Home - banknews.tv


Recap of recent real estate news in Canada. Tiff Macklem and market exuberance, cottage country price appreciation and the rise of lumber prices.


Bulls versus the bears, this week in the Canadian real estate industry.


We a living a ponzi real estate market and the economy is at risk. Yet Doug Porter, economist BMO, is on record as saying Candian\'s want to pay more for houses. Yes, you can\'t make this stuff up. This video discusses the issues related to Porter\'s statement and explains why he is wrong.


2020 was a record year, except for condos. Montreal REM sites the exception to this rule. This video shares insights regarding the Canadian real estate segment.


Taxes are going up, TO condo prices are going down and recreational property up 15% to 40% in the Canadian market.


The mortgage debt to income ratio declined despite the pandemic. In this issue I discuss real estate stalling and immigration's impact on home prices.


This video is intended to give viewers an understanding of the economic ideas behind Canada's potential housing bubble. This video also explains why Siddal, President and CEO of the CMHC, was likely pushed from his post.


October 14th real estate report describing the issues in the market the last two weeks.


Overview of Canadian banking industry. This multi-part series looks at issues facing Canadian banks from a variety of angles. Part 1 examines the types of banks and scale using ROE and EBITDA as measures.


'Pros on the Go', a Fierce Tartan company are seeking insurance partners to pilot its new solution for streamlining the claims process.


Using financial data, Mark Sibthorpe compares the performance of TD bank to its rivals. TD grew faster in 2017 than its rivals, but was cited for aggressive sales practices.


Mr. Michael R. King, Tangerine Chair in Finance and Co-Director, Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab / Ivey Business School at Western University


This video covers XE.com's presentation at the AI, Big Data and Analytics event which took place in Toronto February 7/8, 2018. Cecelia Tamez and Jean Louis provide insights into their evolution and winning strategy.


Greenpeace's campaign to stop TD financing the oil sands is delusional. Trillions of dollars are at stake for the banks and the Canadian economy. This video explores the related financial issues.


This video provides an overview of the main differences between Canada's approach to overland flooding versus the US approach.


Canadian bank overview part 5, medium-large banks. Banks include Manulife, Tangerine and Laurentian Bank.


Canadian banking industry overview of Canadian Tire Bank, Presidents Choice Financial, Equitable Bank, B2B Bank


Overview of small-medium size banks in Canada. Banks covered include Versabank, Hollis Bank, Equity Bank and Caisse Populaire Acadienne.


Review of small banks including Bridgewater,Vancity Bank, Concentra, Wealth One, Zag...


Jamie Dimon calls bitcoin a fraud used by criminals, yet he has jumped into the blockchain with both feet.


RBC invested $24 million into Wave Technologies and now they will roll out Waves accounting, invoicing, reporting and billing platform to SMEs.


Canadian banks have increased their deposits by $127 billion since the start of the pandemic. This video uses charts to show which banks gained the most and how.


About

About BankNews TV: financial services industry monitor (FSIM), analytics and research

Latest news and events for Canadian financial service companies, analytics, fintech and AI. BankNews.TV provide the latest technology news and reports for banks and insurance companies looking to compete in a rapidly changing market.

Analytical information and financial information related to technogies that can change your business.

Select financial data to upload:

Please download and complete the data template that you need to upload. See financial data upload section above for details of how this data will be used.

Research

Real estate report: October 30th, 2020  

fsim.ca/docs/Oct30rereportv1.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

The big buzz in real estate recently is Mark Carney being scooped up by Brookfield. This means more juice for riskier borrowers. Brookfield, a huge player in real estate, both residential and commercial, recently bought its remaining shares from Sagen (Genworth MI Canada), which values the company at $3.8 bn.


VersaBank’s New High-Security VPN Proving Especially Valuable During COVID-19 Pandemic  

fsim.ca/docs/TailscaleReleaseMarch30FINAL.pdf

Press Release

VersaBank (TSX:VB) (“VB” or the “Bank”) today announced the implementation of its new high security Virtual Private Network (VPN) remote access software solution, developed in partnership with Tailscale, a leading provider of secure network connectivity solutions. The software enables VersaBank employees to securely and directly connect to all the Bank’s servers across multiple offices and cloud providers, using two factor authentication and with every connection encrypted. The Tailscale-based solution uses the Office 365 setup and Windows client/server applications that the Bank already had in place.


2014 FSIM when Bernanke visited Montreal  

fsim.ca/docs/MockBernanke.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Considering Bernanke is hated by the Republicans and hated even more by the Democrats, and is currently under scrutiny for saving AIG but not Lehman, (in hindsight) with respect to issues over solvency vs liquidity, the Montreal lovefest attended by 1,100 people yesterday must have been a welcome respite. Click the link to read the entire 2014 report.


Eisman's big Canadian bank short  

fsim.ca/docs/eisman2.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

I have been reporting on Steve Eisman's short position for quite some time.  As the analyst reaction to Eisman shows (link below), Eisman has taken a lot of heat for shorting Canadian banks. Instead of capitulating, in September 2019 he publicly disclosed the fact that he added Canadian Tire to his position, He explains the rationale for this in a BNN interview late 2019. Essentially, his big concern with respect to banks was non-performing loans in Alberta. He feels Canadian bank CEOs are not prepared for a credit cycle. He specifically referenced ATB (a private bank) in discussing his concerns. Looking at the numbers today, my guess is that he has made off like a bandit.


VersaBank Beta-Testing Its New, High Volume Mortgage Finance App   

fsim.ca/docs/VBCortelMortFinanceAppFeb62020.pdf

Press Release

VersaBank announces it is initiating beta-testing on its newly developed high-volume mortgage software app with the Cortel Group, one of Canada’s largest home and condominium builders. The app, named “Direct Connect”, was designed to facilitate and significantly reduce the lengthy finance approval process typically experienced by home buyers when visiting home and condo pre-construction sales offices.


How and why you need to defend your brand against disruptors  

Mark Sibthorpe

Technology, and being open to opportunities, has preempted transformation in banking. At the top of change are Mint, PayPal and ApplePay; three examples of transformative solutions that are now ubiquitous. On the horizon: Uber and Google, both having recently announced partner based banking services. Further down in the plumbing is Duca Impact Labs, Versabank, and Revolut. This report shows how cost conscious FIs can, not only stay relevant in the face of adversity, but punch well above their weight. All thanks to creative thinking and the ongoing commoditization of technology.


Kick the can(nomics)  

fsim.ca/docs/Kick.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Canada has used consumer debt to provide life support to the economy. This strategy which basically pushed the day of reckoning to the next government was old back in 2014, and now is well past its sell-by-date. Recognizing this, and desperate to keep the economy out of a recession, Trudeau is spending more money now than any government in Canadian history. This report disusses a possible alternative.


ScoreCard Bill Morneau, Canada's Minister of Finance  

fsim.ca/docs/ScoreCardMorneau.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This report is a scorecard I designed in order to rank the performance of the current Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau. I do regular rankings because, otherwise, I cannot measure the performance in a meaningful way. The scoring is based on a variety of metrics as detailed on the ‘score-table’ on page 3. Examples of the criteria and weighting include:

 


Observations and overview of 2018 NB flood support from government and insurance companies.  

fsim.ca/docs/Observations and overview of 2018 NB flood support from government and insurance companies..pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

 


Flood aftermath is linked to post traumatic stress. Here are some findings from a study conducted by Queensland University following a flood:

"The findings showed that aftermath stress contributed to poor mental health outcomes over and above the flood itself, prior mental health issues and demographic factors," Ms Dixon said.

 

"Aftermath stress was the strongest predictor of post-traumatic stress symptoms with 75 per cent of people saying the most difficult aspect was the aftermath and dealing with insurance companies," she said.

 

With this in mind, I felt it was important to understand how New Brunswick flood victims were treated.

 


Update Argentina: a sign of the times  

fsim.ca/docs/Update Argentina_ a sign of the times.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Argentina is in the news daily because the situation is dire, and may be an indication of further contagion. The most dramatic story that speaks of the a leading cause of its troubles was the recent arrest of the public works secretary, Jose Lopez. June 15th he was caught hiding millions in cash in a monastery. No this is not a plot for a comedy.


Summary of Canada's flood news, 2017 to present  

fsim.ca/docs/Summary-of-flood-news-2017-present.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This report covers flood news in Canada from 2017 to present and highlights the relevent issues for home-owners and the insurance industry.


Banking on Pot  

fsim.ca/docs/c10191_banking-on-pot.pdf

SBS

As states across the US legalize marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes, it has fueled a growing industry of marijuana related businesses (MRBs).


Canadian banking industry overview  

Mark Sibthorpe

The industry overview is divided into 5 parts:

Introduction
Small banks
Small medium sized banks
Medium sized banks
Medium large banks


2014 Mobile payments the Apple pay way  

fsim.ca/docs/Mobile_Payments_Apple_Pay_2014.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

With Walmart Pay about to userp Apple Pay, I thought I would share my 2014 book on mobile payments and loyalty. The guilde was written for Merchants that want to understand loyalty, credit, mobile payments and Apple Pay, but anyone involved with credit and loyalty might find it useful.
The book is a prelude to Walmart leaving MCX, and chronicles the evolution that led to Walmart Pay. There is an extensive case study of Walmart that looks into its efforts to become an ILC and to avoid paying credit card transaction fees ('merchant discount').
It offers readers a step-by-step methodology for evaluating and transforming credit and loyalty programs. The strategies are based on proven examples and industry facts. The Nectar, Target, Canadian Tire and Walmart case studies are examples of the practical approach I have taken, written with the intent that merchants can use them as blueprints for their own initiatives. 


Death to bitcoin, long live the blockchain   (See full report)

Mark Sibthorpe

Jamie Dimon calls bitcoin a fraud used by criminals, yet he has jumped into the blockchain with both feet.


TD bank industry conduct  

fsim.ca/docs/tdind2.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

TD’s share price recently collapsed by $7 bn in one day due to CBC’s allegations of aggressive selling tactics. A huge fall from a bank that was trading at a premium as recently as January. This was even before the most recent allegation of TD attempting to avoid paying taxes on advertising.
This report chronicles the events leading up to the collapse, shows TD's performance, analyses other related issues.


Book review: Back from the Brink  

fsim.ca/docs/backbrink.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This is a book review of the book Back from the Brink by Paul Halpern, Caroline Cakebread, Christopher C. Nicholls and Poonam Puri.


Footnote 151  

fsim.ca/docs/footnote151.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Footnote 151 implies an important regulatory change related to derivative contracts. It means that US Banks will not be required to hold as much capital against commodities. If you want to understand the implications of this regulatory change in more detail, see the enclosed related article detailing the changes. For contextual purposes, I have also included two Rolling Stones Magazines reports from 2010 and 2014 that chronicle the role large US banks have played in manipulating commodities. You might question the credibility of these sources, but rest assured, these reports are based on United States Senate hearings which outline the issues in a 396 page report related to the implied risks. 


Save the Canadian economy now  

fsim.ca/docs/helecopter-money.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Consumer debt spending appears to have insulated Canada from the worst of the credit crisis, but now the alarming magnitude of consumer debt ($1.92-trillion) could exacerbate a day of reckoning.
This report assesses the issues at hand and recommends the solution to get Canada's economy on track.


Reasons financial service companies should consider gamification  

fsim.ca/docs/Gamfin.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Gamification of business processes resulted on Mint.com growing to 10 million users within 4 years. This report explains how.


National Bank Special Report  

fsim.ca/docs/NatBSpec.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

According to Bloomberg, National Bank of Canada will take a C$64 million ($48 million) restructuring charge in the fourth quarter and said its investment in Maple Financial Group Inc., which is being probed by German regulators, may be at risk of a “substantial loss.”


Will Canadian banks charge companies for deposits?  

fsim.ca/docs/depgrowthimpact2.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

In light of today’s possible rate cut, this report discusses how a bank rate cut and capital ratio pressure could precipitate negative corporate deposit interest rates in Canada.


Canadian Tire's (CTC) - Canadian Tire Financial Services (CTFS) Scotia deal overview and risk assess  

fsim.ca/docs/ctfsfinal.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Review of the Canadian Tire Financial Services deal with Scotiabank, risks, opportunity and benefits.


Finance minisiter scorecard August 26, 2015  

fsim.ca/docs/Scorejo-August-2015.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This report looks at Joe Oliver, minister of finance’s progress to date, and assigns a grade to his government’s performance to date.


Xtreme Branch  

fsim.ca/docs/xbranch.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Branches are evolving to meet the digital age. This documents tracks the evolution with real-world examples.


Canadian Nudge  

fsim.ca/docs/nudge.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Whether he knew it or not, Tom Reid, a senior vice-president at Sun Life, made a case for the behavior modification concept ‘Nudging’ when he recently proposed auto-enrolling Canadians in his company’s pension plans. Sun life cover 1.2 million Canadians, about 60% of the eligible employees.
According to Reid,


CWB cause for concern  

fsim.ca/docs/cwbupdate.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

In an earlier report BankNews.TV expressed concerns about CWB. Here are 5 charts that show cause:
1. First earnings drop in years;
2. Deposits dropping which will increase cost of funds in the future.


BNTV Overview  

fsim.ca/docs/overviewpdf.pdf

BNTV

BankNews.TV Publishing Corp services overview document:

  • Analytics
  • Financial services industry monitor (FSIM) industry briefings and developments reports
  • Research


Challenger banks not a threat to big banks  

fsim.ca/docs/challenger.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This report looks at Canadian challenger banks (apart from merchant led banks) and explains why they have not threatened larger institutions. It also looks at ways in which these upstarts have achieved success.


Gamification of financial data project  

fsim.ca/docs/GamingEventProposal-printsample--en-final.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This document contains details on how BankNews.TV is helping kids learn programming via gamification of financial data.


The impact a rate rise will have for Canadian banks  

fsim.ca/docs/irr-f.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Canadian banks have made money throughout the credit crisis, but this trend may be about to reverse. The rational supporting this prediction is that revenue has grown despite a declining net interest margin (NIM). It has grown in spite of this fact because Canadian debt (loan lease volume) has risen significantly, as shown in chart 2.

This report looks at the issues facing Canadian banks in the event of a Bank Rate rise.  


FIFA: the new goldenballs  

fsim.ca/docs/goldenballs.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Yesterday, the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) opened criminal proceedings related to the FIFA scandal. This report outlines some of the events related to the criminal investigation, with a particular focus on banking.


Scorecard Minister of Finance: JIm Flaherty  

fsim.ca/docs/Scorecard Min Fin Flaherty April 8 2014.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

March 18, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty resigned from cabinet after having endured a difficult year due to health issues. This report looks at his legacy and attempts to grade his government’s performance to date.


Sample RFP for a Loyalty Program  

fsim.ca/docs/sample RFP for a loyalty program.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe


Merchants extend financial services  

fsim.ca/docs/merchantfs.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Merchant led financial services are growing in importance once again. This is exemplified in the ongoing UK rivalry between ASDA, Sainsbury and Tesco. Together these merchant/financial service companies provide the backstop for three different approaches for merchants looking to extend their financial services.


Hot Money: real-estate  

fsim.ca/docs/hotmoney.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Canadian and London real estate, like Macau, may also be a convenient means for China’s elite to move money offshore; with the deleterious effect of driving up home values. Louise Shelley`s research concurs. In a published paper written for the National Defense University, Shelley argues that money laundering in real estate (MLRE) increases prices.


Currency Cheat Sheet: a guide for the rest of us  

fsim.ca/docs/currencycheatsheet.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Readers of this document will be presented with monetary policy issues and facts
that show the USD will likely remain the dominant reserve currency, despite
questionable Chinese practices, record US debt levels, and a shaky economy.


Riches to Rags? Summary of possible risks for Genworth MI CANADA, INC.  

fsim.ca/docs/gq4risk.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Genworth had its Q4 2014 earnings call. Genworth own about 30% of the mortgage default insurance in Canada. Not surprisingly, the earnings call became focussed on Alberta; and for good reason, with 20% of its outstanding insured mortgage balance in Alberta, sensitivity to the oil shock and how Genworth plan to manage related risks were discussed in detail.


Canadian Western Bank Competitive Forecast  

fsim.ca/docs/cwbf.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Based on historical financial data (see detailed charts pages 5-8), the oil based recession in Alberta, and comparison against two of its peers, this document outlines my observation with respect to CWB’s future performances.


Liquid Canada: the tipping point  

fsim.ca/docs/Liquid.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This report examines liquidity issues in the Canadian financial service industry.


Bank Fees  

fsim.ca/docs/Bank fees.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Recently the CBC and The Globe and Mail both reported on what has been referred to as a consumer “bank fee outcry”. CBC compares banks to cable and phone companies, standing accused of trying to gouge customers with service fees. The backlash appears to have originated in conjunction with the NDP and the Consumers Council of Canada which argues that there is anxiety ‘among consumers about banking fees’.


Cheap Oil Report  

fsim.ca/docs/co2.pdf

Cheap oil has pushed the Bank of Canada's governor, Stephen Poloz onto a slippery slope. For some background on this, take October 22nd, when Poloz bid farewell to forward guidance, resulting in yesterday's surprise rate cut. A cut that has enraged TD and other banks, which see this as eroding profits.
 


Canada's Economy, a strategic solution  

fsim.ca/docs/ces.pdf

This report explores Canada's strategies to compete globally. The report begins with an analyses of the housing market, because housing is the canary in the coal mine; explores what happens in the event of collapse; and analyses the underlying problem causing Canada to be uncompetitive.
 


Complete loyalty RFP  

fsim.ca/docs/booksample.pdf

Merchants that want to understand loyalty, credit and mobile payments should read this book. It offers readers a step-by-step methodology for evaluating and transforming credit and loyalty programs. The strategies are based on proven examples and facts. The Nectar, Target, Canadian Tire and Walmart case studies are examples of the practical approach I have taken, written with the intent that merchants can use them as blueprints for their own initiatives.
 


Mobile Payments Blueprint: guide to credit and loyalty transformation for merchants  

fsim.ca/docs/booksample.pdf

Merchants that want to understand loyalty, credit and mobile payments should read this book. It offers readers a step-by-step methodology for evaluating and transforming credit and loyalty programs. The strategies are based on proven examples and facts. The Nectar, Target, Canadian Tire and Walmart case studies are examples of the practical approach I have taken, written with the intent that merchants can use them as blueprints for their own initiatives.
 


Report on merchants extending financial services  

fsim.ca/docs/

Special report explaining why some merchants in the UK, U.S. and Canada are expanding their financial services. The paper discusses the structural and regulatory pressures facing merchants and explains the rational behind key decisions. This is an 8 page high level report
 


Guide to system selection  

fsim.ca/docs/gssnow.pdf

Read sample report: Guide to system selection. This sample would normally cost $99 but is available free as a sample. Click here view sample report.


News feed

END OF AN ERA AS POLOZ EXITS BANK OF CANADA

G&M - DAVID PARKINSON (2021-06-01)

Stephen Poloz had only been Governor of the Bank of Canada for a few months in the late summer of 2013, when he gave a speech that defined his unique communication style and signalled a new era for a traditionally staid institution.


CANADA CALLS MICHIGAN’S SHUTDOWN OF LINE 5 A THREAT TO COUNTRY’S ENERGY SECURITY

G&M - Steven Chase (2021-03-05)

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan is calling Michigan’s order to shut down the Enbridge 

ENB-T +0.29%increase   pipeline Line 5, a major petroleum conduit for Central Canada, a threat to this country’s energy security.


PANDEMIC TAKES A CUT OF BANK CEOS’ PAY INCREASES

G&M - James Bradshaw, David Milstead (2021-03-05)

The coronavirus pandemic took a bite out of meaningful pay increases owed to the chief executive officers of two major banks in 2020, as full-year profits fell short of targets set before the global health crisis began.

Royal Bank of Canada 

RY-T +0.11%increase   CEO Dave McKay’s total compensation fell 1.5 per cent to slightly less than $13.5-million last year. The bank’s board had raised his target pay by $750,000 in 2019, setting him up to receive a raise. But the difference was swallowed up as the bank’s profit fell amid the fallout from COVID-19.


WEALTHSIMPLE SELLING U.S. BOOK OF BUSINESS TO ROBO-ADVISER BETTERMENT

G&M - Clare O'Hara (2021-03-05)

Power Financial Corp.’s online investment manager Wealthsimple is selling its U.S book of business to New York-based robo-adviser Betterment Holdings Inc.


MACHIN WAS PREPARING EXIT FROM CPPIB BEFORE UAE VACCINATION CONTROVERSY

G&M - ANDREW WILLIS AND TIM KILADZE (2021-03-05)

Mark Machin already had one foot out the door of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board when he was forced, under pressure, to resign as chief executive officer last week after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination in the United Arab Emirates.


PAYDAY LENDER LINES OF CREDIT AND INSTALMENT LOANS AT 47% CREATE DEBT TRAPS, CRITICS SAY

CBC - Dianne Buckner (2021-03-05)

Patricia Edwards of Toronto wanted to help her two adult daughters when they fell behind on bill payments at the rented townhouse they share.  


SCANDAL AND SUNLIGHT WILL END TRADE FINANCE PARTY

Reuters - Liam Proud, Neil Unmack (2021-03-05)

The supply chain finance party is coming to a messy end. Greensill Capital’s collapse has once again highlighted the hidden risks in the $1.3 trillion business of helping big companies channel payments to their suppliers. The combination of scandal and sunlight should produce a smaller, more boring industry.


NASDAQ LOSES ALL OF ITS 2021 GAIN

Reuters - Video (2021-03-05)

Wall Street ended sharply lower on Thursday, leaving the Nasdaq in negative territory for the year and down nearly 10% from its February record high, after remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell disappointed investors worried about rising longer-term U.S. bond yields. Conway G. Gittens reports.


BANK OF AMERICA, MORGAN STANLEY WIN DISMISSAL OF METALS SPOOFING LITIGATION

Reuters - Jonathan Stempel (2021-03-05)

A federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday dismissed litigation by traders and trading firms accusing Bank of America Corp and Morgan Stanley of manipulating the precious metals futures market by placing trades and then cancelling them before execution, or “spoofing”.


OIL HITS ALMOST 14-MONTH HIGH AFTER OPEC+ EXTENDS OUTPUT CUTS

Reuters - Noah Browning (2021-03-05)

 Oil prices jumped more than 2% on Friday, hitting their highest in nearly 14 months after OPEC and its allies agreed not to increase supply in April as they await a more substantial recovery in demand.


LIBOR MOVES TO ITS ‘FINAL CHAPTER’ AS U.K. SETS END DATES

Bloomberg - William Shaw and Silla Brush (2021-03-05)

U.K. regulators kicked off the final countdown for Libor, ordering banks to be ready for the end date of a much maligned benchmark that’s been at the heart of the international financial system for decades.

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority confirmed Friday that the final readings for most rates will take place at end of this year, with just a few key dollar tenors set to linger for a further 18 months. The move comes in the wake of major manipulation scandals and the drying up of trading data used to inform the rates, which are linked to everything from credit cards to leveraged loans. Regulators have made a concerted effort to wind it down in 2021, with the Federal Reserve and others pushing market participants toward alternatives.


BITCOIN STORM BREWING OVER TRUMP’S ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING PUSH

Bloomberg - Joe Light (2021-03-05)

The Biden administration will soon have to settle a Bitcoin fight it didn’t even start, and its decision could have far-reaching implications for the virtual currency industry.

The battle concerns last-minute rules proposed by the outgoing Trump administration that would create new requirements for financial services firms to record the identities of cryptocurrency holders. The measures are meant to smother attempts to use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for money laundering or to finance illegal activities. If adopted, they could cause cryptocurrency prices to plummet, according to some analysts. Heavyweights from both K Street and Wall Street have mobilized against the rule, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments and venture-capital firm Union Square Ventures. Cryptocurrency players like the Winklevoss twins, the Blockchain Association and Coinbase Inc. are also fighting the measures.


TREASURY ROUT PUSHES BOND FUNDS INTO RISKIER ASSETS

WSJ - Matt Wirz (2021-03-05)

Optimism about economic recovery has triggered a selloff in U.S. Treasurys that is pushing fixed-income investors to run for cover in some unlikely havens.


INSURANCE STARTUP HIPPO TO GO PUBLIC IN $5 BILLION SPAC MERGER

WSJ - Leslie Scism (2021-03-05)

Home-insurance technology upstart Hippo Enterprises Inc. is teaming with a special-purpose acquisition company to go public, the latest insuretech business to tap equity markets and challenge traditional insurers head-on.


CANADIAN REAL ESTATE MAY GET COOLING MEASURES AS EARLY AS THIS MONTH: SCOTIABANK

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-03-05)

Canadian home sales are extremely strong. Not just for a recessionary environment, but in general – they’re better than they were in Canada’s best economy. Holt points to Toronto home sales reported earlier this week. Sales were up 15.9% for the previous month, when  seasonally adjusted (SA). This follows a 3.1% monthly increase in January, which followed a 21% monthly increase in December. He also notes these increases are accompanied by fast rising home prices.


CANADIANS NOW PUMP MORE INTO RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE THAN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-03-05)

Despite increased incentives, Canada is failing to attract more M&E investment. The segment only saw $181.73 billion in Q4 2020, when seasonally adjusted at the annual rate. This is 12.79% lower than the same quarter a year before. To contrast, residential investment hit $213.82 billion in the same quarter, up 22.45% from a year before. Investment isn’t slow. Housing is just attracting a much bigger share of capital.


THERE’S A COOL NEW WAY TO PAY FOR STUFF – AVOID IT

G&M - Rob Carrick (2021-03-05)

The latest in financial engineering has brought a new way to pay for things you can’t actually afford.


BRITISH GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES BIGGEST CORPORATE TAX HIKE IN DECADES IN BID TO HELP PANDEMIC-HIT ECONOMY

G&M - PAUL WALDIE (2021-03-04)

The British government has announced the country’s biggest corporate tax hike in almost 50 years in a bid to slowly fill the fiscal hole left by the pandemic.


FIVE LESSER-KNOWN FACTS ABOUT TFSAS ADVISORS SHOULD DISCUSS WITH INVESTORS

G&M - Brenda Bouw (2021-03-04)

The tax-free savings account (TFSA) has been around for more than a decade, but advisors should still be talking to clients about the pros and cons of the investment vehicle and how it can best be used to achieve their financial goals.


'FEEDING FRENZY' OVER FIRST-EVER BITCOIN ETF FADES IN CANADA AFTER ROBUST DEBUT

FP - Claire Ballentine, Vildana Hajric (2021-03-04)

During its first two days of trading, the Purpose Bitcoin ETF (ticker BTCC) — the first fund of its kind in North America and the first worldwide to be labeled an ETF — saw almost US$400 million in shares change hands. On Tuesday, that amount dropped to US$17 million.


A $300-BILLION QUANT TRADE WINS IN 'ALMOST UNBELIEVABLE' MARKET

FP - Justin Lee (2021-03-04)

While the Treasury rout may be inflicting fear and loathing across Wall Street, it’s been a boon for Quantica as the firm profits from one of the biggest bond shorts in its 16-year history.


CAISSE’S IVANHOé CAMBRIDGE STRIKES US$500M DEAL WITH INDIAN REAL ESTATE GIANT

The Logic - Catherine McIntyre (2021-03-04)

 The Quebec pension fund’s real estate unit will fund 80 per cent of the new venture, with Embassy Group kicking in the other 20 per cent. The partners will focus on developing mixed-use properties in Bengaluru and Chennai, two popular centres for tech companies in India. (The Logic)


HUAWEI CFO’S LAWYER DISPUTES WHAT HSBC KNEW AS U.S. EXTRADITION CASE RESUMES

Reuters - Moira Warburton, Sarah Berman (2021-03-04)

Defence lawyer Frank Addario kicked off a new phase of hearings with an assertion that HSBC’s global client relationship manager, tasked with overseeing its dealings with Huawei Technologies, knew that Huawei controlled Skycom Tech Co Ltd’s accounts.


CITIGROUP SEEKS LONGER REVLON FUND FREEZE DURING APPEAL OVER BOTCHED PAYMENT

Reuters - Jonathan Stempel (2021-03-04)

Robert Loigman, a lawyer for the lenders, said in an email they would oppose an injunction, and called Citibank’s argument that it was likely to succeed on appeal “without basis.”


BANK TO CANADA’S AILING OIL HEARTLAND GAINS FROM DIVERSIFYING

Bloomberg - Kevin Orland (2021-03-04)

Chief Executive Officer Chris Fowler is starting to see a payoff from years of transforming Canadian Western from an Alberta-focused commercial lender into a more geographically diversified, full-service bank targeting business owners. The Edmonton-based bank’s fiscal first-quarter earnings topped analysts’ estimates, helped by loan growth in Ontario and earnings from businesses that the bank has worked to bulk up, such as wealth management.

“We’ve got some very strong businesses in Ontario, where we see continued good growth opportunities and the opportunity for us to cross-sell into digital banking and wealth management,” Fowler said in an interview. The company’s results for the three months through January, announced last week, gave the company’s shares their biggest gain in six months. The stock is up 17% this year, the best performance in the S&P/TSX Commercial Banks Index. While the bank opened its first Ontario branch late last year, much of the diversification came from acquisitions that bolstered its offerings in Canada’s largest province, including equipment-leasing businesses and wealth manager iA Investment Counsel. Canadian Western had 31% of its loan portfolio in Alberta at the end of the fiscal first quarter, down from 48% in October 2010. Ontario now...


PHILIP FALCONE’S SECOND ACT IN LONG-TERM-CARE INSURANCE TURNS UGLY

WSJ - Leslie Scism (2021-03-04)

Long-term care has been a troubled insurance product for well over a decade, causing financial pain to many insurers and their customers. Now, one executive’s plan to make money where others have failed has backfired.


STOCK FUTURES DROP AHEAD OF POWELL’S COMMENTS

WSJ - Caitlin Ostroff (2021-03-04)

U.S. stock futures edged lower Thursday as investors awaited comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell about the outlook for inflation and the central bank’s views on rising bond yields.


CANADIAN NON-BANK LENDER DATA SHOWS INSURED MORTGAGES DEFAULTING AT A HIGHER RATE

Better Dwelling - Stephen Punwasi (2021-03-04)

Making up for the lost ground are insured mortgages, typically held by newer home owners. These borrowers have an arrears rate that’s now 50% higher than their uninsured peers.


RBC LEAVES A LAUNDRY LIST OF REASONS CANADIAN REAL ESTATE IS “FAR FROM RISK-FREE”

Better Dwelling - Stephen Punwasi (2021-03-04)

Government intervention, reduced immigration, prolonged unemployment, pandemic variants and poor affordability are some of the reasons to be concerned.


ROCKING HOUSING MARKET BOOSTS NON-BANK LENDING: STATSCAN

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-03-04)

StatsCan reported that the number of mortgage loans provided by non-bank lenders in Q3 was up by 40.7% from the same quarter in 2019. During the same period, the total value of their mortgage lending rose by 17.2% to $56.2 billion.


AFTER RIDING OUT PANDEMIC, U.S. FUND INDUSTRY POISED FOR GROWTH: ISS

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-03-04)

The report by the research unit of proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) Inc. projects that long-term flows will total $2.7 trillion over the next several years, with assets climbing by $7.2 trillion over that period.


INTUIT QUICKBOOKS TAPS MODULR TO POWER SME DIGITAL PAYMENTS ACCOUNT

Finextra - Finextra (2021-03-03)

By integrating the new account with these financial management tools, Intuit says it can hlp solve four of the most common problems faced by small firms: the burden of admin; cash flow; confidence; and late payments in and out.


ANT TUSSLES WITH BEIJING ON SHARING CUSTOMER DATA

Finextra - Finextra (2021-03-03)

The People's Bank of China wants access to Ant's consumer data to help state-owned banks assess credit worthiness.


TORONTO, VANCOUVER HOME SALES SOAR IN FEBRUARY

G&M - Rachelle Younglai (2021-03-03)

In the Toronto region, home resales hit a record for February, 52.5 per cent higher year over year, with condos leading the way up, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. Condo resales in the city were 27 per cent higher than in January.


CMHC TO GET NEW CEO AS EVAN SIDDALL STEPS DOWN NEXT MONTH

G&M - Rachelle Yungai (2021-03-03)

Evan Siddall, the outspoken housing agency chief who once told Canadians not to worship homeownership, is stepping down in April, ending his controversial and combative tenure.


CANADA’S MORTGAGE RATES EDGING HIGHER FOR FIRST TIME SINCE START OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC

G&M - FERGAL SMITH AND NOOR ZAINAB HUSSAIN (2021-03-03)

Canadian mortgage rates are beginning to inch higher for the first time since before the COVID-19 crisis, reflecting the spike in long-term bond yields, but with home loans still languishing around historically low levels the modest hike is unlikely to slow the red-hot housing market.


TD BANK CEO BHARAT MASRANI’S TOTAL COMPENSATION FALLS TO $10.5-MILLION IN PANDEMIC YEAR

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-03-03)

Mr. Masrani’s total compensation was $10.5-million last year, compared with $12.6-million in 2019, as the bank awarded him fewer shares, a smaller cash bonus and no pension-related pay.

The bank’s proxy circular, released Tuesday, praises his “steady leadership” during the crisis created by the novel coronavirus. The bank’s core services were never interrupted while it delivered payment deferrals and government relief funds to customers. And TD played a role in the US$26-billion sale of discount brokerage TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.

Loading... to rival Charles Schwab Corp., as Ameritrade’s largest shareholder.


ALBERTA'S DEBT SOARS PAST $100B, STOKING ANGST IN GOVERNMENT RANKS

CBC - Kyle Bakx (2021-03-03)

Entering 2021, the provincial government's debt was $98 billion. That will increase significantly as the deficit for this year is expected to be more than $18.2 billion. This figure doesn't include the potential loss of more than $1 billion as a result of the government's ownership stake in the failed Keystone XL pipeline.


THERE IS A WORLD OF PAIN AHEAD FOR INVESTORS WHO TAKE ON TOO MUCH RISK IN THIS MARKET

FP - Martin Pelletier (2021-03-03)

This week, I am scheduled to undergo surgery on my nose, as I finally pay the price for some excessive risk-taking I engaged in on my mountain bike last summer.


HERTZ, THE ORIGINAL MEME STOCK, IS TURNING OUT TO BE WORTHLESS

Bloomberg - Steven Church (2021-03-03)

It’s the version of David versus Goliath that Wall Street will like. Day traders, snapping up penny stocks on the popular Robinhood app, sought to defy decades of convention and make money on bankrupt rental-car company Hertz. The craze sent shares soaring as much as 896%, prompting Hertz to briefly capitalize on the frenzy by issuing even more stock.

   


GREENSILL CAPITAL PLANNING TO FILE FOR INSOLVENCY IN U.K. THIS WEEK

WSJ - Julie Steinberg and Ben Dummett (2021-03-03)

Embattled financial startup Greensill Capital plans to file for insolvency in the U.K. this week, as it simultaneously moved toward a deal to sell its operating business to Apollo Global Management , according to people familiar with the matter.


VANCOUVER REAL ESTATE PRICES RIP HIGHER, AS DETACHED HOMES RISE $44,000 LAST MONTH

Better Dwelling - Kaitlin Last (2021-03-03)

The price of a typical home across the Greater region made a sharp monthly increase. The composite benchmark price reached $1,084,000 in February, up 2.6% (+$27,470) from the month before. The increase brings prices 6.8% (+$69,019) higher than they were this time last year. Breaking down the composite, we see detached homes are responsible for the big climb.


CIBC’S UNINSURED MORTGAGE DELINQUENCY RATE IS FLAT, BUT TORONTO IS AN EXCEPTION

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-03-03)

The mortgage delinquency rate is lower than the previous quarter, and flat from a year before. Uninsured mortgages over 90 days past due reached 0.24% in Q1 2021, down 4 bps from the previous quarter. The rate is flat from a year before, which is surprising for a different reason that you might expect.


BOC MUST CHANGE ITS TUNE AS ECONOMY OUTPERFORMS, REPORT SAYS

Better Dwelling - James Langton (2021-03-03)

Most sectors have almost reached pre-crisis levels, and the laggards that were hit hardest by the pandemic “are also the ones with potentially the most to gain should behaviour start to respond favourably to vaccinations over 2021 into 2022,” the report said.


HOUSE PRICES ARE GOING BONKERS AGAIN. WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?

G&M - Gary Mason (2021-03-03)

Even by Vancouver’s ridiculous standards, it seems absurd. A home on the east side of Vancouver selling for $872,134 over asking?


EXTENDING WAGE, RENT SUBSIDIES TO JUNE 5 WILL COST $16-BILLION, CHRYSTIA FREELAND SAYS

G&M - Bill Curry (2021-03-03)

Federal subsidies for wages and rent will be extended at current levels until June 5, a move Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said will cost about $16-billion.


LAURENTIAN BANK BEATS PROFIT EXPECTATIONS, BOOSTED BY STRENGTH IN CAPITAL MARKETS

G&M - ANITA BALAKRISHNAN (2021-03-03)

Laurentian Bank Financial Group’s chief executive says the company will double down on its residential mortgage business as part of a deep review of the bank’s business.


FEBRUARY AUTO SALES FALL NEARLY 10% DUE TO LOCKDOWNS AND SUPPLY-CHAIN DISRUPTIONS

G&M - CP (2021-03-03)

According to estimates compiled by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants auto sales last month totalled 112,654 units, down from the 125,059 units of February 2020.


OPEN BANKING IN CANADA

Fasken Martineau - Seminar (2021-03-03)

In the past few years, we have seen many countries adopt an open banking infrastructure and now, Canada is reviewing our options to become the next country to implement such a system. 


CMHC BOSS EVAN SIDDALL ACKNOWLEDGES ‘ERRORS’ ON LAST YEAR’S PREDICTION OF HOUSING COLLAPSE

G&M - Rachelle Younglai (2021-03-02)

After months of defending a forecast of plunging home prices and soaring mortgage arrears in 2020, the nation’s housing chief has conceded the prediction was wrong.


SUN LIFE NAMES TD EXECUTIVE MANJIT SINGH AS NEW CFO

G&M - Clare O'Hara, James Bradshaw (2021-03-02)

Long-time Toronto-Dominion Bank 

N/A   executive Manjit Singh is joining Sun Life Financial Inc.  N/A   as the insurer’s chief financial officer as Kevin Strain prepares to take over as chief executive officer later this year.


CIBC AND BMO DELAY RETURN TO OFFICE FOR MOST EMPLOYEES UNTIL AT LEAST THE END OF JUNE

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-03-02)

Two of Canada’s largest banks are delaying the return of most of their employees to offices until at least June as public-health officials continue to impose strict measures in some regions to control the novel coronavirus.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

N/A    said in a memo to staff Monday that most employees working remotely will not return until the end of June at the earliest. And a spokesperson said Bank of Montreal N/A    won’t make any broad changes to remote-work policies before the school year is over.


THE PANDEMIC WAS SUPPOSED TO COOL CANADA’S HOT HOUSING MARKET. INSTEAD, IT’S HOTTER THAN EVER

G&M - Editorial Board (2021-03-02)

A year ago, the Canadian Real Estate Association’s benchmark of housing prices hit a new record, at nearly $600,000. But that was hardly news. Prices had been hitting new records for years, as an always-hot housing market ticked ever higher.


THERE'S GOOD ECONOMIC NEWS ON THE HORIZON, AND THAT'S RATTLING MARKETS. WAIT, WHAT?

CBC - Don Pittis (2021-03-02)

But the first step in understanding the paradox is remembering that "the stock market isn't the economy," as now-U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen once said.


WALMART JUST TOOK A STEP CLOSER TO BEING BANKERS' BIGGEST NIGHTMARE

FP - Jenny Surane, Sridhar Natarajan and Matthew Boyle (2021-03-02)

To lead the effort, Walmart plucked Omer Ismail, a longtime veteran of Goldman Sachs who was a key architect of the lender’s consumer efforts in recent years. Ismail will bring along David Stark, who inked Goldman’s partnership with Apple Inc. and oversaw its tie-ups with JetBlue Airways Corp. and Amazon.com Inc.


WALMART BANK CASE STUDY

fsim.ca - Mark Sibthorpe (2021-03-02)

In 2013 I revised my book, 'A Merchants Guide to Credit and Loyalty', and adapted it to mobile payments. In the book I wrote a case study looking at Walmarts initiative to start an ILC in Utah. This case study (page 217) provides a detailed case study related to this initiatve going back to 2005. Enjoy!


GOLDMAN SACHS RESTARTS CRYPTOCURRENCY DESK AMID BITCOIN BOOM

Reuters - Anna Irrera, Iain Withers, Lawrence White (2021-03-02)

The trading desk reboot comes amid growing interest by institutions in bitcoin, which has soared more than 470% over the past year. The largest cryptocurrency is seen by investors and some companies as a hedge against inflation as governments and central banks turn on the stimulus taps.


ASIAN SHARES FALL AMID CHINA'S ASSET-BUBBLE WARNING

Reuters - Julie Zhu (2021-03-02)

Asia stocks dropped on Tuesday and European equity futures fell as a senior Chinese official expressed wariness about the risk of asset bubbles in foreign markets and a recent bond market sell-off still weighed on investor sentiment.


HSBC BANKER KNEW ABOUT DEALINGS WITH IRAN, MENG’S DEFENSE ARGUES

Bloomberg - Michael McCullough (2021-03-02)

Lawyers representing Meng Wanzhou tried to discredit evidence presented by U.S. officials in her extradition hearing, arguing a banker at HSBC Holdings Plc knew that a company doing business with Iran was actually an affiliate of Huawei Technologies Co.

One of Meng’s lawyers, Frank Addario, told the Supreme Court of British Columbia that the Department of Justice presented “misleading and unreliable” evidence when it described a meeting Meng had with an HSBC executive in a Hong Kong tea room in 2013.   That meeting is a key event in the U.S. case against Meng, which alleges the Huawei chief financial officer misled banks into processing Huawei transactions that potentially violated U.S. sanctions against Iran. Meng, the eldest daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on a U.S. handover request at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018 on fraud charges. She has been living in Vancouver since then with a court-appointed security detail and restrictions on her movements. Her case has become a flashpoint in U.S.-China relations, with Canada caught in the middle.


BUFFETT'S LAMENT IS A REFLATION REALITY CHECK

Bloomberg - John Authers (2021-03-02)

After an extraordinary week in the bond market, a familiar oracular voice from Omaha, Nebraska, reminded everyone of just how extreme that bond market had become. Warren Buffett, still CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. at the age of 90, published his annual letter to investors. You can read it here, and  my colleague Tara Lachapelle’s commentary on it here. Some will be disappointed that he didn’t take the time to inveigh against GameStopmania, or to tell us whether he thought the stock market was in a bubble. But in a discussion of the business model of his vast network of insurance businesses, he offered this gem on bonds:


IS INFLATION A RISK? NOT NOW, BUT SOME SEE DANGER AHEAD

WSJ - Greg IP (2021-03-02)

Inflation is near a decade low and well below the 2% level the Federal Reserve targets as ideal. The usual conditions for rising inflation—tight job markets and public expectations of rising prices—are glaringly absent.


BANKS IN GERMANY TELL CUSTOMERS TO TAKE DEPOSITS ELSEWHERE

WSJ - Patricia Kowsmann (2021-03-02)

Interest rates have been negative in Europe for years. But it took the flood of savings unleashed in the pandemic for banks finally to charge depositors in earnest.


CANADIAN TAXPAYERS PAID HOUSEHOLDS UP TO 3X INCOME LOST DURING THE PANDEMIC

Better Dwelling - Kaitlin Last (2021-03-02)

The lowest quintile saw the largest replacement of income of any demographic. The average household lost $564 of income in Q2 2020, and received an average of $2,381 in pandemic benefits. This works out to a net-gain of $1,817, or 322% of the income lost over the period. Since the loss was small, it’s easy to see how pandemic support created the largest percentage increase.


CANADIAN RATE OF MORTGAGES IN ARREAR HITS 1990 LOW, BUT CLIMBS IN ONTARIO AND BC

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-03-02)

The rate of arrears across Canada is a little lower. The rate fell to 0.22% in November, down 1 bp from a month before, as well as a year before. The rate is now at the lowest level since 1990. Considering banks went out of their way to avoid classifying mortgages in arrears, the falling rate doesn’t surprise. 


NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL WARNS OF “EXTREME” CRYPTO RISKS

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-03-02)

James also warned mainstream brokers, dealers and investment advisors about the risk of “both civil and criminal liability” if they don’t meet their registration obligations when they do business in the crypto space.


MD FINANCIAL INTRODUCES PRIVATE CREDIT POOL

Investment Executive - IE (2021-03-02)

MD Platinum pools are alternative products offered through MD Private Investment Counsel to physician clients. The private credit pool seeks higher returns than traditional credit while mitigating volatility, the release said.


INTERAC CHOSEN TO PROVIDE BACKBONE OF FASTER PAYMENTS PROCESSING SYSTEM FOR CANADA

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-03-02)

Interac Corp. has been chosen to provide the technological backbone for a faster, more sophisticated payments system to underpin Canada’s financial sector, which is scheduled to go live next year.


CANADIANS SEE BROAD GAINS IN HOUSEHOLD WEALTH, DESPITE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

G&M - Matt Lundy (2021-03-02)

Over the first nine months of 2020, overall household net worth (assets minus liabilities) increased by 5.2 per cent, Statistics Canada said Monday. In percentage terms, the wealth gains were greatest for the lowest-income households (6.3 per cent) and those with a primary income earner under 35 years old (7.7 per cent).


INSURERS FACING GREATER PRESSURE TO MANAGE ESG RISKS

Insurance Business - Bethan Moorcraft (2021-03-02)

Global losses from natural disasters in 2020 were US$210 billion, according to Munich Re, of which only US$82 billion was insured. Both overall losses and insured losses were significantly higher than in 2019, which saw a total loss of US$166 billion, of which US$57 billion was insured.


CANADA GDP COLLAPSE REVEALS HOW TRUDEAU’S DEBT BINGE WENT AWRY

Bloomberg - Theophilos Argitis (2021-03-02)

Justin Trudeau was more committed to borrowing his way out of the Covid-19 crisis last year than almost any other leader in the developed world. That cushioned the blow of the pandemic, but raises some hard questions about what Canada got for all that spending.

   


BLANK-CHECK COMPANY CRAZE PROMPTS BMO TO BULK UP SPACS BANKING

Bloomberg - Kevin Orland (2021-03-02)

BMO Capital Markets is building a “fairly big business” around special purpose acquisition companies, entities that raise money to buy businesses, according to the division’s top executive, Dan Barclay. SPACs have gathered momentum in recent years because public markets have been offering comparable valuations and cost of capital as in the private market, he said.

“They’re going to be around for a while,” Barclay said in an interview. “They won’t be as frothy as they currently are. There’s going to be a little more discipline.” The surge in SPACs, which have raised more than $145 billion on U.S. exchanges in the past 12 months, has set off a global search for suitable targets -- usually startups with little revenue or mature companies sitting in private equity portfolios, though some are now looking at divisions of public companies.


CIBC CHIEF SEES CANADIAN ECONOMY ON CUSP OF CONSUMER-LED REBOUND

Bloomberg - Kevin Orland (2021-03-02)

Dodig, who leads the country’s fifth-largest lender by assets, says an accelerated vaccine campaign will allow Canada to ease pandemic restrictions as other countries have. That should spur consumers whose finances weren’t hit hard by the pandemic to spend some of the extra cash they have saved over the last year, he said.

   


CANADIAN ECONOMY BEATS EXPECTATIONS IN FOURTH QUARTER AS REAL GDP GROWS 2.3%

G&M - Matt Lundy (2021-03-02)

The Canadian economy ended 2020 on a surprisingly good note as companies built up inventories and housing investment held strong, while it appears the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic won’t result in a backslide to start the new year.


WALMART RECRUITS GOLDMAN SACHS' CONSUMER HEAD TO RUN FINTECH STARTUP

Finextra - Finextra (2021-03-01)

Omer Ismail, the head of Goldman Sachs' consumer business, is decamping to Walmart to take charge of the US retail chain's up-and-coming fintech startup.


THE KALIFA REVIEW’S FIVE-POINT PLAN TO BOLSTER UK FINTECH

Finextra - Finextra (2021-03-01)

The report warns that “the trajectory of UK fintech is at an inflection point of opportunity - and risk. While the UK’s position is well established, its future is not assured.”


BITCOIN EXTENDS ITS RETREAT FROM RECORD HIGH TO HIT LOWEST IN 20 DAYS

G&M - Reuters (2021-03-01)

Bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, has fallen 26 per cent from the year’s high of US$58,354.14 on Feb. 21 when it soared amid increasing confidence that it will become a mainstream investment and payments vehicle.


BITCOIN RISES AFTER CHINA REGION DECLARES WAR ON CRYPTO MINING

FP - Alfred Cang (2021-03-01)

The autonomous region, a favorite among the industry because of its cheap power, also banned new digital coin projects, according to a draft plan posted on the Inner Mongolia Development and Reform Commission’s website Feb. 25. The aim is to constrain growth in energy consumption to about 1.9% in 2021.


BITCOIN IS AT A "TIPPING POINT," CITI SAYS

Reuters - Staff (2021-03-01)

The recent surge in interest in bitcoin, sparked by a narrative that it can act as a hedge against inflation, has driven the cryptocurrency to a record high of $58,354 and a $1 trillion market capitalisation.


AN 'INDUSTRY CUSTOM' - LITTLE-KNOWN FEES HELP JAPAN TRUST BANKS DOMINATE PROFITABLE NICHE MARKET

Reuters - Makiko Yamazaki, Maki Shiraki (2021-03-01)

The bank that takes the new client typically pays the fee. Insiders say this arrangement keeps a profitable business in the hands of a few big trust banks because newcomers balk at the cost. One departing client was told the charge was an “industry custom”.


MARK CARNEY WALKS BACK BROOKFIELD NET-ZERO CLAIM AFTER CRITICISM

Bloomberg - Jess Shankleman and Akshat Rathi (2021-03-01)

Mark Carney, a leading figure behind this year’s global climate talks, walked back remarks claiming the half-trillion-dollar asset manager where he works had neutralized pollution across its portfolio. The shift came in the wake of criticism from green advocates over comments by Carney calling Brookfield Asset Management Inc. a net-zero company

Carney is a former Bank of England governor who is currently advising U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the upcoming COP26 climate summit. He’s also a vice chair at Brookfield, and in a Feb. 10 interview with Bloomberg Live he said that Canada’s largest alternative asset manager had zeroed out emissions from its holdings.
“Brookfield is in a position today where we are net zero,” Carney said, referring to all of the company’s assets. “The reason we’re net zero is that we have this enormous renewables business,” he added, noting “all the avoided emissions that come with that” had compensated for the planet-warming toll of other investments. Brookfield’s operations have a small carbon footprint, measured at about 5,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2019, but inside its $600 billion portfolio are investments in coal and other fossil fuels.


BITCOIN MIGHT BE FLYING, BUT IT’S NO LONGER FLOATING

WSJ - Spencer Jacob (2021-03-01)

Bitcoin fans’ figurative ship has come in recently, but not literally.


WILDFIRES LEAVE FORESTRY COMPANIES STRUGGLING FOR INSURANCE

WSJ - Alice Uribe (2021-03-01)

After wildfires burned through his timber plantation on southern Australia’s Kangaroo Island, Keith Lamb gauged what could be saved and called his insurer. The conversation didn’t go well: The insurer declined to renew his policy.


BIG SIX PROFITS UP, BUT RISKS REMAIN, FITCH SAYS

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-03-01)

Fitch noted that the banks “have signalled credit quality deterioration” in the months ahead. Further, “while loans have almost completely exited pandemic-related deferral programs with little impact on credit quality to date,” Fitch warns that “the range of possible credit losses remains wide.”


PENSION FUNDS LEARNED THEIR LESSON FROM GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-03-01)

The rating agency said that recent results from three big Canadian pension managers — the CPP Investment Board (CPPIB), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (OTPP) — indicate that the impact on returns from the pandemic have been notably milder than that of the financial crisis of 2007-2008. Plus, pensions have experienced little liquidity stress.


SEC SUSPENDS 15 STOCKS, CITING SOCIAL MEDIA HYPE

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-03-01)

The SEC halted trading in the affected securities (see here for the full list), citing “questions about recent increased activity and volatility in the trading of these issuers, as well as the influence of certain social media accounts on that trading activity.”


SEC SUSPENDS TRADING IN MULTIPLE ISSUERS BASED ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND TRADING ACTIVITY

SEC - Press Release (2021-03-01)

Today's order states that trading is being suspended because of questions about recent increased activity and volatility in the trading of these issuers, as well as the influence of certain social media accounts on that trading activity. The order also states that none of the issuers has filed any information with the SEC or OTC Markets, where the companies' securities are quoted, for over a year. As a result, the SEC suspended trading in the securities of: Bebida Beverage Co. (BBDA); Blue Sphere Corporation (BLSP); Ehouse Global Inc. (EHOS); Eventure Interactive Inc. (EVTI); Eyes on the Go Inc. (AXCG); Green Energy Enterprises Inc. (GYOG); Helix Wind Corp. (HLXW); International Power Group Ltd. (IPWG); Marani Brands Inc. (MRIB); MediaTechnics Corp. (MEDT); Net Talk.com Inc. (NTLK); Patten Energy Solutions Group Inc. (PTTN); PTA Holdings Inc. (PTAH); Universal Apparel & Textile Company (DKGR); and Wisdom Homes of America Inc. (WOFA).


MIDDLE-CLASS INVESTORS CATCHING WALL STREET’S EYE

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-03-01)

Recently, several of the large U.S. banks have made strategic efforts to expand their wealth management businesses in a bid to diversify their revenues and business models, “as margins across various segments erode and volume/scale becomes increasingly important,” the rating agency said.


CREDIT UNION BOARDS SLOW TO DIVERSIFY DESPITE MOUNTING PRESSURE

American Banker - Ken McCarthy (2021-02-26)

Nearly 50% of credit unions say they are spending "significantly more time” discussing board diversity than they did a year ago, according to a forthcoming report on COVID-19 and diversity. Sixty-two percent of respondents said they are more comfortable with those conversations now than they were one year ago.


BIG SIX BANKS BEAT OWN PREDICTIONS, CLIMBING ABOVE PREPANDEMIC LEVELS

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-02-26)

Canada’s largest banks didn’t just beat Bay Street’s expectations by wide margins in the first quarter – they beat their own predictions too.

Profits at the Big Six banks totalled $13.9-billion in the three months ending Jan. 31, rising above prepandemic levels. Massive government stimulus programs, roaring financial markets and clients leaning on banks to help them through the crisis have created an unusually opportune climate for banking, in spite of the damage the novel coronavirus has done to the global economy and public health.

On Thursday, CIBC and TD 

TD-T -1.68% decrease   wrapped up the fiscal first-quarter earnings season with results that far surpassed analysts’ estimates, as profits increased 13 per cent and 10 per cent respectively year over year. That mirrored similarly robust performance reported by other major banks this week, fuelled in each case by very low loan losses, sky-high trading revenues, good returns from wealth management and steadying retail banking trends.


CUPE ONTARIO CALLS FOR REVIEW OF OMERS’ INVESTMENT PROCESSES AFTER PENSION MANAGER POSTS A 2.7-PER-CENT LOSS IN 2020

G&M - Andrew Willis (2021-02-26)

Pension plan OMERS turned in a 2.7-per-cent loss on its investments in 2020 as the pandemic weighed down returns from its holdings in shopping malls, a theatre chain and other consumer-facing businesses.


CMHC REPORT RAISES CONCERNS AS CANADIANS PILE ON MORTGAGE DEBT

G&M - Rachelle Younglai (2021-02-26)

Canada’s housing agency raised concerns about rapidly rising mortgage debt, as the work-from-home trend increases competition for larger properties and drives up house prices in suburbs and beyond.


RBC ADDS TWO “SEVERE” RISK SCENARIOS, INCLUDING CANADIAN REAL ESTATE

Better Dwelling - Stephen Punwasi (2021-02-26)

The worst case scenario for the next year remains the same, but the following years improve slightly. In the worst case, prices would fall 29.6% in this scenario over the next 12 months. Compound annual growth of 4.5% over the 2 to 5 years that follow. The 12-month downside remains the same, while the following 2 to 5 years are now higher.


SMALL BUSINESSES RACK UP $135 BILLION IN DEBT TO SURVIVE PANDEMIC: CFIB

Investment Executive - CP (2021-02-26)

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) said the average small business owner has accrued $170,000 in debt, with businesses in the hospitality, recreation and service sectors most indebted.


HOME SALES ARE MOVING MORE UPSCALE IN CERTAIN MARKETS: CMHC

Investment Executive - Tara Deschamps (2021-02-26)

The federal housing agency attributed the shift to fewer new immigrants as well as government relief programs that helped Canadians manage costs and pandemic-related employment troubles, which disproportionately kept younger and lower-paid Canadians out of the market.


CPPIB CHIEF EXECUTIVE MARK MACHIN STEPS DOWN IN THE WAKE OF COVID-19 VACCINATION CONTROVERSY

G&M - TIM KILADZE AND BILL CURRY (2021-02-26)

Mark Machin, the chief executive officer of Canada Pension Plan’s investment branch, has stepped down after he received a COVID-19 vaccine while in the United Arab Emirates.


BITCOIN SET FOR WORST WEEK SINCE MARCH AS RISKIER ASSETS SOLD OFF

G&M - RITVIK CARVALHO AND TOM WILSON (2021-02-26)

“When flight to safety mode is on, it is the riskier investments that get pulled first,” Denis Vinokourov of London-based cryptocurrency exchange BeQuant wrote in a note.

 


TD BECOMES FIRST MAJOR BANK TO HIKE FIXED FIVE-YEAR MORTGAGE RATES AMID SURGE IN BOND YIELDS

G&M - Robert Mclister (2021-02-26)

Canada’s 5-year government yield, which leads fixed mortgage rates, surged past 1 per cent on Friday morning, its highest since before the Bank of Canada cut rates last March. A close at these levels would mean it’s more than doubled. That’s a 50-basis point move in nine trading days, the likes of which we haven’t seen since 2009. (In early afternoon trading on Friday, the yield slipped back down to 0.91 per cent)


RBC, NATIONAL BANK REPORT HIGHER FIRST-QUARTER PROFIT ON SURGING TRADING FEES, LOWER LOAN-LOSS PROVISIONS

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-02-25)

Each lender also benefited from declining provisions for credit losses – the funds banks set aside to cover loans that could default. At RBC, new provisions fell 74 per cent, to $110-million year over year, and the proportion of impaired loans on the bank’s books fell to its lowest level since 2005. Losses from lending have been surprisingly small, driven down by federal relief programs and deferred loan payments.


RBC ADDS $500-BILLION TO FUNDS EARMARKED FOR NET-ZERO CARBON GOAL

G&M - Jeffrey Jones (2021-02-25)

Canada’s largest financial institution said it expects to meet the environmental funding target by 2025 after it hit its initial goal of $100-billion last year. The money will be deployed in debt and equity capital markets, lending and financial advisory services.


TRADING FRENZY EXPECTED TO CONTINUE DRIVING BANK PROFITS, EXECUTIVES SAY

G&M - VANMALA SUBRAMANIAM, James Bradshaw (2021-02-25)

The blowout performances of the capital markets divisions of some of Canada’s largest banks could continue for the rest of the year, as long as stimulus measures and market volatility persist, bank executives are forecasting.

“You have, right now, monetary and fiscal policies, and the revolution in technology … that combination is driving a very high level of activity in IPOs, in financing, in mergers and acquisitions,” said Louis Vachon, chief executive of National Bank of Canada 

NA-T +4.84%increase   , in an interview with The Globe and Mail.


CMHC SAYS MAJORITY OF MORTGAGE DEFERRALS HAVE ENDED, RISK OF ARREARS COULD RE-EMERGE

G&M - CP (2021-02-25)

Most homeowners who sought deferrals for mortgages last year have seen their deferral periods end, but the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the risk of these borrowers falling into arrears could re-emerge.


CIBC PROFIT BEATS ESTIMATES ON CAPITAL MARKET STRENGTH

G&M - Reuters (2021-02-25)

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit on Thursday, as it put aside lower-than-expected funds for loan loss provisions and its capital markets segment performed well.


VERSABANK TO LAUNCH VCAD, WORLD’S FIRST BANK-ISSUED, DEPOSIT-BASED DIGITAL CURRENCY

VersaBank - Press Release (2021-02-25)

VersaBank has entered into a strategic partnership with Stablecorp, a joint venture between Canada’s leading crypto asset manager, 3iQ, and Mavennet, a Canadian leader in blockchain development, to commercially launch VCAD. VCAD is based on VersaBank’s proprietary banking software and the digital currency issuance processes for VCAD will be securely managed via VersaVault®, VersaBank subsidiary, DRT Cyber Inc.’s (“DRT Cyber”), world leading digital bank vault designed to secure digital assets. The Bank is targeting public availability of VCAD in the coming months.


VERSABANK REPORTS CONTINUING STRONG FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR FIRST QUARTER 2021

VersaBank - Versabank (2021-02-25)

“Amidst the most rapid loan growth in our history and the continuing decrease in our cost of funds, VersaBank delivered an outstanding quarter, punctuated by record revenue as our loan portfolio reached a new high watermark and we recognized our first contribution from DRT Cyber’s acquisition of Digital Boundary Group part way through the quarter,” said David Taylor, President and CEO, VersaBank. “Despite net interest income continuing to be dampened by the Bank’s still higher than typical cash balances resulting from our cautionary stance amidst the uncertainty at the beginning of the pandemic our net income results this quarter were the third-highest in our history. Importantly, provisions for credit losses remained very low, as our low-risk, business-to-business model continued to insulate the Bank from the impacts of the economic challenges resulting from the pandemic.”


BANK OF CANADA WARNS BUYERS OF 'EARLY SIGNS' OF OVERHEATING IN HOUSING MARKET SOCIAL SHARING

CBC - Don Pittis (2021-02-25)

"In that low-for-long world, there are risks that housing could get carried away, so that is something we will be looking at very carefully," Macklem said in response to a question from a member of the remote audience.


BANK CEOS SEE LOW RATES, HIGH SAVINGS DRIVING STEADY DEMAND IN HOUSING MARKETS

FP - Geoff Zochodne (2021-02-25)

The base-case economic outlook the bank uses for calculating expected credit costs foresees Canadian housing prices rising 4.9 per cent over the next 12 months.


NATIONAL BANK CEO SEES ‘FULL PIPELINE OF DEALS’ BUOYING REVENUE

Bloomberg - Kevin Orland (2021-02-25)

National Bank of Canada jumped the most in almost nine months after posting fiscal first-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates, fueled by strong results from its capital markets business.


PUERTO RICO BONDS JUMP ON RESTRUCTURING SETTLEMENT

WSJ - Matt Wirz (2021-02-25)

A settlement between creditors in Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy case lifted prices of the commonwealth’s municipal bonds and shares of insurance companies that guaranteed payments on the bonds. 


NEW ZEALAND’S CENTRAL BANK IS ADDING HOUSING AFFORDABILITY TO ITS MANDATE

Better Dwelling (2021-02-25)

New Zealand’s central bank will consider the impact of monetary policy on housing. Not just to preserve home prices either, but to consider affordability. The New Zealand Government‘s latest remit goes live on March 1. After which, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) needs to explain regularly how it seeks to assist with affordability. […]


BOC GOVERNOR SAYS CANADA WILL LEAN ON REAL ESTATE BECAUSE “WE NEED THE GROWTH”

Better Dwelling (2021-02-25)

Canada’s central bank isn’t really that worried about real estate, it appears. Bank of Canada (BoC) governor Tiff Macklem held a Q&A after a speech for the Edmonton and Calgary Chambers of Commerce yesterday. During the Q&A, the governor dismissed concerns about an overheated housing market. In fact, he welcomed its contribution to the economy […


CANADA COMPLETED 18 HOMES PER PERSON ADDED TO THE POPULATION LAST QUARTER

Better Dwelling (2021-02-25)

Canada’s population growth may have slowed, but new home completions are still moving at a breakneck speed. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) data shows developers delivered over 50,000 new homes in Q4 2020. The number of new homes began outpacing population growth in the prior quarter. The ratio went parabolic in the latest numbers […]


OMERS POSTS 2.7% LOSS ON INVESTMENTS IN 2020, FIRST NEGATIVE RETURNS SINCE 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS

G&M - Andrew Willis (2021-02-25)

Pension plan OMERS turned in a 2.7-per-cent loss on its investments in 2020 as the pandemic weighed down returns from holdings in shopping malls, a theatre chain and other consumer-facing businesses.


TD PROFIT CLIMBS 10% AS LOWER PROVISIONS FOR BAD LOANS OFFSET PRESSURE ON RETAIL BANKING REVENUE

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-02-25)

Provisions for credit losses – the funds banks earmark to cover loans that may go bad – fell 66 per cent to $313-million in the quarter. Although the bank added more provisions for loans that are past due, it also recovered $153-million from previous reserves that had been set aside to cover potential defaults on loans that are still current in its U.S. consumer lending portfolio.


CIBC PROFIT TOPS FORECASTS ON CAPITAL MARKETS GAINS, STRONG U.S. SHOWING

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-02-25)

As with four other major banks that reported earnings earlier this week, CIBC’s results also received a significant boost from a sharp drop in provisions for credit losses, which are the funds banks set aside to cover loans that may default. CIBC’s provisions fell 44 per cent year over year, to $147-million.


CAISSE POSTS 7.7% RETURN FOR 2020 AS PRIVATE CREDIT INVESTMENTS, EQUITIES RALLY OFFSET REAL ESTATE WEAKNESS

G&M - Nicolas Van Praet (2021-02-25)

Canadian pension fund giant Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec tallied a 7.7 per cent return for 2020, as gains in private credit investments and a stock market rally helped overcome ongoing trouble in its real estate holdings.


WHY IS MACKLEM INDIFFERENT TO STATSCAN’S INFLATION SHIFT?

G&M - DAVID PARKINSON (2021-02-25)

Statistics Canada took a pratfall this week on some key inflation calculations, and it couldn’t have come at a much more inopportune time. So why doesn’t Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem – whose central responsibility is all about inflation – sound more bothered?


US TREASURY YIELD HITS 1-YEAR HIGH AS GLOBAL BOND SELL-OFF CONTINUES

FT - Eric Platt, Aziza Kasumov and Colby Smith (2021-02-25)

High prices and vanishingly slim yields on Treasuries have provided a key support for equities since the shock of the coronavirus outbreak last year. But, stung by expectations for rising inflation, yields have swept higher, with the 10-year benchmark yield briefly touching 1.3 per cent this week, from a little above 0.9 per cent at the start of the year. Already, February is shaping up to provide one of the biggest monthly increases in yields since 2018.


COURT BATTLE ERUPTS OVER WALL STREET LENDING SECRETS

FT - Mark Vandevelde and Sujeet Indap in New York and Arash Massoudi (2021-02-25)

A three-way merger that would create one of the biggest listed investment groups in the US has opened up a rift on Wall Street over some of the most closely guarded secrets of the booming private capital industry.


BOE GOVERNOR WARNS EU OVER DERIVATIVES CLEARING POWER GRAB

FT - Philip Stafford and Delphine Strauss in London and Sam Fleming (2021-02-25)

Its stance has increasingly drawn criticism from the UK’s central bank governor, who on Wednesday focused on the tussle over clearing houses, which sit between deals and prevent defaults from creating a chain reaction across markets.


GAMESTOP’S REDDIT-DRIVEN ROLLER-COASTER RAGES ON AS RETAIL TRADERS PILE BACK IN

FP - Bailey Lipschultz and Paul Jarvis (2021-02-25)

GameStop Corp. extended its sudden resurgence Thursday as retail traders piled back into the stock after cues from cryptic Twitter messages and a short-seller report.


CIBC, TD REPORT Q1 EARNINGS BEAT, MAKING FOR BIG SIX BANK CLEAN SWEEP

FP - Geoff Zochodne (2021-02-25)

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Toronto-Dominion Bank capped off another round of results from the country’s Big Six lenders on Thursday by topping first-quarter earnings expectations, with the beats driven by lower credit costs helped by an improving economic outlook.


SURGING BOND YIELDS HAVE THROWN STOCK MARKETS INTO A TAILSPIN TODAY

FP - Herbert Lash and Marc Jones (2021-02-25)

A jump in benchmark U.S. Treasury yields on Thursday led a gauge of global equity markets to retreat as investors sold the high-flying tech stocks that fuelled Wall Street’s rally to record highs and took precautions against the threat of inflation.


ARES INTENDS TO BUY 60% OF AMP'S ASSET MANAGEMENT ARM'S PRIVATE MARKETS BUSINESS

Reuters - Staff (2021-02-25)

Under the proposed deal, the troubled Australian wealth manager will retain 40% of the private markets business that deals in infrastructure and real estate investments. The whole joint venture is valued at A$2.25 billion.


TD TO CLOSE 82 U.S. BANK BRANCHES AS COVID DRIVES DIGITAL GROWTH

Bloomberg - Kevin Orland (2021-02-25)

Greg Braca, chief executive officer of Toronto-Dominion’s TD Bank U.S. unit, announced the number of closures during the company’s earnings conference call Thursday. Toronto-Dominion said in a filing earlier in the day that earnings at the U.S. retail bank fell 16% to $615 million, including a 6% increase in expenses that was primarily the result of branch closures.


MARK CARNEY’S NET-ZERO CLAIM CONFOUNDS CLIMATE EXPERTS

Bloomberg - Jess Shankleman and Akshat Rathi (2021-02-25)

The dispute hinges on accounting for “avoided emissions,” in which a company takes credit for refraining from high-polluting actions. An investment in wind turbines might be claimed as avoiding an investment in the same amount of energy produced by coal.
Still, Brookfield remains active in fossil fuels. Unearthed, Greenpeace’s investigative platform, identified several fossil-fuel projects where Brookfield is a major shareholder. The asset manager recently made moves to buy billions of dollars of gas and oil infrastructure in Canada, India and the Middle East. An investment in an Australian coal terminal operator and pursuit of a stake in Saudi Aramco’s pipelines have drawn criticism.
Mark Carney
, a leading figure behind this year’s global climate talks, has sparked concern among green advocates with recent remarks claiming the half-trillion-dollar asset manager where he works zeroed out pollution across its portfolio. His comments call into question what it takes to attain net-zero status.


BIG U.S. BANKS’ VOWS TO HALT JOB CUTS ARE OVER AS VIRUS ENDURES

Bloomberg - Lananh Nguyen (2021-02-25)

The news on Thursday that Bank of America Corp. is cutting some staff in its global banking and markets division marks the end of those assurances, while the international campaign to bring the virus under control continues.


BANK OF CANADA GOVERNOR INDICATES READINESS TO LET ECONOMY RUN HOT TO INCLUDE MORE PEOPLE IN RECOVERY

FP - Kevin Carmichael (2021-02-24)

Macklem, who took over as Bank of Canada governor in June, is making inequality the focus of policy, as Powell in the United States and Christine Lagarde at the European Central Bank have also done. On Feb. 23, Macklem made it clear that he intends to let the economy run hotter for longer than most mainstream economists would have thought safe only a few years ago, reinforcing both the likelihood that interest rates will remain extremely low for at least another couple of years and that more people will potentially get to participate in the recovery.


INFRASTRUCTURE BANK INVESTMENT STRATEGY

CIB-BIC - CIB-BIC (2021-02-24)

2021 statement of priorities and accountabilities.


HSBC, BARCLAYS CHALLENGED OVER BOND LINKED TO VIETNAMESE COAL PROJECT

Reuters - Simon Jessop, Melanie Burton, Aaron Sheldrick 4 MIN READ (2021-02-24)

While both have policies to refrain from financing new coal plants, the complaint focuses on their alleged role in helping to fund others who go on to finance such projects.


WELLS FARGO SELLS ASSET MANAGEMENT ARM TO PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS FOR $2.1 BILLION

Reuters - David French, Noor Zainab Hussain (2021-02-24)

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo will own a 9.9% stake in the asset management unit and will continue as a client and distribution partner, the bank said. The $2.1 billion sale price includes the value of Wells Fargo’s stake in the new company, GTCR Managing Director Collin Roche said in an interview.


A BANKING BREED IS HEADING FOR EXTINCTION

Bloomberg - Elisa Martinuzzi (2021-02-24)

Despite a multitude of existential threats, traditional deposit-taking banks with brick-and-mortar branches look set to survive a while longer. But there’s one particular breed of this type of lender that’s headed for extinction: the global retail bank. While some consumers will still fancy popping into their local bank, why would anyone need an international corporation to provide this service?

Since the financial crisis, pressure from regulatory demands and the squeeze on margins from declining interest rates has forced lenders to concentrate on what they excel at — be it commercial, retail or investment banking. For those big lenders still clinging on to their overseas consumer businesses, the pandemic has made retreat inevitable.   HSBC Holdings Plc is going to “stop trying to be everything to everyone,” Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn said on Tuesday, a familiar refrain in the industry. The U.K.-Hong Kong bank will explore strategic options for its U.S. retail network and is in talks to sell its French consumer unit, redirecting capital to higher-return businesses in wealth management and Asia. It’s not alone in reversing a decades-old retail strategy. Citigroup Inc. is reportedly considering cutting back its sprawling Asia-Pacific consumer operations. Last year Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA sold most of its U.S. lending business.


BANK OF CANADA MONITORING HOT HOUSING MARKET AMID EARLY WARNING SIGNS: MACKLEM

Investment Executive - CP (2021-02-24)

“We are starting to see some early signs of excess exuberance, but we’re a long way from where we were in 2016-2017 when things were really hot.”


CANADIAN FUND SALES TOTALLED $15.9B IN JANUARY

Investment Executive - IE (2021-02-24)

Mutual funds generated $11.9 billion in net sales, led by balanced funds ($5.2 billion), equities funds ($4.5 billion) and bond funds ($3.2 billion). Money market funds experienced an outflow of $1.5 billion.


RRSP CONTRIBUTIONS REMAIN STEADY DESPITE COVID-19, ADVISORS SAY

Investment Executive - Derek Clouthier (2021-02-24)

Despite Covid-19’s impact, many clients who were fortunate enough to maintain regular employment have been making the same RRSP contributions as they have in the past, and some are even putting more into the retirement fund.


INSURERS LOADED UP ON DEBT IN 2020: DBRS

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-02-24)

Already in 2021, insurers have issued another $2.3 billion in long-term debt, DBRS reported, adding that it “expects further traction in the insurance debt market in 2021,” given the low-rate environment.


CANADIAN BANKS, BELLWETHERS OF PANDEMIC RECOVERY, TO REVEAL KEY STATISTICS THIS WEEK

Investment Executive - Anita Blalkrishnan (2021-02-24)

Aiken expects the banks to post “solid” quarterly financial results, despite the ongoing Covid-19 related lockdowns. A potentially “buoyant” auto loans business could be something that could help banks that are active in personal loans, says Robert Colangelo, senior vice-president of the global financial institutions group at DBRS Morningstar.


HACKATHON TARGETS GLOBAL PAYMENTS SYSTEM

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-02-24)

The competition will be judged by a panel that includes experts from Payments Canada, the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of England, the U.S. Federal Reserve, SWIFT and other organizations.


REMOVING MORTGAGE INTEREST FROM CANADA’S CPI MAKES INFLATION 30% HIGHER

Better Dwelling (2021-02-24)

Canada’s CPI isn’t rising very quickly – at least when looked at as an aggregate. The measure made a monthly increase of 0.58% when unadjusted. Compared to the same month last year, the measure pegs inflation at just 1.02% higher. This is about half of the inflation the Bank of Canada (BoC) prefers to see. There’s a few reasons for this, but one is the influence of mortgage interest. Yes, mortgage interest. 


CANADIAN REAL ESTATE FEBRUARY 24

fsim.ca - Mark Sibthorpe (2021-02-24)

Recap of recent real estate news in Canada. Tiff Macklem and market exuberance, cottage country price appreciation and the rise of lumber prices.


BANK OF MONTREAL, SCOTIABANK BOTH BEAT EXPECTATIONS, ARE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021

CBC - CP (2021-02-24)

The profit came as BMO's provisions for credit losses for the quarter amounted to $156 million, down from $349 million a year ago and $432 million in the fourth quarter of its 2020 financial year.


HOW RICH IS SAUDI ARABIA? KINGDOM DOES THE MATH IN BALANCE SHEET OVERHAUL

G&M - Davide Barbuscia (2021-02-23)

The PIF’s finances are formidable.


BITCOIN TUMBLES 17% AS DOUBTS GROW OVER VALUATIONS

Reuters - Tom Wilson, Tom Westbrook (2021-02-23)

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency suffered its biggest daily drop in a month, falling as low $45,000. Bitcoin was last down 11.3% at 0939 GMT.


FIVE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN HSBC STRATEGY UPDATE

Reuters - Alun John (2021-02-23)

As part of its latest strategy, the bank said in February last year it would shrink its investment banking operations and revamp its businesses in the United States and Europe resulting in 35,000 jobs being cut.


SCOTIABANK BEATS ANALYSTS’ FORECASTS AS PROFIT EDGES PAST PREPANDEMIC LEVELS

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-02-23)

For the three months that ended Jan. 31, the bank earned $2.4-billion, or $1.86 per share, compared with $2.33-billion, or $1.84 per share, in the same quarter last year.


FED’S JEROME POWELL SET TABLE FOR BIDEN ECONOMY, BUT WILL HE STAY FOR DESSERT?

G&M - Howard Schneider (2021-02-23)

Over the past year Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has engineered the largest economic rescue in U.S. history, thrown a controversial lifeline to companies hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and steered a sweeping labour-friendly revamp of monetary policy that any presidential administration would welcome.


SHOPIFY TAPS FRENZIED MARKET FOR THIRD TIME IN A YEAR, RAISING US$1.55-BILLION IN STOCK OFFERING

G&M - Sean Silcoff (2021-02-23)

Shopify Inc. is set to sell US$1.55-billion-plus worth of stock, taking advantage of its soaring stock price and strong fourth-quarter earnings report last week to raise a 10-figure sum from investors for the third time in less than a year.


BMO PROFIT JUMPS 27% ON GAINS IN U.S. BANKING, CAPITAL MARKETS UNITS; TOPS PREPANDEMIC LEVELS

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-02-23)

Bank of Montreal’s

BMO-T +2.86%increase    fiscal first quarter profit jumped 27 per cent higher, surpassing prepandemic levels with strong results from U.S. retail banking and its capital markets arm.


HSBC CURBS PROFIT AND PAYOUT AMBITIONS, BETS ON ASIA WEALTH

G&M - ALUN JOHN AND LAWRENCE WHITE (2021-02-23)

HSBC Holdings PLC lowered its long-term profitability target on Tuesday and unveiled a revised strategy focused mainly on wealth management in Asia after the COVID-19 shock saw its annual profit drop sharply.


EQUITABLE REPORTS RECORD FULL-YEAR AND Q4 2020 EARNINGS

Equitable - Press Release (2021-02-23)

Q4 Prime loan originations were ahead of last year by 87% and up 63% from Q3 as the Bank continued to build its franchise in the insured market, while alternative lending originations were 69% higher than Q3 and 2% above last year as the Bank's lending appetite increased late in the year reflecting resilient markets.


LLOYDS TAPS INTO MASTERCARD'S OPEN BANKING CONNECT SYSTEM

Finextra - Finextra (2021-02-23)

Lloyds Banking Group is tapping Mastercard's Open Banking software to enable customers to pay off their credit card bills via their mobile app and draw on funds directly from a current account of their choice.


OFF THE CHARTS: HOW CANADA’S REAL-ESTATE MARKET DEFIED EXPECTATIONS IN THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

G&M - Rachelle Younglai (2021-02-22)

After a lull in March and April, sales activity and prices set new records month after month. With interest rates at historic lows, homeowners sick of their living arrangements upscaled to roomier digs in the cities, the suburbs and rural areas. The cost of detached homes rose fastest of all in most markets, with momentum accelerating into this year, with new records for sales and prices yet again.


CARNEY JOINS BOARD OF DIGITAL PAYMENTS COMPANY STRIPE

G&M - KANISHKA SINGH (2021-02-22)

Mark Carney, former head of the Canadian and U.K. central banks, has joined the board of U.S. digital payments company Stripe Inc., days after the company was reported to be planning a primary funding round valuing it at over US$100-billion.


U.S. IS STEPS AHEAD OF CANADA IN FIGHTING FINANCIAL CRIME

G&M - Rita Trichur (2021-02-22)

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, an arm of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, recently issued new guidance that makes it easier for banks to share customer information with each other to identify suspicious activity linked to money laundering or terrorist financing.


CITIGROUP CONSIDERING DIVESTITURE OF SOME FOREIGN CONSUMER UNITS - BLOOMBERG LAW

Reuters - Staff (2021-02-22)

The move, part of Fraser’s attempt to simplify the bank, can see units in South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia being divested, the Bloomberg report said.


EVERYTHING’S A BUBBLE, AND CANADIAN REAL ESTATE WAS ONE OF THE WORST RETURNS

Better Dwelling - Stephen Punwasi (2021-02-22)

Investing in US equity markets greatly outperformed Canadian equity markets. The cash put into the NASDAQ 100 (QQQ) would have generated a 44.6% (+$89,200) return over the past year. The same cash in the TSX 60 (XIU.TO) would have returned around 2.97% (+$5,940) over the same period. The NASDAQ is largely tech focused, whereas the TSX is largely into financials and mining. Where did you think your mortgage interest went? Not exactly a mystery why Canadians have been sinking record cash into US equities.


HOME-BUYING BINGE BOOSTS MORTGAGE DEBT: STATSCAN

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-02-22)

“Unlike with mortgage borrowing, households ended 2020 with nearly $12 billion less in non-mortgage debt than at the beginning the year,” StatsCan said, noting that December was the eighth-straight month that registered a year-over-year decline in non-mortgage borrowing.


VANCOUVER REAL ESTATE: MARKET CRACKLES WITH BUYERS PAYING MORE THAN $500,000 OVER LISTED PRICE OF DETACHED HOMES

Georgia Straight - Carlito Pablo (2021-02-22)

On February 9, a buyer picked up the two-storey home with a basement for $2,950,000. The selling price was $551,000 over the listed price.


YOUNG MEN LOSING MONEY: WEALTHSIMPLE STUDY PROFILES GAMESTOP INVESTORS IN TRADING FRENZY

G&M - David Berman (2021-02-22)

About 14 per cent of Wealthsimple’s clients traded GameStop shares during the month-long period, with the average investing experience of 1.5 years. Though the figure is based on self-reporting, it challenges the assumption that these traders were brand new to the game.

 


CANADA’S GARDAWORLD ENDS FIGHT FOR RIVAL G4S, WILL SEEK ‘LESS RISKY’ ALTERNATIVES

G&M - Nicolas Van Praet (2021-02-22)

“There can be no better owner for G4S than GardaWorld but we are disciplined buyers and we will not overpay for a company with systemic ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues that continue to come to light,” Garda founder and chief executive Stephan Crétier said in the statement. At a transaction price above its current bid, Garda has “better and less risky” opportunities available elsewhere, he said.


CANADIAN DOLLAR PULLS BACK FROM THREE-YEAR HIGH AS STOCKS FALL

G&M - Reuters (2021-02-22)

The Canadian dollar edged lower against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as rising global bond yields weighed on risk appetite, with the loonie pulling back from its strongest level in nearly three years, hit earlier in the session.


BORROWELL RAISES $25-MILLION FUNDING ROUND, CLOSES REFRESH ACQUISITION

FP - Catherine McIntyre (2021-02-22)

For several years prior to buying the B.C.-based company, Borrowell — which offers free credit scores and financial literacy tools — had partnered with Refresh by directing its customers to use the startup’s credit-improvement services and taking a fee for referrals. “That model was effectively limiting Refresh’s growth because it takes capital to spend those marketing dollars, whether it’s with Borrowell or with someone else,” said Graham. “We found that there were more people that could use their product than they could afford to advertise to.” For Borrowell, the acquisition instantly doubles its revenue and headcount, which now sits at about 130 employees.


BOE'S VLIEGHE DOUBTS HE WILL EVER SEE RATES BACK AT 5%

Reuters - David Milliken (2021-02-22)

Asked by students at Durham University when interest rates might return to the level of 4% to 5% common before the financial crisis, Vlieghe replied: “Maybe not in my lifetime.”


CITI EXECUTIVE PULLS JAMES BOND STUNTS TO WOO CHINA’S RICH

Bloomberg - Bloomberg News (2021-02-22)

A man in a tuxedo sits at a mountaintop bar. His phone buzzes and he springs into action, stepping into ski boots and racing down the slopes. He is Buckley, Darren Buckley, head of consumer banking for Citigroup China, and also the star of the bank’s James Bond-inspired marketing campaign.


AIG PROFIT FALLS ON CATASTROPHES, TRAVEL INSURANCE

WSJ - Leslie Scism (2021-02-22)

Insurance conglomerate American International Group Inc.’s net income swung to a loss on mark-to-market adjustments in hedging programs primarily for certain products sold by its life-insurance unit.


THE MONEY BOOM IS ALREADY HERE

WSJ - John Greenwood (2021-02-22)

Speculative manias are in the air, as evidenced by the recent price surges for bitcoin, a digital asset with a fundamental value of zero, and GameStop , a declining retailer. Along with the other economic trends—a strong recovery, surging commodity prices and an uptick in inflation—those asset bubbles have a clear cause: the massive expansion of money and credit.


BIG BANKS WILL EMBRACE BLOCKCHAIN, NOT BITCOIN: DBRS

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-02-22)

“Much of this interest comes from a building case that with the low interest rate environment, many companies will find some value from holding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as part of their cash holdings,” a report from DBRS said.


INSURERS URGE UK TO REDUCE CAPITAL BUFFER IN BREAK FROM EU RULES

FT - Oliver Ralph, Ian Smith (2021-02-22)

Insurers have called on the UK government to water down Solvency II, the EU’s insurance capital regime, in what would be the first major departure for the financial sector from Brussels’ rule book since Brexit.


MARIO DRAGHI SWORN IN AS ITALY’S NEW PRIME MINISTER

FT - Miles Johnson (2021-02-22)

Draghi, one of Europe’s most highly regarded public officials, was unexpectedly called in by Mattarella earlier this month after the previous coalition collapsed in the middle of the latest pandemic wave.


M&T BANK TO BUY PEOPLE’S UNITED FINANCIAL IN $7.6BN DEAL

Bloomberg - Matthew Monks and Hannah Levitt (2021-02-22)

M&T Chief Executive Officer Rene Jones will lead the combined company, which will have about $200 billion in assets and a network of more than 1,100 branches spanning 12 states from Maine to Virginia, M&T said Monday in a statement.

  “The banking environment is very competitive, and we’re trying to figure out how we can get the necessary scale across things like technology, marketing, and at the same time really continue to make improvements,” Jones said in an interview after the acquisition was announced. “That takes a fair amount of investment.”


US MORTGAGE RATES JUMP ON HIGHER TREASURY YIELDS

FT - Robert Armstrong (2021-02-22)

“The market is looking out two or three years and thinking that rates are going to rise,” said Todd Johnson, a division manager in Wells Fargo’s mortgage unit.


CANADIAN HELOC BALANCES MADE THE BIGGEST DECEMBER DROP SINCE 1992

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-02-22)

Canadian HELOC debt fell in the latest number, making the biggest drop for the month in years. The outstanding balance reached $259.73 billion in December, down 0.14% ($369 million) from the month before. This represents a 1.58% ($4.04 billion) increase from the same month last year. Both of these numbers are unusually low for a December, even in a recession.


STATSCAN REVISES CORE INFLATION UPWARD, BACKTRACKS ON NEW METHODS

G&M - Mark Rendell (2021-02-22)

The sudden revision surprised economists, causing some to question whether Statscan had an accurate picture of inflation. The change was made amid growing concern about higher-than-expected inflation, which is driving bond yields up and sending jitters through the market.


News feed


Displayed data is for demo purposes. To login or subscribe for full access, click here.

END OF AN ERA AS POLOZ EXITS BANK OF CANADA

G&M - DAVID PARKINSON (2021-06-01)

Stephen Poloz had only been Governor of the Bank of Canada for a few months in the late summer of 2013, when he gave a speech that defined his unique communication style and signalled a new era for a traditionally staid institution.


CANADA CALLS MICHIGAN’S SHUTDOWN OF LINE 5 A THREAT TO COUNTRY’S ENERGY SECURITY

G&M - Steven Chase (2021-03-05)

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan is calling Michigan’s order to shut down the Enbridge 

ENB-T +0.29%increase   pipeline Line 5, a major petroleum conduit for Central Canada, a threat to this country’s energy security.


PANDEMIC TAKES A CUT OF BANK CEOS’ PAY INCREASES

G&M - James Bradshaw, David Milstead (2021-03-05)

The coronavirus pandemic took a bite out of meaningful pay increases owed to the chief executive officers of two major banks in 2020, as full-year profits fell short of targets set before the global health crisis began.

Royal Bank of Canada 

RY-T +0.11%increase   CEO Dave McKay’s total compensation fell 1.5 per cent to slightly less than $13.5-million last year. The bank’s board had raised his target pay by $750,000 in 2019, setting him up to receive a raise. But the difference was swallowed up as the bank’s profit fell amid the fallout from COVID-19.


WEALTHSIMPLE SELLING U.S. BOOK OF BUSINESS TO ROBO-ADVISER BETTERMENT

G&M - Clare O'Hara (2021-03-05)

Power Financial Corp.’s online investment manager Wealthsimple is selling its U.S book of business to New York-based robo-adviser Betterment Holdings Inc.


FSIM briefings and developments reports



Displayed data is for demo purposes. To login or subscribe for full access, click here.

Select Category Enter a Search Term Select Date  

THERE’S A COOL NEW WAY TO PAY FOR STUFF – AVOID IT

The latest in financial engineering has brought a new way to pay for things you can’t actually afford.

A growing number of retailers are offering customers the choice of paying by installments, even for small purchases. A typical payment plan for smaller purchases like cosmetics or clothes would be a series of four bi-weekly payments, with no interest charges or fees. If you pay on time, your payments might simply be the cost of your purchase divided by the number of installments you make.

These instalment plans are available to retailers through companies like Sezzle, Afterpay, Uplift, PayBright, Affirm, Klarna, Flexiti and QuadPay. You can read all about the rise of these digital payment options in this recent Report on Business story. Still fairly new, they’re finding a market.

If you use this service carefully, it’s probably the retailer who covers the cost. Retailers pay commissions to buy now, pay later services, which can be twice those paid on credit card transactions or more. The offset is that customers using buy now, pay later tend to spend more. And so we come to the problem with this cool new way to pay for stuff. It encourages people to buy things they can’t afford.

Why else would you buy now and pay later – to keep money around so you can earn interest in your chequing account? To trade stocks for what you hope will be a quick profit? There’s no good reason to delay paying for something when you have the money.

 

We already have a buy now, pay later option that works well when used responsibly. It’s called the credit card and you generally get a minimum interest-free period of 21 days on your new purchases, provided you pay in full by the due date on your statement. Credit card interest rates are punishingly high at around 13 per cent for low-rate cards and 20 per cent for regular cards. Are buy now, pay later services easier on people who don’t pay on time? It’s hard to tell because of their poor disclosure, but you should expect fees or interest rate charges of some sort.


CANADIANS NOW PUMP MORE INTO RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE THAN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Despite increased incentives, Canada is failing to attract more M&E investment. The segment only saw $181.73 billion in Q4 2020, when seasonally adjusted at the annual rate. This is 12.79% lower than the same quarter a year before. To contrast, residential investment hit $213.82 billion in the same quarter, up 22.45% from a year before. Investment isn’t slow. Housing is just attracting a much bigger share of capital.


CANADIAN REAL ESTATE MAY GET COOLING MEASURES AS EARLY AS THIS MONTH: SCOTIABANK

Canadian home sales are extremely strong. Not just for a recessionary environment, but in general – they’re better than they were in Canada’s best economy. Holt points to Toronto home sales reported earlier this week. Sales were up 15.9% for the previous month, when  seasonally adjusted (SA). This follows a 3.1% monthly increase in January, which followed a 21% monthly increase in December. He also notes these increases are accompanied by fast rising home prices.



Analytics


Displayed data is for demo purposes. To login or subscribe for full access, click here.

All amounts in millions of dollars
Choose criteria Choose chart type Choose Fi or Fis Choose time frame