An in-depth look at the major banks in Canada and their important and distinctive contribution to the Canadian economy.
While there has been considerable concern about the competitiveness of Canadian industries in the increasingly competitive global environment, James Darroch shows that the Canadian financial services sector has been a successful competitor in international markets. Four Canadian banks - the Royal Bank of Canada, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the Bank of Montreal, and the Bank of Nova Scotia - rank among the ten largest banks in North America. More importantly, they are recognized by industry insiders to be among the best managed banks not only in North America but in the world. While the status of the major Canadian banks in international capital markets may be surprising to some - since it is disproportionate to the size of Canadian financial markets - the international orientation of these banks has served to offset many of the limitations imposed by the Canadian market.
Darroch believes that knowledge of how the activities of these banks in international markets removed growth constraints from both the banks and the economy is vital to understanding the development of Canadian banking and the Canadian economy. In Canadian Banks and Global Competitiveness he surveys the strategies that produced the banks' high rankings. Using a case study approach, he examines the history of each bank from its founding to the passage of the 1992 omnibus financial services legislation, evaluating how its strategies have evolved in changing environments and exposing the long-term effects of corporate decisions and the profound effects of public policy on this regulated industry.
Darroch shows that each bank has made an important and distinctive contribution to the competitiveness and development of the Canadian economy. From his analysis it becomes clear that the banks were not so much "leaders" or "followers" as key enablers for Canadian firms and the Canadian economy.