Royal Bank of Canada
|Royal Bank of Canada|
|Key People||Kathleen Taylor, Chairman; David I. McKay, President and CEO|
|Products||Global banking services|
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) provides banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate, investment banking, trading and transaction processing services on a global basis. It has about 80,000 employees who serve more than 18 million clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 53 other countries.
Headquartered in Toronto, RBC is Canada's largest bank and one of its largest corporations.
The Royal Bank of Canada dates back to 1864, when a group of merchants in Hallifax came together to form a private commercial bank called the Merchants Bank. Its mission was to finance fishing and timber activities along with trade between North America and Europe. The bank obtained its charter in 1869 and began expansion into Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.
In 1887 the bank opened a branch office in Montréal, signalling a move toward providing services on a national level. In 1901 the bank adopted the name "The Royal Bank of Canada" ("The" was dropped from the legal name in 1990). It relocated its headquarters to Montréal in 1907.
The 1900s were a time of expansion through acquisition for the bank. In Canada it acquired the operations of the Union Bank of Halifax, Traders Bank of Canada, Québec Bank, the Union Bank of Canada, and the Northern Crown Bank (which had 13 branches in Western Canada). RBC expanded internationally as well, in the Caribbean and South America. In 1925 the bank's international network had 121 branches.
The bank's assets and number of branches shrank somewhat during the Great Depression of the 1930s, but it returned to profitability and growth after World War II and began to diversify into other lines of business.
In the 1970s, the bank returned to a strategy of expanding by acquisition, and also formed a number of joint ventures around the world. Between 1969 and 1979, the bank's total assets increased more than five-fold to $50.7 billion and its staff grew from 23 181 to 38 895 employees, an increase of almost 68%.
RBC completed its transformation from a traditional commercial bank to a broad-based financial services group in 2001. Key acquisitions were intended to add scale to core businesses as exemplified by the purchases of Westbury Canadian Life Insurance Company, the Canadian operations of Mutual of Omaha, the Canadian life and annuity business of Prudential of America and the investment dealer Richardson Greenshields. Strategic alliances have also been struck with technology partners including AOL Canada Inc., to satisfy clients' appetites for e-banking alternatives.
Products and Services
- RBC Banking is the core of the bank's operations. It provides banking services, a range of credit card products, financial advice services, and lends to mortgage clients.
- RBC Insurance offers insurance products covering life, health, travel, home, and other areas.
- RBC Investments addresses the wealth management needs of individuals. Services include brokerage services, investment counseling, and financial planning.
- RBC Capital Markets provides financial services for corporate clients such as investment banking, equity and debt financing, and treasury management services.
- RBC Global Services provides transaction processing services.