Royal Bank of Canada, operating under the master brand name RBC, is the largest bank in Canada, and one of the largest banks in the world, as measured by stock market capitalization. RBC provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, corporate and investment banking, and transaction processing services on a global basis. Its 78,000 full-time and part-time employees serve more than 16 million clients in its diverse business units through offices in Canada, the United States and 38 other countries worldwide.
Fundamental to the Bank’s business is its people. RBC nurtures a high-performance, high employee engagement and collaborative culture. In November 2014 RBC was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2015 by Mediacorp Canada Inc. This distinction is awarded on the basis of practices including training and career development, total rewards, employee communications, diversity, performance management and community involvement. In April 2014 RBC was named one of Canada's Best Workplaces by the Great Place to Work® Institute on the basis of a survey of randomly-selected employees and an in-depth review of RBC's organizational culture.
The Bank is organized under the following business segments: Personal & Commercial Banking, Wealth Management, Insurance, Investor & Treasury Services, and Capital Markets.
Personal & Commercial Banking serves more than 13 million individual, business and institutional clients in Canada, the Caribbean and the U.S. The Bank was named Best Global Retail Bank of the Year 2014 by Retail Banker International following two consecutive years with the honour Best Retail Bank in North America.
Personal & Commercial Banking operates through four business areas: Personal Financial Services, Business Financial Services, and Cards and Payment Solutions (the three together forming Canadian operations), and Caribbean & U.S. Banking.
Personal & Commercial Banking’s Canadian operations constitute the largest retail banking network in Canada, serving personal, small business and commercial clients with a large, integrated distribution network of branches, automated teller machines, specialized mobile sales professionals, online services, and telephone contact centres. RBC ranks first or second in market share for most personal banking products in Canada and, with over Canadian 1,270 branches, has the most branches of any financial institution in Canada. RBC's business banking network has the largest number of relationship managers and specialists in Canadian banking. In 2011 RBC became the first bank in Canada to launch fully integrated banking applications for mobile operating systems, now available for Android, Blackberry, iOS and Windows Phone 8. The introduction of the mobile payments service RBC Secure Cloud in 2013 gave clients the ability to make payments more safely and securely from their mobile devices.
Personal Financial Services serves the needs of the Bank’s individual clients in Canada at all stages in their lives with its diverse financing and investment products and services, including home equity financing, personal lending, deposit accounts, Canadian private banking, mutual funds, self-directed brokerage accounts, and auto financing and other indirect lending.
Business Financial Services offers a broad range of lending, leasing, deposit, investment, foreign exchange, cash management, trade products and services, and auto dealership floor plan financing to businesses in Canada. Customers include small, medium-sized and commercial businesses, and farm and agribusiness clients.
Cards and Payment Solutions provides a wide array of credit cards and related payment products and solutions. The Bank has more than 6.7 million credit card accounts and a 23% market share in Canada in terms of credit card purchase volume. Through 50 per cent owned Moneris Solutions, Inc., RBC has a significant presence in the merchant card processing business.
RBC ranks as the second-largest bank by assets in the English Caribbean, with 93 branches in 18 countries and territories. Through these operations, including automated teller machines, online banking and mobile banking, are offered personal and commercial banking, insurance, trust, asset management and other financial products and services. Also offered are international financing and trade promotion services. Services are offered to individuals, businesses and public institutions. In the U.S., RBC’s cross-border banking business serves Canadian clients via online channels and serves U.S. wealth management clients who require retail banking services.
Wealth Management, operating around the world, serves affluent, high net worth and ultra high net worth clients. Clients are provided with investment, trust, banking, credit and other wealth management solutions. RBC provides investment management products and services directly to institutional clients, and to individual clients through RBC distribution channels and third-party distributors. Offices are located primarily in key financial centres in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, continental Europe and Asia. RBC was ranked as the fifth largest global wealth manager by client assets in Scorpio Partnership’s 2014 Global Private Banking KPI Benchmark. In October 2014 RBC was named "Outstanding Wealth Manager — Customer Relationship Service and Engagement" and "Outstanding Wealth Planning and Trust Provider" in the Private Banker International Global Wealth Awards.
Wealth Management is made up of three areas, Canadian Wealth Management, U.S. & International Wealth Management, and Global Asset Management, the latter including BlueBay Asset Management.
Canadian Wealth Management is Canada’s largest full-service wealth manager, as measured by assets under administration. It offers investment, trust and insurance services to affluent, high net worth and ultra high net worth clients. Over 1,600 investment advisors provide clients with advice-based, comprehensive financial solutions. Canadian Wealth Management also provides discretionary investment management and estate and trust services through approximately 60 investment counselors and 95 trust professionals located across Canada.
U.S. & International Wealth Management includes a U.S. full-service wealth advisory business which, with more than 1,800 financial advisors, is ranked eighth in the United States by number of advisors. In addition to this is a clearing and execution services business serving small to mid-sized independent broker-dealers and registered investment advisor firms in the United States. Internationally the Bank provides customized and integrated trust, banking, credit and investment solutions to high net worth and ultra high net worth private clients, and to corporate clients, through more than 1,500 employees located in 17 countries.
Global Asset Management is a global investment manager serving individual and institutional investors in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, continental Europe and emerging markets with a range of investment management services through mutual funds, pooled funds and hedge funds, fee-based accounts, and separately-managed portfolios. Services are provided through the Bank’s branch network, discount brokerage business, full-service brokerage business, independent advisors and private bank, and directly to individuals. In Canada the Bank ranks as the largest retail fund company and the third-largest institutional pension asset manager. In the U.S., asset management services are offered primarily to institutional investors. Internationally, institutions are offered investment management solutions and, through private banking, high net worth and ultra high net worth investors are offered these services also.
In Canada RBC Insurance offers life and health insurance products, property and casualty insurance products, and wealth accumulation solutions to individuals and group clients. The product offering includes universal life, term life, critical illness, disability, long-term care, home, auto and travel insurance. Products and services are offered through standalone retail insurance branches, call centres and a career sales force, in addition to independent insurance brokers and the Internet.
Outside of North America, RBC’s insurance businesses engage primarily in reinsurance, which insures risks of other international insurance and reinsurance companies. RBC’s reinsurance offerings include life and health, accident and annuity reinsurance products.
Investor & Treasury Services provides global custody, fund administration, securities lending and borrowing, reconciliation, performance management, compliance monitoring, investment analytics, shareholder and treasury services. Clients include asset managers and distributors, pension funds, insurance companies, and banks and other financial institutions. It also provides cash management, clearing, liquidity management and trade finance services to global financial institutions. Internationally RBC is a top 10 global custodian by assets under administration, with 18 offices in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
Capital Markets is a global wholesale banking business serving publicly-traded and private companies, institutional investors, governments, and central banks. In its home base of North America the business offers its clients a full suite of services including corporate and investment banking, equity and debt origination and distribution, and structuring and trading. Outside of North America the business provides select services in the United Kingdom, continental Europe, and the Asia-Pacific area, utilizing its expertise in areas such as energy, mining and infrastructure. In July 2014, in Euromoney's 2014 Awards for Excellence, RBC was named Best Investment Bank in Canada across Equity, Debt and Mergers and Acquisitions for the 7th year in a row.
Capital Markets consists of two main areas, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Global Markets.
Corporate and Investment Banking consists of debt and equity origination, loan syndication, client securitization, private equity, corporate lending, and mergers and acquisitions and other advisory services. Within this area are also RBC’s global credit business, which oversees the management of the Bank’s lending portfolios and global financial institutions business, and its research operations, which offer economic and securities research to institutional clients and retail investors.
Global Markets consists of trading and distribution operations primarily related to fixed income, foreign exchange, equities, repurchase agreements and secured financing, and a commodities business.
In 1864 eight Halifax businessmen formed a partnership to create the Merchants Bank. The fledgling institution served a city which was growing prosperous through trade with England, with its American neighbours to the south, and with the Caribbean. Just three years later, Canadian Confederation resulted in the transfer of banking jurisdiction to the new federal Parliament. As a result, the Merchants Bank partners applied to incorporate as a recognized bank. Parliament approved its charter in 1869 under the slightly modified name of Merchants Bank of Halifax.
Management grew the Bank cautiously during the early years, particularly in view of the difficult economic issues facing the new country.
In 1882 a branch was opened outside of Canada, in Bermuda, and by the end of 1886 the Bank had a total of 19 Canadian branches (or agencies, as they were known) in the Maritimes as well as the Bermuda operation and a branch in St. Pierre and Miquelon. The next year a branch was opened in Montreal to establish a presence in that financial centre and the Bank began its western expansion, with a first Ontario branch opening in Ottawa in 1899. By the dawn of the 20th century the Bank was demonstrating its commitment to international business by opening operations in Havana, Cuba and in New York.
In 1901 the Bank received permission to change its name to The Royal Bank of Canada in order to avoid confusion with at least two other institutions having similar names. In 1907 the Bank, recognizing the significant economic growth of central Canada, moved its headquarters from Halifax to Montreal. Also that year the Bank’s stock was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
As Canada developed westward, RBC expanded to serve settlers, often having branches in place to serve them when they arrived, even if those branches consisted simply of a wicket and a safe in the back of the local store. Purchases of and mergers with other Canadian financial institutions were carried out. In these ways RBC found itself in the forefront of the development of Canada’s agricultural, fishing, trade and natural resource industries.
At the same time international expansion continued with the opening of a branch in London, England in 1910 for a total of 17 branches outside of Canada. Shortly after, RBC began operating in the British West Indies, opening an area of business which has grown considerably and is now part of the Caribbean operations of the RBC’s International Banking business.
During both World Wars the Bank was called upon to lend its financial expertise to the underwriting of ventures on a scale unprecedented in its history. Retail banking services were developed and introduced during those same years, establishing a foundation for what is the largest retail banking network of any financial institution in Canada. During these decades the Bank grew to become the largest in Canada, to a great extent through amalgamations with smaller Canadian banks.
RBC’s ongoing leadership in financial services was demonstrated when in 1961 it became the first Canadian financial institution to install a computer and commence electronic data processing operations, and was further demonstrated as it developed new financial initiatives such as consumer education programs, economic analysis, and personal money management workshops.
During the decades following the Second World War further banking developments fully reflected at RBC included the increasing presence of women in bank management, the use of credit cards by Bank customers, the advent of personal chequing accounts and new personal loan products, the growth of mortgage businesses, and the first automated banking machines.
Revisions to Federal legislation, particularly in 1987 and 1992, erased the strict boundaries between what had been known as the four pillars of Canada’s financial services industry: banking, insurance, trust and securities. RBC moved quickly to avail itself of the resulting opportunities by acquiring Dominion Securities in 1988, Royal Trust and Voyageur Insurance Company in 1993, Westbury Canadian Life Insurance Company in 1996, Richardson Greenshields in 1997, and the Canadian operations of Mutual of Omaha in 1998, not to mention a number of institutional and pension custody businesses.
During the 1980’s and 1990’s banking became increasingly globalized. RBC and Canada’s other major banks, which had been among the largest financial institutions in the world, were now facing competition from huge, new international banks both abroad and within the country.
In 1995 RBC’s common shares were listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In the late 1990’s and at the turn of the millennium retail banking, full-service brokerage, and insurance operations were launched in the United States through a number of acquisitions of financial services businesses there.
During the past two decades RBC has been implementing electronic delivery channels for the convenience of its customers by automating its branch operations, offering more versatile automated banking machines, providing wireline and wireless telephone banking, and introducing and continually refining online banking services.
At RBC, corporate responsibility means conducting activities with integrity, sustaining the company's long-term viability, and being transparent and accountable while contributing to the present and future well-being of stakeholders. RBC strives to have a positive economic impact, promote environmental sustainability, create a workplace of choice, and contribute to communities. As a leading corporate donor in North America, RBC is committed to make a lasting social impact through inspired, responsible giving and by building strong partnerships with the charitable sector. RBC has a long history of corporate responsibility that contains many significant firsts.
In January 2013, for the ninth consecutive year, Corporate Knights named RBC one of the Global 100: Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. RBC was the only Canadian financial institution on the list, which recognizes global corporations that have been world leaders in environmental, social and governance issues.
RBC has developed policies and programs which ensure that it operates with integrity. Every RBC employee, regardless of location around the world, must comply with the Bank’s Code of Conduct and understand his or her role in areas such as the appropriate collection and use of client information, the prevention of money laundering, vigilance against terrorism financing, and the avoidance of bribery.
The Bank has a significant impact on the economy. It employs 78,000 people, provides credit to businesses of all sizes, and purchases goods and services from suppliers of all sizes.
The Bank’s direct and indirect impact on the environment is addressed in the RBC Environmental Blueprint™, published in 2007, which explains how RBC is to reduce its environmental footprint, provide “green” products and services to clients, and lend in a manner which encourages environmental responsibility.
Responsible workplace practices are important at RBC, and relationships with employees are based on a foundation of partnership. The Bank understands that it operates in a highly competitive environment and that it must focus on maintaining its relationship with employees as a competitive strength. Year after year RBC is recognized for its leading workplace programs and is proud of its record as an employer of choice.
RBC helps to maintain the social fabric of communities. It is one of Canada’s largest corporate donors and sponsors large numbers of community events. In every location around the world where the Bank does business it has a history of employee involvement in the community.
The RBC Blue Water Project is a ten year, $50 million initiative aimed at protecting watersheds and preserving access to clean water resources. Over $41 million in grants has been pledged to more than 700 charitable organizations, in Canada and around the world. An additional $8.8 million has been pledged to university research programs.
The Bank’s support also encompasses areas including children’s mental health, after-school projects, and the visual arts, film and other forms of artistic expression.