• Royal Bank of Canada
  • Banque royale du Canada
IndustryFinancial services
FoundedHalifax, Nova Scotia
1864; 157 years ago (1864)[1]
HeadquartersMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada[2][note 1]
Key people
David I. McKay (President & CEO)
ServicesRetail banking, corporate banking, investment banking, mortgage loans, private banking, wealth management, credit cards, finance and insurance
RevenueIncrease CA$47.2 billion (2020)
Increase CA$11.4 billion (2020)
AUMIncrease CA$843.6 billion (2020)
Total assetsIncrease CA$1.62 trillion (2020) [4]
Number of employees
Increase 83,842 (2020) [4]
Websitewww.rbc.com Edit this at Wikidata

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.[2] Founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, it maintains a corporate headquarters in Toronto and its head office in Montreal.[2] 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,[5] 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.[6] 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[7] and was ranked 50th in the 2013 Forbes Global 2000 listing.[8] The company has operations in Canada and 36 other countries,[9] and had US$673.2 billion of assets under management in 2014.[4][10]


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.[11] By 1869 the Merchants' Bank was officially incorporated and received its federal charter in the same year.[12] 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.[12]

The Union Bank of Halifax building, c. 1900. The bank merged with RBC in 1910.
The Union Bank of Halifax building, c. 1900. The bank merged with RBC in 1910.

As the bank grew, executives changed its name to reflect its growth and western expansion.[11] In 1901, the Merchants Bank of Halifax changed its name to the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). The centre of the Canadian financial industry had moved from Halifax to Montreal, so the Merchants Bank relocated its head office there. In 1910, RBC merged with the Union Bank of Halifax. In the same year it built a bank branch in Winnipeg, Manitoba—designed by Carrère and Hastings, in beaux-arts classicism proclaiming the financial dominance of Winnipeg in the prairies.[13] 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.[14][15]

Union Bank of Canada branch in Toronto, 1919. The bank was acquired by RBC in 1925.
Union Bank of Canada branch in Toronto, 1919. The bank was acquired by RBC in 1925.

In 1935, RBC merged with Crown Savings and Loan Co. merged with Industrial Mortgage & Trust Co.[16]

RBC installed its first computer in 1962, the first in Canadian banking.[citation needed] In the 1960s, RBC Insurance was created.[11] In 1968, it merged with Ontario Loan and Debenture Company (formerly Ontario Savings and Investment Society).[17] 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.[11] In 1993, RBC merged with Royal Trust.

In 1998, RBC acquired Security First Network Bank in Atlanta—the first pure Internet bank.[18] 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.[19]

In 2007, RBC was recognized as the Top Most 100 powerful brands in the world and the "most respected corporation" in Canada[20] 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.[21] 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.[22]

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.[23]

International expansion

A $20 RBC banknote from 1938, issued for circulation in Barbados.
A $20 RBC banknote from 1938, issued for circulation in Barbados.
A RBC Royal Bank branch in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis. RBC has operated in the country since 1914.
A RBC Royal Bank branch in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis. RBC has operated in the country since 1914.
RBC Plaza in Minneapolis, headquarters for RBC Wealth Management, formerly Dain Rauscher Wessels, a firm acquired by RBC in 2000.
RBC Plaza in Minneapolis, headquarters for RBC Wealth Management, formerly Dain Rauscher Wessels, a firm acquired by RBC in 2000.


Logo used by RBC from 1974 to 2001
Logo used by RBC from 1974 to 2001

The bank's symbol is a golden lion clutching a globe, on a blue background. An older version depicted a crown above the globe and the lion faced to the left. The change coincided with an expansion in United States markets. Over the years, the lion's mane has also become less detailed and more stylized, and the tongue was shortened.[36]


Like many of its competitors, RBC is a key sponsor of many events, community programs, and charities. One percent of RBC's average annual net income before taxes is set aside for charitable partnerships via the arms-length RBC Foundation.

RBC is a major sponsor of numerous cultural events, including the Toronto International Film Festival. It also sponsors the RBC Taylor Prize, a literary award for non-fiction writing in Canada, and hosts a yearly Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award.[37][38] In July 2013, the RBC Foundation partnered with the University of Toronto to revive the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, given to recognize achievement in Canadian theatre.[39]

An RBC logo at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
An RBC logo at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

RBC is one of Canada's largest sponsors of amateur sports and is the longest-running Canadian sponsor of the Olympic Games. It employs dozens of top-tier amateur athletes as part-time spokespeople through the RBC Olympians program. RBC is a former premier sponsor of Hockey Canada and previously owned the naming rights to the National Junior A Championship, then called the Royal Bank Cup (later the RBC Cup). In addition, it supports Canadian hockey at the grassroots level through the RBC Play Hockey program.

RBC owns naming rights to the RBC Centre, RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg, RBC Canadian Open, and RBC Heritage (formerly the Heritage Classic). From 2002 to 2012, RBC previously held the naming rights to what is now the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.[40]

The naming rights for the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award presented annually by Canadian Immigrant have been owned by RBC since 2013.[41] Notable recipients of the award include Toronto Raptors 'Superfan' Nav Bhatia,[42] VANOC CEO John Furlong,[43] mental health activist Loizza Aquino,[44] father of three professional ice hockey players Karl Subban,[45] CBC News anchor Ian Hanomansing,[43] and the 26th Governor-General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson.[46]

Corporate governance

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 to 2001. Dave McKay is currently the President and chief executive officer.

David P. O'Brien has served as the institution's chairman (non-executive) since 2004. The position was formerly held by Guy Saint-Pierre, who held the position from 2001 to 2004.

Chief Executive Officer

Head Offices

Place Ville Marie, Montreal serves as the official head office for RBC, whereas Royal Bank Plaza serves as the bank's corporate headquarters.[2]

The head office for the institution was initially located at the Merchants' Bank of Halifax Building, on Bedford Row, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia. The building served as the head office for the bank from 1864 to 1907. In 1907, the RBC relocated its head office to the Four Pillars Building, at 147 Saint Jacques Street (renumbered 221 in 1928), Montreal. The building was used as RBC's head office until 1928. The Four Pillars Building was later demolished, with only its facade remaining.[47] In 1928, RBC moved its head office to the Old Royal Bank Building, at 360 Saint Jacques Street, Montreal.

In 1962, RBC moved its head office to Place Ville-Marie, at University Street and René-Lévesque Boulevard in Montreal. In 1976, RBC completed Royal Bank Plaza, at 200 Bay Street, Toronto. The Royal Bank of Canada presently operates two headquarters, with its "head office" based at Place Ville-Marie, and a "corporate headquarters" at Royal Bank Plaza;[2] with most of its management operations based in Toronto.[3]



On January 15, 2007, CBC Radio reported RBC is "refusing" people of certain nationalities to open U.S. dollar accounts with the bank.[48] Canadian citizens with dual citizenship in Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, North Korea or Sudan (mostly countries with U.S. sanctions) are affected. The U.S. Treasury Department restricts certain foreign nationals from using the U.S. dollar payment system to limit terrorism and money laundering after the September 11, 2001, attacks. RBC replied that compliance with such laws does not represent an endorsement by the bank and on January 17, clarified its position on the application of the U.S. laws, specifying that "with some exceptions" it does open accounts for dual citizens of the sanctioned countries.[49] There have also been reports that the bank has closed the accounts of some Iranian-Canadian citizens.[50]


Environmental groups criticized RBC's financing of oil sands bitumen extraction and expansion, cumulatively issuing "more than $2.3 billion in loans and financing more than $6.9 billion in [corporate] debt between 2003 and 2007 for 13 companies including: Encana, Husky Energy, OPTI Canada, Delphi Energy, Canadian Oil Sands Trust, Northwest Upgrading, Suncor, Total, Connacher Oil and Gas, InterPipeline and Enbridge". This opposition was due to the detrimental effect Oil Sands extraction has on the environment and human health.[51]

A 2020 report on fossil fuel finance by the Sierra Club and Rainforest Action Network found that RBC was the fifth largest funder of fossil fuels in the world, and largest in Canada, investing over $160 billion USD on fossil fuel projects since 2016's Paris Agreement.[52] This sparked criticism from environmental groups and climate activists. [53]


In 2007, the Royal Bank of Canada fired several traders in its corporate bond business, after another trader accused them of mismarking bonds the bank held by overpricing them, and marked down the values of the bonds and recognized $13 million of trading losses relating to the bonds.[54] The bank said it investigated the accusations, and took remedial action.[54] The Globe and Mail noted: "traders might have an incentive to boost [the bonds'] prices because it could have an impact on their bonuses."[54]

Funding of SCO litigation on Linux

RBC invested in SCO during the series of court cases seeking to collect royalties from the users of Linux.[55]

Temporary foreign workers and Canadian layoffs

Main article: Temporary foreign worker program in Canada

See also: Amanda Lang RBC controversy

In April 2013, the CBC reported that the Royal Bank of Canada was indirectly hiring temporary foreign workers to replace 45 Canadian information technology workers.[56]

The CBC reported on May 7, 2013, that during Question Period in Parliament the NDP leveled accusations against the government and then Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to which he responded that the government has been working on problems with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for more than a year.[57]


RBC is a member of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) and is a registered member with the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), a federal agency insuring deposits at all of Canada's chartered banks.

It is also a member of:

See also


  1. ^ The bank maintains both a "corporate headquarters" in Toronto, and a "head office" in Montreal, with most of its management operations taking place in the former.[2][3]


  1. ^ McDowall, Duncan (1993). "Dust Jacket" (PDF). Quick to the Frontier: Canada's Royal Bank. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 978-0771055041.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Royal Bank of Canada: Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Royal Bank of Canada. 31 October 2008. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Yusufali, Sasha (4 August 2015). "Royal Bank of Canada". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2017-08-19.
  4. ^ a b c Royal Bank of Canada. "Royal Bank of Canada Reports Fourth Quarter and 2020 Results". www.newswire.ca (Press release). Retrieved 2020-12-04.
  5. ^ "About RBC Bank: Company Profile". Royal Bank of Canada. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  6. ^ "Royal Bank of Canada: Annual Report 2008" (PDF). RBC. 31 October 2008. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  7. ^ "Canada's 100 biggest companies by market cap". The Globe and Mail. Toronto: theglobeandmail.com. 23 June 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  8. ^ "The Global 2000". Forbes. 2 April 2008. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  9. ^ "Corporate Profile" (PDF). RBC. Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  10. ^ "Global Private Banking Benchmark 2014 | Scorpio Report". Scorpiopartnership.com. 2014-07-17. Archived from the original on 2015-10-18. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  11. ^ a b c d "RBC Insurance History". 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  12. ^ a b c Pound, Richard W. (30 September 2004). Fitzhenry and Whiteside Book of Canadian Facts and Dates. Fitzhenry and Whiteside. ISBN 978-1550411713.
  13. ^ Kalman, Harold D.; Vattay, Sharon (16 December 2013). "Bank Architecture". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Toronto: Historica Foundation. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  14. ^ As Long as this Land Shall Last: A History of Treaty 8 and Treaty 11, 1870-1939
  15. ^ Union Bank of Canada, Fort Smith, North West Territories, 1921
  16. ^ Nineteenth Legislature (1936). Ontario Sessional Papers (PDF). p. iii. OL 23742693M.
  17. ^ Brock, Daniel J. (1990). "Jeffery, Joseph". In Halpenny, Francess G (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. XII (1891–1900) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  18. ^ Jordan, Meredith (3 June 2002). "RBC Centura aims high with Eagle Bancshares". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  19. ^ "Royal Bank buys online savings bank Ally for $3.8B". CBC News. October 23, 2012.
  20. ^ "Awards & Recognition". Royal Bank of Canada. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  21. ^ "Reasons for Selection, 2009 Canada's Top 100 Employers Competition".
  22. ^ "Global-Warming Ready". Newsweek. 8 April 2007. Archived from the original on 27 April 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2007.
  23. ^ Taylor, Scott; Jackson, Kenneth (19 May 2010). "Police chief vows to nab 'domestic terrorists'". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
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  26. ^ Bank opens for business Canberra Times 27 February 1986 page 21
  27. ^ History Australia & New Zealand Banking Group
  28. ^ Weber, Terry (28 September 2000). "Royal Bank continues push into U.S. with Dain Rauscher purchase". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  29. ^ Howlett, Karen (27 January 2001). "Royal buys U.S. bank Centura". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  30. ^ "RBC seeks buyout of Dexia joint venture". Yahoo! Canada – Finance. 11 October 2011. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  31. ^ Robertson, Grant (3 April 2013). "RBC buying full ownership of RBC Dexia". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  32. ^ "RBC to acquire City National Corporation, a premier U.S. private and commercial bank" (Press release). Royal Bank of Canada. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 2017-08-19.
  33. ^ "RBC sells Swiss private bank operations" (Press release). Royal Bank of Canada. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 2017-08-19.
  34. ^ "Aviva Canada announces the acquisition of RBC General Insurance Company". 2016-01-20.
  35. ^ The Canadian Press (December 12, 2019). "Royal Bank selling Eastern Caribbean banking operations to consortium". Canadian Business. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  36. ^ "Royal Bank of Canada Updates Brand Name and Logo" (Press release). Royal Bank of Canada. 20 August 2001. Retrieved 2017-08-19.
  37. ^ "RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards". www.theawards.ca. Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  38. ^ "Charles Taylor Prize now known as RBC Taylor Prize; adds secondary award". Victoria Times Colonist. The Canadian Press. 9 December 2013. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  39. ^ "The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre announces new partnerships with University of Toronto and RBC Foundation". Yahoo! Finance. 24 July 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-01-02. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  40. ^ "RBC buys naming rights for Winnipeg convention centre". CBC News. 2 July 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  41. ^ Canadian Immigrant. (2013)."Canada’s Top 25 Immigrants 2013". Metroland Media Group. Retrieved on 2020-01-27
  42. ^ Rosella, Louie. (2018-07-13)."Car dealership owner, Raptors ‘superfan’ recognized as top Canadian immigrant". Mississauga.com. Retrieved on 2020-01-27
  43. ^ a b News Staff. (2010-05-25)."Canada's top 25 immigrants honoured at ceremony Tuesday". 680 News. Retrieved on 2020-01-27
  44. ^ Amato, Diane. (2018-07-17)."How an Immigrant Youth Is Getting Recognition for Creating Peace of Mind". Royal Bank of Canada. Retrieved on 2020-01-20
  45. ^ Douglas, Pam. (2018-08-09)."Karl Subban says he was inspired by his own parents". Toronto.com / Etobicoke Guardian. Retrieved on 2020-01-27
  46. ^ Canadian Immigrant. (2009)."Canada’s Top 25 Immigrants 2009". Metroland Media Group. Retrieved on 2020-01-27
  47. ^ "Fiche d'un bâtiment: Ancien siège social de la Banque Royale" [Saint James, the street of banks]. Vieux-Montréal: site officiel (in French). Ville de Montréal. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
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  50. ^ "Discussions on closed bank accounts between Royal Bank of Canada and Iranian groups". Salam Toronto. 3 July 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  51. ^ Finkel, Madelon (1 June 2018). "The impact of oil sands on the environment and health". Environmental Science and Health. Archived from the original on 2019-04-30.
  52. ^ "Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2020" (PDF). Sierra Club and Rainforest Action Network. 18 March 2020.
  53. ^ "Climate Activists Target Banks Funding Oil and Gas". National Observer. 29 October 2021.
  54. ^ a b c Tara Perkins (October 26, 2007). "Trader alleges RBC undervalued bonds". The Globe and Mail.
  55. ^ Shankland, Stephen (2003-10-20). "Royal Bank of Canada invests in SCO". ZDNet. Retrieved 2020-10-10.
  56. ^ Tomlinson, Kathy (6 April 2013). "RBC replaces Canadian staff with foreign workers". CBC News. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  57. ^ "Harper says foreign worker program is being fixed". CBC News. 7 May 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  58. ^ "First Canadian Businesswomen's Trade Mission to Australia, Sydney, June 11–14, 2002". Royal Bank of Canada. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2014.

Further reading