Canadian Bankers Association

Canadian Bankers Association

January 10, 2008 15:01 ET

Creating a Flexible, Forward-Looking and Competitive Advantage for Canada's Business Environment

CBA submits recommendations to Competition Policy Review Panel

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 10, 2008) - The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) today submitted its recommendations to the federal government's Competition Policy Review Panel on the critical issues of strengthening Canadian competitiveness and creating a competitive advantage for Canadian firms on the world stage.

"The reality is that Canadian banks, indeed all Canadian businesses, are operating within a global marketplace," said Nancy Hughes Anthony, president and CEO of the Canadian Bankers Association. "Any review of competition policy must be conducted through a wider international lens and not through a domestic filter alone. This is how we will achieve a competitive advantage for Canada - one that benefits all Canadians by creating quality jobs, attracting investment and talent, encouraging innovation, and building a strong tax base to support our social programs."

The CBA's submission focuses on the factors that would encourage Canadian firms to be active and aggressive investors at home and abroad while also maximizing Canada's attractiveness as a destination for new investment. In its submission, the CBA presents arguments for:

- a more competitive tax system, both provincially and federally

- a flexible public policy framework that focuses on principles-based rather than prescriptive regulation

- the elimination of internal trade barriers between provinces

- a common securities regulator

- an international perspective on Canada's competition and investment regimes

- a fresh look at the existing structural policies governing the financial services sector

- a more active international trade agenda

Since 2001, Canada's six largest banks invested approximately $38 billion through acquisitions, 95 per cent of which was outside Canada.

"It is important to remember that the banking industry's ability to be strong players internationally has a very positive impact on the contributions the industry makes to Canada. While Canada's banks make 41 per cent of their profits from foreign activities, 81 per cent of the jobs and 80 per cent of the taxes paid are here in this country, benefiting all Canadians," stated Ms. Hughes Anthony.

Canada ranks 16th in the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness index, behind the largest of the G-7 countries and down from the 13th spot the year before. Canada also rates poorly in terms of tax rates and regulations.

"The Canadian government rightly recognizes the need for a thorough review of public policy on competition and investment, which are of vital importance to Canada's future economic prosperity," said Ms. Hughes Anthony. "While Canada has an enviable track record, we are already falling behind. Our submission provides a number of important recommendations to reverse this trend and ensure that Canada has a business environment that is flexible, forward-looking and as competitive as possible."

The CBA's submission to the panel is available at It was submitted in response to the panel's October 2007 consultation paper "Sharpening Canada's Competitive Edge".

The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 54 domestic chartered banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 249,000 employees to advocate for efficient and effective public policies governing banks and to promote an understanding of the banking industry and its importance to Canadians and the Canadian economy.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Bankers Association
    Melanie Minos
    (416) 362-6093, ext. 220 or Cell: (416) 587-7733