The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC; French: Banque Royale du Canada), RBC Royal Bank or RBC Financial Group is the largest financial institution in Canada, as measured by deposits, revenues, and market capitalization. The bank serves 18 million clients and has 80,100 employees worldwide. The company corporate headquarters are located in Montreal, Quebec, and its operational head office in Toronto, Ontario. The bank was founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. RBC's Institution Number (or bank number) is 003.
In Canada, the bank is 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 was the U.S. retail banking subsidiary with 439 branches across six states in the Southeast, which served more than a million customers. RBC also has 127 branches across seventeen countries in the Caribbean, which serve more than 1.6 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.
RBC is listed as the largest Canadian company by revenue and market capitalization by The Globe and Mail and was ranked at number 53 on the 2008 Forbes Global 2000 listing, and currently ranked at 50 in the 2013 listing. The company has operations in Canada, and 51 other countries.
1918 - Merged with Northern Crown Bank, which was the result of the merger in 1908 between Northern Bank (established in 1905 in Winnipeg) and Crown Bank of Canada (1904), based in Ontario. RBC's acquisition gave it a strong presence in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
1925 - Merged with 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. Union Bank of Canada had moved its headquarters to Winnipeg in 1912, and built a strong presence in the Prairie Provinces.
1935 - Crown Savings and Loan Co. merges with Industrial Mortgage & Trust Co.
1961 - Installed its first computer, which was the first in Canadian banking.
1968 - Royal Trust merged with Ontario Loan and Debenture Company (formerly Ontario Savings and Investment Society).
1993 - RBC merged with Royal Trust.
1998 - proposed merger with Bank of Montreal, rejected by federal minister of finance (see Controversies below)
1960 - Fidel Castro's regime acquired the 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. Actually, the Special Representative’s primary function after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 was to act as a financial intermediary between the American and Cuban governments to manage the ransoming of the prisoners for food and agricultural machinery.
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.
2012 - RBC completed the acquisition of Dexia’s 50 per cent stake in RBC Dexia Investor Services Limited, making it the sole owner of the newly named RBC Investor Services. RBC also opened a Branch in Wilemstad, Curaçao.
Royal Bank of Canada's previous logo (the crown was removed).
The bank's symbol is a golden lion clutching a globe, on a blue background. An older version had a crown above the globe and had the lion facing to the left rather than the right. The change coincided with an expansion in United States markets.
Edson Loy Pease (1856–1930), a Quebec native, was a chief executive and managing director of the bank and one of the key people in its history. An employee of the Merchants' Bank of Halifax, he built that bank's Quebec business to where Montreal became its centre of operations. His efforts saw the Bank formally relocate its head office in 1907 to St. James Street in Montreal, following which he induced the prominent Montreal business magnate Herbert S. Holt to accept an appointment as the bank's new president. While at the time Holt's presidency was largely a ceremonial position, his name substantially raised the bank's profile and broadened its business connections.
The title of Royal Bank's top executive has changed several times. Initially it was styled as President. Later, it became Chief Executive Officer and one often carried additional responsibilities as Chairman of the Board, while the second-in-command was the President. Allan R. Taylor was Chairman and CEO from 1986 to 1994, and he was succeeded by John Cleghorn in that capacity from 1994-2001. Gordon Nixon is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer, as the bank decided to appoint a non-executive chairman after Cleghorn's retirement.
RBC's official legal corporate headquarters still remains in Montreal at Place Ville-Marie. However, the great majority of management operations were moved to its current location in Toronto at the Royal Bank Plaza, making this the company's operational corporate headquarters.
Awards and recognition
RBC has been awarded with many awards and recognition for its financial products and services. RBC is also one of the top 100 sustainable companies in the world. Other awards and recognitions include: In 2007, awarded the "Best Bank" in Canada by The Banker, one of the oldest banking magazines
In 2007, RBC was recognized as the Top Most 100 powerful brands in the world
Was recognized as the "most respected corporation" in Canada
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.
Temporary foreign workers and Canadian layoffs
On April 6, 2013, CBC News reported that Canadian RBC Information technology (IT) workers were losing their jobs to replacement foreign workers. The foreign workers were brought from India by outsourcing firm iGATE, and the Royal Bank of Canada employees train their replacements before they themselves were laid off, causing their appeal to the media. It is against Canadian federal rules to bring in temporary foreign workers when it puts Canadians out of work.
The move resulted in a strong negative reaction from the public and drew the attention of the office of the minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Human Resources Minister Diane Finley issued a statement saying the situation is unacceptable if it is true. The bank has responded to the controversy by issuing a statement denying the charges and offering clarification of the situation. A reported 45 employees are losing their jobs, nevertheless RBC has indicated that they intend to expand this practice in the coming year.
On May 7, 2013 the CBC reported that during question period accusations were leveled against the government by the NDP, and that Prime Minister Stephen Harper responded by saying that the government has been working on problems with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for more than a year.