The G-20 meeting held this past
weekend in Toronto underscored the role of the Canadian banking system, one
which plays a significant role in the Caribbean.
As world leaders participated in
the summit, they were able to see firsthand a banking system that is the envy
of the world. Canada has avoided a banking crisis where others have floundered.
Its economy grew at a 6.1 percent annual rate in the first three months of this
year. In addition, three-quarters of the 400,000 jobs lost during the recession
have been recovered.
In Canada’s concentrated banking
system, regulators know each of the top bank executives personally
“Canada’s banking system has been
rated No. 1 for safety and soundness in a global competitiveness report by
World Economic Forum,” said Ross McDonald, head of RBC Caribbean Banking.
“Within this strong banking system, RBC is the leader. It is the largest bank
in Canada based on market capitalization, and RBC’s capital ratios and senior
debt ratings are among the highest of financial institutions globally. RBC also
has a high-quality balance sheet, with a strong liquidity position and
diversified funding sources.”
The Canadian banking system has a
unique relationship with the Caribbean.
It was more than a century ago that
Canadian banks first opened their doors in the Caribbean. Today, three of the
big five Canadian banks – RBC Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank and CIBC – have
a significant retail presence in the Caribbean.
“Just as RBC has strong ties to government
leaders in Canada, we work closely with the government officials in our
jurisdiction,” said Jason Waters, Vice President and Country Head of RBC in the
“RBC Royal Bank has a deep
understanding of the marketplace, which puts us in a unique position to support
the local economy. Our services extend to a wide cross section of individuals
and companies doing business across the Cayman Islands.”
The acquisition of RBTT positions
RBC as the second largest bank in the Caribbean and brings with it many new
opportunities for growth. RBC also maintains a proactive approach to risk
management, which includes thorough credit reviews, approvals and monitoring
processes, as well as practices that limit exposure to any single name or any
As the U.S. and Europe loosened
regulations on their financial industries over the last 15 years, Canada did
not. The banks also aren’t as leveraged as their U.S. or European peers. “This
bodes well for us in the Caribbean, as we have the backing of a strong banking
system in Canada and can leverage the international strength of our parent
company as we grow and support local initiatives,” said Mr. McDonald.