QED Working Paper Number
1379

From 1996 to 2015, total assets at Canadian and foreign banks operating in Canada grew four-times in size. This growth occurred with neither a significant regulatory change, such as the repeal of Glass-Steagall, nor the introduction of new business lines, such as wealth management or investment banking. Using data from CANSIM and a little used dataset from OSFI, I describe how the Canadian banks earn revenue, fund business activities, and pay expenses. The success of the Canadian banking system can be attributed to: i) a focus on retail and branch-level banking, ii) a preference for deposit-financing, and iii) minimizing costs, particularly noninterest expenses. Furthermore, I provide a broad overview of the data, accounting rules, and trends in Canadian banking. Estimating a reduced form model similar to DeBoskey and Jiang (2012), I find no evidence that the Canadian banks manipulated the provision for credit losses to ‘smooth’ earnings.

Author(s)
Robert McKeown
JEL Codes
G210
Keywords
Bank
Bank Lending
Borrowing
Commercial Banks
Financial Intermediaries
Retail Bank
Canada
Canadian
Working Paper