The Big Five

The Big Five Banks in Canada

The five biggest banks in Canada are all Scheduled I banks:

    • Royal Bank of Canada
    • TD Canada Trust
    • Bank of Nova Scotia (aka Scotiabank)
    • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (aka CIBC)
    • Bank of Montreal

Royal Bank of Canada

Undoubtedly the biggest bank in Canada, RBC has the following business segments:
  • Personal & Commercial Banking – provides a broad suite of financial products and services under two business lines – Canadian Banking and Caribbean & U.S. Banking. Responsible for almost half the  revenues.
  • Capital Markets -a premier global investment bank providing expertise in banking, finance and capital markets to corporations, institutional investors, asset managers, governments and central banks around the world. Operates  two main business lines – Corporate and Investment Banking and Global Markets. Responsible for ~21-23% of revenues.
  • Wealth Management – Global business serving high net worth (HNW) and ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individual and institutional clients. Lines of businesses are comprised of Canadian Wealth Management, U.S. Wealth Management (including City National), Global Asset Management (GAM) and International
    Wealth Management. Responsible for ~15-18% of revenues.
  • Investor & Treasury Services -RBC Investor & Treasury Services is a specialist provider of asset services, custody, payments and treasury services for financial and other institutional investors worldwide. Responsible for ~6% of revenues.
  • Insurance -Offers a wide range of life, health, home, auto, travel, wealth and reinsurance advice and solutions. RBC Insurance also provides creditor and business insurance services to individual, business and group clients.It has operations in Canada and globally, operating under two business lines – Canadian Insurance and International Insurance. Responsible for ~6% of revenues.

TD Bank

TD’s operations and activities are organized around the following three key business segments:
  • Canadian Retail -provides a full range of financial products and services to  customers in the Canadian personal and commercial banking, wealth, and insurance businesses. Responsible for almost 60% of revenues.
  • U.S. Retail -comprises the Bank’s personal and business banking operations and wealth management in the U.S. Responsible for almost 30% of revenues.
  • Wholesale Banking – offers a wide range of capital markets and corporate and investment banking services. Responsible for almost 10% of revenues.

Bank of Nova Scotia

Scotiabank is considered the most international Canadian bank, thanks to its footprint outside Canada. Its business lines are comprised of:
  • Canadian Banking-includes Retail, Small Business, Commercial Banking, and Wealth Management customers in Canada. Responsible for almost half the total revenues.
  • International Banking – provides Retail, Corporate and Commercial products and services for non-Canadian clients. The primary focus for this segment is Latin America, including the Pacific Alliance countries of Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia, and the Caribbean and Central America. Responsible for ~35-40% of total revenues.
  • Global Banking & Markets -conducts wholesale banking and capital markets business with corporate, government and institutional investor clients. Business lines include Capital Markets, Investment Banking, Corporate Banking and Global Transaction Banking. Responsible for ~16-20% of total revenues.

Bank of Montreal

Bank of Montreal organizes its operating groups as follows:
  • Personal & Commercial Banking– responsible for providing a wide range of products and services to retail and commercial clients. This group represents the sum of two retail and business banking operating segments, Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking and U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking. Responsible for ~55-60% of total revenues.
  • Wealth Management – the wealth business serves a full range of client segments, from mainstream to ultra-high net worth and institutional, with a broad offering of wealth management products and services, including insurance. The group has an active presence in markets across Canada, the United States, EMEA and Asia. Responsible for ~26-28% of total revenues.
  • Capital Markets -offering a complete range of products and services to corporate, institutional and government clients. The group has two business lines, Investment & Corporate Banking and Trading Products. Responsible for ~20-22% of total revenues.


CIBC has four Strategic Business Units (“SBU”):
  • Canadian Personal and Small Business Banking -provides personal and small business clients across Canada with financial advice, products and services. Responsible for generating almost half the revenues.
  • Canadian Commercial Banking and Wealth Management -generates ~21-23% of total revenues. It provides commercial and private banking, as well as wealth management services to meet the needs of middle-market companies, entrepreneurs, high-net-worth individuals and families, along with institutional clients across Canada.
  • U.S. Commercial Banking and Wealth Management – performs the same function as its Canadian counterpart. Responsible for 5% of total revenues.
  • Capital Markets -provides integrated global markets products and services, investment banking advisory and execution, corporate banking and research to corporate, government and institutional clients around the world. Responsible for 16-18% of revenues.


The Big Five banks are the primary target for new immigrants looking for jobs in banks.