Royal Bank of Canada plans $3.2 billion push for new clients

Posted Jun 15, 2018 by Karen Graham
The Royal Bank of Canada has been bemoaning the fact that not enough people are switching banks to try their offerings. At its investor day conference on Wednesday, RBC introduced a wave of technology initiatives to combat the problem.
A Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) sign is seen in downtown Toronto
A Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) sign is seen in downtown Toronto
Mark Blinch / Reuters
At the investors' event in Toronto on Wednesday, Chief Executive Officer David McKay said, “We’ve built this incredible franchise over time with all this sales power, yet we’re frustrated."
McKay added that “We’re No. 1, the customer tells us we’re No. 1, experts like Retail Banker say we’re No. 1 in the world — yet we don’t think enough Canadians are using our services," reports the Financial Post.
McKay describes the frustration as stemming from "inert" Canadians - customers who don't want to take the time to transfer to another bank or may not know there are differences between different banking institutions.
McKay said that RBC's new strategy is going to involve spending $3.2 billion this year, "tapping into technology" that includes artificial intelligence (AI), digital products including apps, and beefing up its cybersecurity with the intent of acquiring 2.5 million new clients by 2023.
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Loads of initiatives
The bank presented a wide range of initiatives. “In this future world that we are building towards and living in, maintaining customer relevancy and connectivity has never been more challenging but there’s never been a greater opportunity to connect with more Canadians," McKay said.
To that end, RBC will be introducing a new loyalty program with WestJet Airlines Ltd. The bank has also introduced new ventures that are digital-focused including Ownr, a one-stop product targeted at entrepreneurs. Some other products introduced on Wednesday included Drive, a product for car owners - and finfit, a product to check credit scores and personalized insights.
And RBC is also targeting immigrants with a platform called Arrive. The platform aims to help people understand everything they need to do throughout their journey to Canada. RBC also noted they have already invested $225 million over the past four years in AI and data analytics platforms, adding it anticipated its data stream to grow 10 times in the next two years.
Founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1684, the Royal Bank of Canada is now the Largest bank in Canada based on market capitalization. It serves over 16 million clients and has 80,000 employees worldwide.