2007
  24. ^ "RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards". Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  25. ^ "Charles Taylor Prize now known as RBC Taylor Prize; adds secondary award".  
  26. ^ "The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre announces new partnerships with University of Toronto and RBC Foundation".  
  27. ^ "RBC buys naming rights for Winnipeg convention centre". CBC News. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 05-08-2014. 
  28. ^ "U.S. banking regulators carry a big stick". The Globe and Mail. 19 January 2007. Retrieved 05-08-2014. 
  29. ^ "RBC issues clarification on U.S. dollar accounts". Archived from the original on 2007-01-20. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  30. ^ "Discussions on closed bank accounts between Royal Bank of Canada and Iranian groups". Salam Toronto. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 05-08-2014. 
  31. ^ Krause, Vivian (14 October 2010). "U.S. foundations against the oil sands".  
  32. ^ Taylor, Scott; Jackson, Kenneth (19 May 2010). "'"Police chief vows to nab 'domestic terrorists.  
  33. ^ Tomlinson, Kathy (6 April 2013). "RBC replaces Canadian staff with foreign workers". CBC News. Retrieved 05-08-2014. 
  34. ^ "Harper says foreign worker program is being fixed". CBC News. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 05-08-2014. 
  35. ^ "First Canadian Businesswomen's Trade Mission to Australia, Sydney, June 11-14, 2002". RBC. Retrieved 05-08-2014. 

Further reading

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

External links

Official Sites

  • RBC
  • RBC Bank (USA)
  • RBC Dominion Securities
  • RBC Royal Bank of Canada
  • RBC Insurance (Canada)
  • RBC Royal Bank of Canada (Caribbean and Bahamas)
  • RBC Wealth Management, International

Historical bank notes

  • 1920 Trinidad and Tobago banknote (front) - Example of Royal Bank Caribbean banknotes
  • 1920 Trinidad and Tobago banknote (back) - Example of Royal Bank Caribbean banknotes
  • 1938 Saint Kitts banknote (front) - Example of Royal Bank of Canada banknotes
  • 1938 Saint Kitts banknote (back) - Example of Royal Bank of Canada banknotes
  • 1929's advertisement on a Chinese newspaper - The Royal Bank of Canada advertisement on a Canada Chinese Newspaper, location coverpage bottom left, dated 10 May 1929.
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