Canadian Bankers Association

Canadian Bankers Association

October 27, 2011 13:26 ET

Strong, Sound Banks Help Canada Weather Global Economic Turmoil

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Oct. 27, 2011) - In a speech to the International Finance Club of Montréal, Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) President Terry Campbell today said that Canada's strong, sound banks help provide a shock absorber for Canadians against the global economic turmoil.

"Strong banks are needed more than ever to help families buy a home, help Canadians save for retirement and help small businesses to grow and thrive," said Mr. Campbell. "We should continue to focus on our strengths – well-run banks and solid supervision – but at the same time we must not allow ourselves to become complacent."

Mr. Campbell pointed to three reasons why Canada's banks remain strong and able to continue lending to businesses and consumers in communities across the country:

  • first, Canada's banks are highly diversified organizations combining retail, commercial and investment banks in one financial group. This allows them to offset weaker growth from one area of the bank with stronger growth from another.

  • second, a key strength of the country's financial system lies in the sound management of our banks, particularly how they manage their risk and their capital.

  • third, Canada has a strong regulatory system and effective oversight of the financial services sector.
Mr. Campbell also spoke about the volume and pace of new global regulations and how important it is for our banks to continue working with policy-makers and regulators in Canada to find the right balance – one that builds on:
  • the track record of our banks as strong risk managers that know how to operate profitable institutions.

  • the track record of our regulators who recognize that while rules are important, it is perhaps even more important to ensure that there is strong supervision.

  • ensuring that while Canada evolves with the broad thrusts of global reform at home, we do not lose our competitive edge on the world stage.
The full text of Mr. Campbell's speech can be found at the following link:
Facts about banks in Canada and their contribution to the economy
Banks make a significant contribution to Canada and the Canadian economy and, in 2010 banks in Canada:
  • contributed $55 billion to the gross domestic product of Canada;

  • spent more than $14 billion on goods and services from outside suppliers, stimulating local economies throughout the country;

  • provided $10.3 billion in dividend income to millions of Canadians, including through pension and retirement funds and in many cases directly to retirees. The banks were able to do that because they remained profitable;

  • paid $8.3 billion in taxes to all levels of government;

  • provided close to $87.5 billion in credit to 1.6 million small and medium-sized businesses.

About the Canadian Bankers Association

The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 52 domestic banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 267,000 employees. The CBA advocates for effective public policies that contribute to a sound, successful banking system that benefits Canadians and Canada's economy. The Association also promotes financial literacy to help Canadians make informed financial decisions and works with banks and law enforcement to help protect customers against financial crime and promote fraud awareness.

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