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An Overview Of The Canadian Banking System: 1996 To 2015

Robert McKeown
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Robert McKeown: Queen's University

No 1379, Working Paper from Economics Department, Queen's University

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: Bank; Bank Lending; Borrowing; Commercial Banks; Financial Intermediaries; Retail Bank; Canada; Canadian (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse
Date: 2017-04
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