Royal Bank of Canada (2023)

Royal Bank of Canada (2)

3DCanada @ Park Royal

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC; French: Banque royale du Canada) is a Canadian multinational financial services company and the largest bank in Canada by market capitalization. The bank serves over 16 million clients and has 86,000+ employees worldwide. Founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, it maintains a corporate headquarters in Toronto and its head office in Montreal. RBC's institution number (or bank number) is 003. In November 2017, RBC was added to the Financial Stability Board's list of global systemically important banks.

In Canada, the bank's personal and commercial banking operations are branded as RBC Royal Bank in English and RBC Banque Royale in French and serves approximately ten million clients through its network of 1,209 branches. RBC Bank is the U.S. banking subsidiary which formerly operated 439 branches across six states in the Southeastern United States, but now only offers cross-border banking services to Canadian travellers and expats. RBC also has 127 branches across seventeen countries in the Caribbean, which serve more than 16 million clients. RBC Capital Markets is RBC's worldwide investment and corporate banking subsidiary, while the investment brokerage firm is known as RBC Dominion Securities. Investment banking services are also provided through RBC Bank and the focus is on middle market clients.

In 2011, RBC was the largest Canadian company by revenue and market capitalization and was ranked 50th in the 2013 Forbes Global 2000 listing. The company has operations in Canada and 36 other countries, and had US$673.2 billion of assets under management in 2014.


In 1864, the Merchants Bank of Halifax was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as a commercial bank that financed the fishing and timber industries and the European and Caribbean import/export businesses. By 1869 the Merchants' Bank was officially incorporated and received its federal charter in the same year. During the 1870s and 1880s, the bank expanded into the other Maritime Provinces. When both the Newfoundland Commercial Bank and Union Bank of Newfoundland collapsed on 10 December 1894, the Merchants Bank expanded to Newfoundland on 31 January 1895.

As the bank grew, executives changed its name to reflect its growth and western expansion. To improve its position in Ontario, RBC merged with Traders Bank of Canada in 1912 and in 1917 RBC merged with Quebec Bank, which was founded in 1818 and chartered in 1822 in Quebec City.

RBC's presence in Manitoba and Saskatchewan was strengthened through a 1918 merger with Northern Crown Bank, the product of the 1908 merger of Northern Bank (established in 1905 in Winnipeg) and Crown Bank of Canada (1904), based in Ontario. RBC's presence in the Prairie Provinces was further expanded by the 1925 merger with the Union Bank of Canada, which had begun in Quebec City in 1865 as the Union Bank of Lower Canada, but changed its name in 1886. The Union Bank of Canada had moved its headquarters to Winnipeg in 1912, and had built a strong presence in the Prairies and opened the first bank in the Northwest Territories at Fort Smith in 1921.

In 1935, RBC merged with Crown Savings and Loan Co. merged with Industrial Mortgage & Trust Co.

RBC installed its first computer in 1962, the first in Canadian banking. In the 1960s, RBC Insurance was created. RBC Insurance is the largest Canadian bank-owned insurance organization, with services to over five million people. It provides life, health, travel, home and auto and reinsurance products as well as creditor and business insurance services. In 1993, RBC merged with Royal Trust.

In 1998, RBC acquired Security First Network Bank in Atlanta—the first pure Internet bank. In the same year, the Royal Bank of Canada proposed to merge with the Bank of Montreal, at the same time as the Toronto-Dominion Bank proposed to merge with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Both mergers were examined by the Competition Bureau of Canada, and ultimately rejected by Paul Martin, at the time the Finance Minister of Canada, and future Prime Minister.

In 2000, RBC merged merchant credit/debit card acquiring business with the Bank of Montreal's to form Moneris Solutions. In 2013, RBC completed the acquisition of the Canadian subsidiary of Ally Financial.

In 2007, RBC was recognized as the Top Most 100 powerful brands in the world and the "most respected corporation" in Canada In October 2008, RBC was named one of "Canada's Top 100 Employers" by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Maclean's newsmagazine. Later that month, RBC was also named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers, which was announced by the Toronto Star newspaper. According to a global Newsweek ranking, which measures how effectively companies manage environmental risks and opportunities relative to their industry peers, Royal Bank of Canada is the most environmentally friendly company in the world.

An RBC branch in The Glebe neighbourhood of Ottawa was firebombed in May 2010. The party responsible later identified themselves on Indymedia and threatened to make their presence at the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, as RBC was one of its key sponsors, as well as at the 2010 G20 Toronto summit.

International expansion

  • 1882 – Merchants Bank of Halifax opened offices in Bermuda and Newfoundland.
  • 1899 – RBC opened an agency in New York City and a branch in Havana.
  • 1903 – RBC bought Banco de Oriente de Santiago de Cuba. By the mid-1920s, RBC had 65 branches in Cuba and is the largest bank in the country.
  • 1904 – RBC bought Banco del Commercio de Havana.
  • 1907 – RBC opened a branch in San Juan, Puerto Rico; branches in Mayagüez and Ponce followed.
  • 1909 – RBC established a branch in Nassau, Bahamas.
  • 1910 – RBC opened a branch in London and acquired branches in Puerto Rico and Port of Spain, Trinidad as a result of its acquisition of Union Bank of Halifax.
  • 1911 – RBC opened an agency in New York City, and branches in Bridgetown, Barbados, and Kingston, Jamaica.
  • 1912 – RBC bought Bank of British Honduras (incorporated in 1902 by United States citizens from Mobile) in British Honduras, which it converted to a branch.
RBC opened a branch in the Dominican Republic; three more follow.
  • 1913 – RBC opened a branch in Grenada.
  • 1914 – RBC bought out Bank of British Guiana (est. 1836), in British Guiana, and converted it to a branch.
  • 1915 – RBC opened branches in Costa Rica, Antigua, Dominica, and St. Kitts.
  • 1916 – RBC opened a branch in Venezuela.
  • 1917 – RBC opened branches in Antigua, Dominica, St. Kitts, Montserrat, Nevis, and Tobago.
  • 1918 – RBC opened a branch in Barcelona, and another in Vladivostok that lasted less than a year.
  • 1919 – RBC opened branches in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paris, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
  • 1920 – RBC opened a branch in Colombia and a branch in Castries, St Lucia.
  • 1923 – RBC bought and consolidated the banking operations of Pedro Gomez Mena e Hijo in Cuba.
  • 1925 – RBC opened a branch in Peru, and acquired the American-owned, and failed, Bank of Central and South America. The purchase of BCSA brought with it subsidiaries, and their branches, in Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, and Venezuela
  • 1932 – RBC closed its branch in St. Lucia.
  • 1940 – RBC closed its branches in Martinique and Guadeloupe.
  • 1959 – RBC opened a branch in St. Vincent.
  • 1960 – RBC returned to St. Lucia.
  • 1960 – Fidel Castro's regime acquired RBC's operations in Cuba on 8 December. At the time of the forced sale, RBC had 24 branches in Cuba. From 1961 to 1965, RBC maintained a Special Representative in Havana to facilitate trade between Cuba and Canada. After the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961, the Special Representative acted as a financial intermediary between the American and Cuban governments to manage the ransoming of the prisoners for food and agricultural machinery.
  • 1964 – RBC opened a branch in George Town, Grand Cayman.
  • 1970s – As a result of Law 75, RBC's operations in Colombia became Banco Royal Colombiano.
  • 1973 – RBC was forced to incorporate its operations in Jamaica, which became Royal Bank (Jamaica).
  • 1980 – RBC purchased Banco de San Juan in Puerto Rico, adding its 14 branches to the six that RBC already had in Puerto Rico. RBC sold its assets in Grenada to Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.
  • 1985 – RBC started to withdraw from much of the Caribbean.
It sold its 12 branches in the Dominican Republic to Banco de Comercio Dominicano.
It also sold its stake in Royal Bank (Jamaica) to Jamaica Mutual Life Assurance. Branches in Curacao, Aruba, St. Maarten and Dominica are still open (1985- present)
The Government of Guyana nationalized its operations there and renamed the bank the National Bank of Industry and Commerce Ltd.
Additionally RBC incorporated its operations in Trinidad and Tobago locally, floating the shares, thereby divesting itself of ownership. The new bank took the name Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (RBTT).
  • 1986 – RBC sold its two branches in Haiti to Societe Generale Haitienne de Banque, a local bank.
  • 1987 – RBC sold its operations in Belize, ex-British Honduras, to Belize Holdings Inc., which renamed them Belize Bank.
  • 1993 – RBC sold Royal Bank of Puerto Rico to Spain's Banco Bilbao-Vizcaya.
  • 1995 – RBC sold Royal Trust Bank (Austria) to Anglo Irish Bank, which renamed it Anglo Irish Bank (Austria).
  • 2000 – Acquired Dain Rauscher Wessels, a U.S. brokerage and investment banking firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 2001 – RBC acquired Centura Bank based in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
  • 2003 – RBC purchased Florida interest in Provident Financial Group, Cincinnati OH.
  • 2006 – RBC upgraded its representative office in Beijing, China, to a branch.
  • 2006 – Created an institutional investment joint venture with Dexia. The 50/50 partnership operated under the name RBC Dexia Investor Services.
  • 2008 – RBC established a representative office in Mumbai, India. RBC re-acquired 98.14% of the shares of Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. This brought RBC back to Trinidad and Tobago some 20 years after it had withdrawn and prov…

Text taken from Wikipedia - Royal Bank of Canada under the CC-BY-SA-3.0 on July 29, 2021

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