We keep hearing about the amazing Canadian economic rebound—some 300,000 new jobs in the past year. Is Bay Street paving the way for a new economic world order?
(Image: Lindsay Page)
America’s financial sector makes a tasty carcass, and Bay Street is tucking into the feast, gobbling up staff and tearing off divisions from hobbled U.S. counterparts. CIBC recently purchased Citigroup’s Canadian MasterCard division. RBC has been hiring big guns away from New York’s investment banks. And those two banks aren’t even taking the biggest bites.
TD, the second largest bank in Canada, is on a mission to crack the American market. Earlier this year, it swallowed up three troubled Florida banks, then purchased South Carolina’s South Financial Group, adding 176 branches to its network for the bargain price of $191.6 million—just over $1 million per branch. All told, TD, which has introduced a jolly-eyeballed green foam‑rubber mascot specifically for its American operations, now has 1,300 branches in the States, 200 more than it has in Canada.
The country’s entire economy appears to be working its way up the global food chain. Our GDP grew by 6.1 per cent in the first three months of 2010. Among the 31 market-oriented democracies that make up the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, only South Korea’s economy grew faster. The United States economy, according to OECD numbers, grew only three per cent, while the median growth within the group stood at approximately two per cent. Canada’s economy has also created 215,000 jobs since the start of the year, 109,000 of them in April alone.
Read the rest of this entry »