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Press Release

Canadian Banks Remain Soundest According to World Economic Forum, Six Years in a Row

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 4, 2013) - For the sixth year in a row, the World Economic Forum has ranked Canadian banks the soundest in the world in a report released today.(1) The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) welcomed this news as the fifth anniversary of the start of the global financial crisis approaches.

"Having a strong and profitable banking system is the backbone of the Canadian economy," said Terry Campbell, president of the Canadian Bankers Association. "With the soundest banks in the world, Canadians know they have banks they can depend on to protect their deposits, but also to provide stable financing to help them buy homes, save for retirement, fund post-secondary education and support the growth of more than 1.6 million small businesses. All of this helps fuel the Canadian economy."

For example, in a recent report about banking business lending, Banks Increasing Credit to Businesses in Canada, the CBA found that Canada's nine largest banks have increased the amount of credit available to businesses since the beginning of the global financial crisis. Since the beginning of 2007, credit authorized by banks to businesses increased by 29 per cent, and credit outstandings grew by 35 per cent. In contrast, the Canadian economy only grew by 22 per cent in the same time period. And, since 2010, bank credit authorized has increased for each sector of the economy.

The CBA's public opinion research(2) also found that Canadians have a favourable impression of their banks and understand the importance of stable banks:

  • 86 per cent of Canadians have a favourable impression of banks in Canada, with 94 per cent having a favourable impression of their own bank.
  • 87 per cent of Canadians give banks a good performance rating when it comes to being stable and secure.
  • 82 per cent of Canadians believe that a profitable banking sector is a healthy thing for the economy as a whole.

In addition, banks also contribute to the Canadian economy in a number of ways:

  • Banks employ 275,000 Canadians and full-time employment has increased 25.4 per cent over the past ten years.
  • Banks paid $12.6 billion in dividends to shareholders last year, helping many save for retirement.
  • Banks paid more than $8 billion in taxes to all levels of government in Canada in 2012, helping fund the programs that are important to Canadians.
  • Canada's six largest banks spent $7.7 billion on technology in 2012 to better serve their clients' needs.
  • Banks are prudent lenders, helping Canadians realize the dream of home ownership. Mortgages in arrears remain extremely low at 0.31 per cent of outstanding mortgages.

About the Canadian Bankers Association

The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 56 domestic banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 275,000 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. www.cba.ca.

Follow the CBA on Twitter: @CdnBankers

Watch videos: Youtube.com/CdnBankers

Follow the CBA on LinkedIn

(1) World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013
(2) Public opinion research conducted by Anderson Insights for the CBA, December 2012
Kate Payne
Media Relations Specialist
Canadian Bankers Association
(416) 362-6093, ext. 219
Cell: (416) 587-7733
kpayne@cba.ca