The stability of the Canadian banking system before, during and after the most recent banking crisis is well documented. The World Economic Forum and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have repeatedly voted Canada’s banking system as the most sound, with the lowest debt to GDP amongst G7 Nations.
The six chartered banks in Canada are:
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
- Toronto Dominion Bank (TD)
- Bank of Montreal (BMO)
- Royal Bank
- National Bank
All these banks weathered the financial crisis and emerged strongly, governed by the Bank of Canada. Four of these banks are headquartered in Ontario, as are seven of Canada’s ten largest insurance companies. The Greater Toronto Area is North America’s third largest financial services hub trailing only Chicago and New York, and home to the Toronto Stock Exchange. As a whole, 358,000 people work in the Ontario financial services industry, half of those in the banking sector.
Many foreign banks have their base of Canadian operations in Toronto. The Chinese Investment Corporation opened an office in Toronto in 2011. The Bank of China has three locations in the Greater Toronto Area. There is also the Industrial and Commercial Bank of Canada (ICBK) in Toronto. Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (traded on the Hong Kong and London Stock Exchanges, and founded in Hong Kong in 1865) has several locations across Canada.
The main locations for financial services companies in Ontario are:
The Bank of Montreal was the first Canadian bank to incorporate in China in 2010. Manulife also has operations in China. The Canadian financial sector is among the world’s most well-regulated and is responsible for many international best practices. The World Bank ranks Canada fifth worldwide for its strength of investor protection, and assigns Canada a maximum score for depth of credit information.
Over 130 foreign companies established greenfield* FDI projects in the financial services sector in Canada between 2003 and 2011, creating over 13,000 jobs. More FDI jobs in the financial
services sector have been created in Toronto than in Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich and Chicago.