Bank shares are considered regular opening shares in Canada. Customer advisors are happy to recommend their new customers to their first depot, and parents are already buying stocks for their children. So most Canadians are investing directly in the shares of the country’s five largest banks, either directly or through their pension funds.
From a business perspective, these financial institutions are no different from each other. They all focus on the same areas with the same payment models and compete in the banking, mortgage, credit and credit card businesses.
All five have their operations headquarters in the financial district of Toronto and offer their own investment products. Most of the competition is in business customers and business loans, wealth management and international business. The latter promises tremendous growth. Besides Canada, their most important markets are the United States, South America and Asia. European business is different. For example, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has offices in all major European financial centers, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), on the other hand, is mainly based in London.
No big scandals
Unlike in Switzerland, the big banks are not involved in big scams. There are always allegations of money laundering, especially when it comes to real estate transactions or subsidiaries in the Caribbean. There was frequent criticism of kickback payments when selling bank-owned products. However, it has not damaged the image of the banks till now.
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