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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.

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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.


TD EXPECTS $169-MILLION AFTER FIRST FULL QUARTER AS CHARLES SCHWAB’S LARGEST SHAREHOLDER

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-01-21)

Toronto-Dominion Bank 

TD-T -0.17%decrease   expects to reap about $169-million in profit from its first full quarter as the largest shareholder in U.S. brokerage giant Charles Schwab Corp.  SCHW-N -1.05%decrease   , a lower level of returns compared to past earnings as TD embarks on a new alliance with a powerhouse of low-cost stock trading.


PETER BETHLENFALVY, ONTARIO’S NEW FINANCE MINISTER, CAME INTO POLITICS TO SLASH DEFICITS. THEN, A PANDEMIC HAPPENED

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-01-21)

For an avowed fiscal hawk like Peter Bethlenfalvy, it’s hard being thrust onto centre stage in the midst of a global pandemic.


CFIB RAISES FORECAST OF HOW MANY SMALL BUSINESSES MAY VANISH

G&M - Josh O'Kane (2021-01-21)

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is warning that more than 239,000 businesses could vanish because of COVID-19 as the new wave of restrictions and lockdowns leave a growing number of entrepreneurs considering giving up.


CHINA EXERTS MORE PRESSURE ON ANT GROUP

G&M - Video (2021-01-21)

China's central bank disclosed on Sunday it had asked the country's payments giant Ant Group Co. Ltd. to shake up its lending and other consumer finance operations, the latest blow to its billionaire founder and controlling shareholder Jack Ma.


CANADIANS PILING ON MORTGAGE DEBT AS HOT HOUSING MARKET CONTINUES

FP - Geoff Zochodne (2021-01-21)

Statistics Canada said Tuesday that household mortgage debt increased 7.4 per cent in November compared to a year earlier, pushing the total up to nearly $1.66 trillion.


BITCOIN SLUMPS 10% AS PULLBACK FROM RECORD HIGH GATHERS PACE

Reuters - Julien Ponthus, Tom Wilson (2021-01-21)

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin was last down 7.5% at $32,779 after falling as low as $31,977. It has lost nearly a quarter since touching a record $42,000 on Jan. 8.


MORGAN STANLEY BOOSTS TARGETS AFTER BLOWOUT TRADING QUARTER

Reuters - Ambar Warrick, Matt Scuffham, Noor Zainab Hussain (2021-01-21)

The company also confirmed plans to buy back $10 billion of shares this year, more than three times the figures announced by its retail banking peers, as it wrapped up results for U.S. lenders, which pointed to a modest rebound in the economy.


NEW U.K. CARD-PURCHASE DATA SHOW 35% DROP IN CONSUMER SPENDING

Bloomberg - Lizzy Burden (2021-01-21)

U.K. card purchases were 35% below pre-pandemic levels in the second week of January, according to data made public for the first time by the Office for National Statistics.


BANK OF CANADA SEES REAL ESTATE SOFTENING “GRADUALLY”

Better Dwelling (2021-01-21)

The central bank believes the housing boom was the result of a sudden shift in preference. They point to accelerating single-family home price growth, while apartments slow. Analysts from the organization attribute the shift in preference to “low financing costs.” It must have been a total shock how those costs became so low.


JANUARY REAL ESTATE REPORT 2021

fsim.ca - Mark Sibthorpe (2021-01-21)

Montreal condos on REM sites were the exception to a record breaking


POLL FINDS GROWING SATISFACTION WITH FINANCIAL ADVICE

Investment Executive - Staff (2021-01-21)

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of all respondents said they’d contribute to RRSPs, a percentage consistent with last year’s findings, the release said.


CMHC SAYS W-SHAPED RECOVERY WOULD BE ‘VERY SEVERE’ WITHOUT GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE

G&M - Tara Deschamps (2021-01-21)

A W-shaped recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic could trigger a nearly 50 per cent drop in housing prices and a peak unemployment rate of 25 per cent, if the government doesn’t offer relief, says the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.


JANUARY REAL ESTATE REPORT 2021

fsim.ca - Mark Sibthorpe (2021-01-20)

Video overview of real estate issues since January 7th and aggregated news report.


BANK OF AMERICA HOPES FOR LOAN GROWTH BOUNCE AFTER MUTED QUARTER

G&M - NOOR ZAINAB HUSSAIN AND IMANI MOISE (2021-01-20)

Total loans and leases at the second-largest U.S. bank slid 6 per cent in 2020. Appetite for new loans waned during the pandemic as customers spent less and saved more and large companies relied on capital markets for funds rather than their bank.


GOLDMAN SACHS AND BANK OF AMERICA TOP PROFIT ESTIMATES

G&M - Video (2021-01-20)

Goldman Sachs’ quarterly profit crushed Wall Street’s estimates, while Bank of America’s bottom line fell but breezed past analysts’ targets.


BANK OF CANADA SET TO LOOK PAST ECONOMY'S LATEST SLUMP

FP - Shelly Hagan (2021-01-20)

Economists unanimously predict policy makers led by Governor Tiff Macklem will leave their key interest rate and asset purchase program unchanged at a 10 a.m. decision Wednesday in Ottawa. Macklem will then hold a press conference at 11 a.m.


WHY THE BANK OF CANADA COULD BE AMONG THE FIRST TO RAISE INTEREST RATES

FP - Kevin Carmichael (2021-01-20)

To be sure, these are future considerations. There won’t be any talk of higher interest rates when the Bank of Canada’s leaders conclude their latest round of policy deliberations on Jan. 20. The most pressing concerns for the central bank at this stage are whether a grim winter will cripple the recovery, and when to slow its multi-billion-dollar bond-purchase program, which could create asset-price bubbles if left in place too long.


WARRREN BUFFET SETS UP REAL ESTATE COMPANY IN TORONTO

Youtube - BNN Video (2021-01-20)

Buffet real estate moves to Toronto.


BANK OF ENGLAND ADAPTS BANK STRESS TEST FOR PANDEMIC ERA

Reuters - Huw Jones (2021-01-20)

The Bank of England said on Wednesday the aim of its banking stress test this year is to check if banks can continue helping the economy during the pandemic and if a return to more normal levels of dividends is possible.


JACK MA RESURFACES AFTER MONTHS OF SPECULATION

Reuters - Reuters Video (2021-01-20)

Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma met 100 rural teachers in China via a live video meeting on Wednesday morning, in the businessman's first appearance since October, triggering a sharp jump in the Hong Kong listed shares of the e-commerce giant. Flora Bradley-Watson reports.


INCOME GAP IN CANADA WIDENING AT ‘DRAMATIC’ PACE, CIBC SAYS

Bloomberg - Shelly Hagan (2021-01-20)

“This is a very different situation than any other recession,” CIBC economist Benjamin Tal said Tuesday by phone.


YELLEN MAKES CASE FOR SWEEPING STIMULUS PACKAGE IN FACE OF GOP SKEPTICISM

WSJ - Kate Davidson (2021-01-20)

Janet Yellen made the case for another sweeping economic aid package at her hearing to be the next U.S. Treasury secretary Tuesday, pushing back against Republican skepticism of the need for more deficit spending to bolster the recovery.


SIXTH STREET PARTNERS TO ACQUIRE LIFE INSURANCE BUSINESS TALCOTT RESOLUTION FOR $2 BILLION

WSJ - Leslie Scism (2021-01-20)

Financial firm Sixth Street Partners has agreed to buy annuities company Talcott Resolution for $2 billion, the latest ownership change in a decade of frenzied industrywide life-insurance deal activity.


ONTARIO’S MOST POPULAR REAL ESTATE MARKET IS NOW RURAL, WHILE PEOPLE FLEE TORONTO

Better Dwelling - Stephen Punwasi (2021-01-20)

First, let’s start with where everyone is fleeing from – Toronto. Intraprovincial migration has accelerated in size since 2015, doubling by last year. The latest numbers show a net loss of 50,375 people in 2020. This was 3,826 people higher than the year before, and the biggest number in at least 20 years of data. The only other region to see a net loss to intraprovincial migration is Windsor, and it was only 44 people. Toronto might shrug this off short-term, because it can replace locals fairly fast. However, the region is entirely dependent on immigration, and that pattern is not shifting to any other places in the country.


INSURERS STAND READY TO FINANCE LOW-CARBON TRANSITION

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-01-20)

“We recommend the government leverage our industry’s investment capacity in order to expand and accelerate long-term infrastructure projects, allowing Ontario to modernize its infrastructure and make the economy more productive and competitive,” the group said.


GOLDMAN CHIEF EXECUTIVE SAYS SPAC BOOM IS UNSUSTAINABLE

FT - Ortenca Aliaj, Eric Platt and Laura Noonan (2021-01-20)

David Solomon, Goldman Sachs chief executive, says the boom in listings of blank-cheque companies on Wall Street is unsustainable, casting doubt on a financing tool used to raise nearly $79bn from investors last year.


HEDGE FUND INDUSTRY ASSETS SURGE TO RECORD $3.6TN

FT - Ortenca Aliaj (2021-01-20)

The strong returns and inflows come as a source of relief for an industry that has struggled to justify its place in investor portfolios following years of lacklustre performance while charging high fees.  Over the past decade, hedge funds have been forced to compete with the emergence of much cheaper tracker funds and a growing interest in other so-called alternatives strategies such as private equity and private debt. In conversations with their investors, managers insisted that they were handicapped by the longest bull run in history and record-low interest rates but would outperform during a downturn. 


POWER CORP. UNIT PARTNERS WITH INSURERS, FINANCIAL FIRMS TO LAUNCH GREEN ENERGY FUND

G&M - Jeffrey Jones (2021-01-19)

Montreal’s Desmarais family and a group of financial institutions have launched a $1-billion investment fund to buy into solar and wind energy projects in the latest show of Canadian financial might for the renewable sector.


WHY THE BANK OF CANADA COULD BE AMONG THE FIRST TO RAISE INTEREST RATES

FP - Kevin Carmichael (2021-01-19)

Paris-based BNP Paribas SA’s currency portfolio is “overweight” loonies and Momtchil Pojarliev is advising the bank’s clients to do the same. He reckons the Canadian dollar is undervalued, since the petrocurrency’s price hasn’t fully adjusted to the likelihood of stronger oil prices as the global economy recovers from the pandemic.


PRIVATE-SECTOR MORTGAGE INSURERS SAY THEY'RE GAINING MARKET SHARE IN WAKE OF CMHC TIGHTENING RULES

FP - Geoff Zochodne (2021-01-19)

Regulatory data for Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Co., which is owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Canadian financier Stephen Smith, showed business was booming as of the end of the third quarter.


OUTLOOK DARKENS FOR WALL STREET AS BIDEN'S REGULATORS TAKE SHAPE

Reuters - Michelle Price (2021-01-19)

Gary Gensler will serve as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Federal Trade Commission member Rohit Chopra will head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Progressives see the agencies as critical to advancing policy priorities on climate change and social justice.


CITI’S NEW CEO MUST FIX OLD PROBLEMS FAST

Bloomberg - Elisa Martinuzzi (2021-01-19)

Years of deficiencies in Citigroup’s risk oversight and governance have attracted the attention of regulators (and a $400 million fine last year). Priority one must be strengthening controls and bolstering the confidence of supervisors. This behemoth is not as profitable as peers either. Unfortunately for Citigroup, contraction in some of its markets can only complicate its ambitions to close the gap.


NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION IN CANADA DROPS FROM ELEVATED LEVELS

Bloomberg - Chris Fournier and Erik Hertzberg (2021-01-19)

Home starts declined to 228,300 units last month on an annualized basis, down 12.6% from a revised 261,200 units in November, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Monday in Ottawa. The overall number missed the 230,000 median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.


LONDON METAL EXCHANGE MAY PERMANENTLY CLOSE ICONIC TRADING FLOOR

Bloomberg - Mark Burton (2021-01-19)

The iconic trading floor known as “the Ring” is one of the last of its kind in the world, where deals take place face-to-face, in a chaotic daily ritual of barked commands and arcane hand gestures. It’s been closed since the U.K.’s first Covid-19 lockdown in March, when the LME switched to an electronic system for establishing the world’s benchmark prices for industrial metals including copper, aluminum and zinc.


U.S. CORPORATE-BOND RALLY ROLLS INTO 2021

WSJ - Sebastian Pellejero (2021-01-19)

Hopes for an economic rebound and a slowdown in borrowing have powered U.S. corporate bonds to a strong start in 2021.


FOREIGN INVESTORS SNAP UP FEDERAL DEBT, BANK STOCKS

WSJ - James Langton (2021-01-19)

Foreign investors added $11.8 billion worth of Canadian securities during the month, “largely purchases of federal government debt,” the agency said Monday. Canadian investors acquired $7.6 billion of foreign securities, led by U.S. equities.


CITIGROUP BEATS PROFIT ESTIMATES, BUT SHARES SLIP ON HIGHER COSTS AND LOWER REVENUE

G&M - AMBAR WARRICK AND IMANI MOIES (2021-01-18)

Citigroup Inc 

C-N -6.93%decrease   reported fourth-quarter profit that beat market expectations on Friday, but that failed to impress Wall Street as higher costs and a fall in revenue across its consumer business weighed on the results.


U.S. BANKS SURPRISE WALL STREET WITH BIGGER-THAN-EXPECTED PROFITS

G&M - Video (2021-01-18)

JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup posted quarterly profits Friday that beat analysts expectations in what was expected to be a rather dreary quarter.


NEW DATA FROM CRA SHOWS CANADIANS HAVE NEARLY 300 BILLION REASONS TO LOVE THEIR TFSAS

FP - Jamie Golombek (2021-01-18)

The extent to which Canadians have embraced the TFSA in that time has been truly remarkable. Indeed, new statistics released by the Canada Revenue Agency last week show that as of Dec. 31, 2018, there were 20,779,510 TFSAs in Canada, held by 14,691,280 unique TFSA holders with a total fair market value of $298 billion. That means that the average TFSA holder had TFSAs with a fair market value of nearly $20,300 at the end of 2018.


FINANCE MINISTER WARNED ABOUT INDEBTED CANADIANS' INCREASING VULNERABILITY TO HIGHER RATES BEFORE THE PANDEMIC

FP - Geoff Zochodne (2021-01-18)

The concerns were laid out in a memorandum addressed to then-finance minister Bill Morneau from his deputy in early 2020. The document, which was recently obtained by the Post via access-to-information request, explored the drivers of rising numbers of consumer insolvencies.


FORMER HONG KONG LAWMAKER REJECTS HSBC'S EXPLANATION OVER FROZEN ACCOUNTS

Reuters - Staff (2021-01-18)

“Has HSBC followed professional procedures of screening, asking, finding and evaluating?” Hui asked on Facebook, regarding actions he expected of the bank before freezing the accounts.


WELLS FARGO RECORDS RARE PROFIT BEAT AS CREDIT COSTS FALL

Reuters - Noor Zainab Hussain, Imani Moise (2021-01-18)

The country’s fourth-largest bank, which has been plagued by hefty costs tied to litigation over the past several years, reported a drop in overall fourth-quarter expenses. But costs are still high due to a sales practices scandal that has haunted it since 2016.


BIG U.S. BANKS KEEP THEIR POWDER A BIT TOO DRY

Reuters - John Foley (2021-01-18)

Big U.S. banks are awash with capital, trading like it’s the end of days, and raising abundant capital for their clients. Employees’ pay has held up, and shareholders will soon be the happy recipients of sizeable stock buybacks. But there’s something missing: the lenders aren’t lending.


POLITICS CRASHES $20 BILLION CANADIAN SHOPPING TRIP TO PARIS

Bloomberg - Angelina Rascouet, Sandrine Rastello, William Horobin, and Ania Nussbaum (2021-01-18)

After being kept waiting for a brief audience with Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, Bouchard got the message: The proposed deal was dead on arrival, torpedoed by French political opposition.


LONDON FINANCE VACANCIES FELL 49% IN 2020 ON BREXIT, COVID ANGST

Bloomberg - Viren Vaghela (2021-01-18)

City firms advertised 16,335 new roles last year, a drop of 49% on the prior year and the lowest since at least 2015, according to data from recruitment firm Morgan McKinley published Monday.

“Brexit on its own would have been hard enough,” said Hakan Enver, managing director at Morgan McKinley’s U.K. business. “However, the City had to deal with the disruption of the global pandemic and the potential upheaval of the change of leadership in the U.S.”


CHUBB TAPS INVESTMENT BANKER AS NEXT FINANCE CHIEF

WSJ - Kkristin Broughton (2021-01-18)

Insurance company Chubb recruited an investment banker to succeed its longtime finance chief Philip Bancroft, who plans to retire. 


INSURERS FACE BIG PAYOUTS TO U.K. BUSINESSES OVER COVID DISRUPTIONS

WSJ - Julie Steinberg and Leslie Scism (2021-01-18)

The U.K. Supreme Court ruled that insurers must pay out disputed claims related to the coronavirus to a range of businesses, potentially setting a precedent for other jurisdictions. 


AMERICA’S BIG BANKS GIRDED FOR BAD LOANS. THEY’RE STILL WAITING.

WSJ - David Benoit, Ben Eisen (2021-01-18)

JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo all reported better-than-expected earnings Friday. Reserve releases and Wall Street powered the results. 


HOW BIDEN PLANS TO TACKLE THE $1.6 TRILLION STUDENT LOAN DEBT

WSJ - Video (2021-01-18)

More than 43 million Americans owe a collective $1.6 trillion in federal student loans. WSJ’s Josh Mitchell explains how President-elect Joe Biden plans to help borrowers tackle that debt. Photo illustration: Carlos Waters


WHAT CHINA’S NEW DIGITAL CURRENCY TELLS US ABOUT A CASHLESS FUTURE

WSJ - Video (2021-01-18)

China is testing a digital yuan, aiming to accelerate the replacement of cash and increase state control in a society where digital payments via Wechat Pay and Alipay are already the norm. Here’s what Beijing’s new system looks like—and how it would work. Photo credit: Florence Lo/Reuters


BANKS WELL-ARMED FOR UNCERTAIN ECONOMY: DBRS

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-01-18)

Total credit loss provisioning rose sharply to $23.7 billion in 2020, up from $8.9 billion recorded in the prior year. Yet most of this came on performing loans, it reported.


FIERA DIVES INTO MID-MARKET PRIVATE DEBT INFRASTRUCTURE

Investment Executive - IE (2021-01-18)

The asset manager aims to create a diversified portfolio of investments structured primarily as senior secured loans that offer “attractive coupons and strong lender protections.”


TORONTO APARTMENT VACANCY RATES SPIKE TO RECORD HIGH, MONTHLY RENT PLUNGES

G&M - Rachelle Younglai (2021-01-18)

Apartment vacancy rates in Toronto spiked to 5.7 per cent last year, a record high as demand weakened during the pandemic and sent rental prices tumbling.


CMHC REPORTS ANNUAL PACE OF HOUSING STARTS DOWN IN DECEMBER

G&M - CP (2021-01-18)

The annual pace of housing starts in December fell compared with November, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.


MARKET EYES BOC AHEAD OF POSSIBLE POLICY RATE MICROCUT

G&M - Mark Rendell (2021-01-18)

Few economists and market analysts expect the central bank to trim its overnight target rate on Wednesday. But they say the possibility can’t be ruled out as the bank tries to balance the near-term pain of lock-downs against better-than-expected vaccine news and robust fiscal stimulus.


INSURERS SEE HEFTY PAYOUT FROM SEVERE WEATHER IN 2020

G&M - Matthew McClearn (2021-01-18)

Canada’s insurance industry paid out $2.4-billion because of severe weather events last year, dominated by a flood and a hailstorm in Alberta, continuing a trend of mounting losses amid a warming climate.


VANCITY CREDIT UNION NAMES CHRISTINE BERGERON AS PRESIDENT, CEO

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-01-18)

Vancouver City Savings Credit Union has named Christine Bergeron as its president and chief executive officer, choosing an internal candidate who has already led the financial institution through much of the coronavirus crisis.


AN EPIC FAILURE OF ONLINE BROKERS COULD DRIVE AWAY THEIR MOST VALUED CLIENTS: WELL-OFF RETIREES

G&M - Rob Carrick (2021-01-18)

The pandemic-driven investing boom may cost the online brokerage industry some of its best customers.


UK AND US DIGITAL CHALLENGERS SEE STRONG GROWTH IN 2020

Finextra - Finextra (2021-01-15)

Chime, which leads the challenger pack, saw its customer base rise from eight million to 10 million over the year. Acorn saw a rise from 6.2 million to eight million, while Dave grew its base from five million to seven million.


EQUITABLE BANK PARTNERS WITH COAST CAPITAL TO OFFER MEMBERS REVERSE MORTGAGE PRODUCT

Equitable Bank - Press Release (2021-01-15)

Through this referral program, Equitable's reverse mortgage offering will be available to eligible Coast Capital members, allowing them to access up to 55% of their home's value to aid in reaching their financial goals and build their better future.


RBC EXECS CALL FALLING REAL ESTATE PRICES, WHILE THEIR ECONOMIST SAYS THEY’LL RISE

Better Dwelling (2021-01-15)

Robert Hogue, RBC’s senior economist, has forecast real estate prices will make big gains early in the year. The economist is calling an 8.4% increase at the national level in 2021. Ontario is expected to make a 9.6% increase, followed by Quebec at 9.0%, and B.C. an 8.3% gain. He also adds, this is driven by a shortage of supply almost everywhere. The only exception being downtown condos in major real estate markets.


SUSTAINABLE FINANCE SET RECORDS IN 2020: REFINITIV

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-01-15)

The fourth quarter of 2020 also set a quarterly record, with US$180.4 billion of issuance.


FORECAST REMAINS GLOOMY FOR CANADIAN BANK RATINGS

Investment Executive - Fitch (2021-01-15)

The decision to maintain negative outlooks on most of the big banks “reflects Fitch’s view that, while the banking system has absorbed the brunt of earnings impact from the coronavirus pandemic, unfavorable conditions persist.”


POWELL SIGNALS FED WILL KEEP AIDING ECONOMY WITH BOND BUYING

Investment Executive - Christopher Rugaber (2021-01-15)

During an online discussion hosted by Princeton University, from which Powell earned his undergraduate degree, the Fed chair said the recovery of the economy from the pandemic recession “is far from our goals.” The Fed had said after its last policy meeting last month that it would continue to buy $120 billion in bonds each month until the economy made “substantial further progress” toward the Fed’s goals of maximum employment and stable 2% inflation.


BIDEN TO PUSH $1.9TN STIMULUS FOR PANDEMIC-BATTERED US ECONOMY

FT - James Politi (2021-01-15)

Joe Biden pleaded for Congress to “act now” on a new $1.9tn economic rescue plan, setting it up as his top legislative priority as he prepares to enter the White House next week.


BITCOIN ETP TRADING SURGES TO LEVELS SEEN BY MOST POPULAR ETFS

FT - Steve Johnson (2021-01-15)

This was just €1m behind the most traded exchange traded product on Deutsche Börse, the iShares Global Clean Energy Ucits ETF (INRG), and way ahead of volumes for any of the other 1,800 ETPs listed on the Frankfurt exchange.


WHAT WILL COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE LOOK LIKE IN 2021?

G&M - Christina Varga (2021-01-15)

Areas outside downtown cores have also been affected by lockdowns, and building owners and managers, business and retail tenants and investors and developers are not only looking to respond in the short term but are looking at what trends may continue long term.

 


AIR CANADA SLASHING SEAT CAPACITY 25%, LAYING OFF 1,700 STAFF

G&M - Eric Atkins (2021-01-14)

The Montreal-based airline said on Wednesday the systemwide cuts will affect another 200 jobs at the independent airlines that operate its Air Canada Express regional brand.


DOWNTOWN TORONTO OFFICE VACANCY RATE HITS HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

G&M - Rachelle Younglai (2021-01-14)

Office vacancy rates have climbed across the country during the pandemic, with downtown Toronto’s jumping to 7.2 per cent in the fourth quarter, as tenants tried to offload space and did not renew leases after months of having their employees work remotely.


FEDERAL DEBT IS MANAGEABLE WITH GDP GROWTH, POLOZ SAYS

G&M - Mark Rendell (2021-01-14)

Boosting Canada’s long-term economic growth by reducing interprovincial trade barriers and introducing programs such as universal daycare may be the best way to manage ballooning federal and provincial government debt, former Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz says.


LSE GETS CONDITIONAL EU APPROVAL FOR $27-BILLION REFINITIV ACQUISITION

G&M - PHILIP BLENKINSOP AND HUW JONES (2021-01-14)

EU antitrust regulators gave the green light on Wednesday to the London Stock Exchange’s US$27-billion takeover of Refinitiv, creating a stronger competitor to financial data leader Bloomberg LP.


FIRST CAPITAL REIT SLASHES MONTHLY PAYOUT IN HALF AMID PANDEMIC SHUTDOWNS

G&M - Tim Kiladze (2021-01-14)

Retail landlord First Capital Real Estate Investment Trust cut its monthly distribution in half as economic shutdowns escalate across Canada, marking the second major retail REIT to slash its payout over the past month.


FINANCE MINISTER WARNED ABOUT INDEBTED CANADIANS' INCREASING VULNERABILITY TO HIGHER RATES BEFORE THE PANDEMIC

FP - Geoff Zochodne (2021-01-14)

The memo noted that formal insolvency proceedings, which aim to restructure or eliminate debts, hit a decade-high 13,200 in October 2019, up 13.4 per cent from a year earlier.


CIRCLE K OWNER’S $20 BILLION FRENCH MOVE HITS WALL OF WORRY

Bloomberg - Sandrine Rastello (2021-01-14)

“As you know, Couche-Tard doesn’t seek to make a splash,” Bouchard said during the Canadian company’s Sept. 16 annual meeting. “Up to now, our patience and rigor have served us well.”


CANADA’S MORTGAGE LENDERS HAVE SET ASIDE A RECORD AMOUNT FOR BAD LOANS

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-01-14)

The amount set aside for losses has climbed to a new record high, and is growing unusually fast. Allowances reached $3.9 billion in Q3 2020, up 22.01% from the previous quarter. This represents an increase of 54.11% when compared to the same quarter last year. It’s not just a record high for dollars, but also the highest rate of growth in over a decade.


INSOLVENCY STATS DON’T CAPTURE SMALL BUSINESS VULNERABILITY: REPORT

Investment Executive - IE (2021-01-14)

However, despite businesses being under strain, the number of those filing for restructuring or bankruptcy hasn’t exhibited a significant uptick.


U.S. DEFICIT IS 61% GREATER THAN SAME PERIOD A YEAR AGO

Investment Executive - Martin Crutsinger (2021-01-14)

The U.S. government’s deficit in the first three months of the budget year was a record-breaking $572.9 billion, 60.7% higher than the same period a year ago, as spending to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic pushed outlays up while revenue declined. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.)


AMF SANCTIONS DESJARDINS OVER FUND SALES PRACTICES

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-01-14)

Desjardins Financial Services Firm Inc. (DFSF) is paying $1 million to settle allegations that it violated mutual fund sales practices rules for operating a compensation scheme that favoured its proprietary funds.


MD FINANCIAL AND SCOTIABANK PARTNER WITH WOMEN PHYSICIANS

Investment Executive - IE (2021-01-14)

“Our unique position to support the federation’s mission will help bring opportunities for personal and professional development for women in medicine, promoting their well-being and, beyond them, the well-being of all Canadians,” said Daniel Labonté, MD Financial’s president and CEO, in a release.


CANADA LIFE LAUNCHES FUND MANAGEMENT COMPANY

Investment Executive - IE (2021-01-14)

“With our own fund management company, we’ll focus on building strong partnerships with leading investment managers from around the world, while designing and delivering quality investment products and portfolio solutions, tailored to the changing needs of our customers and advisors,” said Steve Fiorelli, senior vice-president, Wealth Solutions, Individual Customer, with Canada Life, and CLIML’s CEO.


TD BUYS WELLS FARGO’S CANADIAN EQUIPMENT-FINANCING BUSINESS

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-01-14)

The Wells Fargo business has about $1.5-billion in assets and more than 120 staff, providing loans and leases to businesses purchasing a wide range of commercial equipment.


CANADIAN BANK STOCKS ‘AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES’: SCOTIABANK

G&M - Scott Barlow (2021-01-14)

“Despite initially dipping lower at the start of the pandemic, capital level for the Big 6 Canadian banks increased 62bps through F2020, closing out the year at a record high aggregate CET1 ratio [equity capital and disclosed reserves divided by total risk-weighted assets] of 12.31% … Typically, banks have four distinct avenues to deploy excess capital: (1) organic growth; (2) M&A; (3) dividends; and (4) share buybacks. And although OSFI has prohibited banks from buying back shares or raising dividends since March 13, we believe that share buybacks will in fact be the banks’ preferred method to deploy excess capital… the Canadian banks have the capacity to buy back 4.6% of all outstanding shares at current prices. Among the individual banks, TD would be at top of the list with a capacity to repurchase 5.7% of all outstanding shares, followed by CM at 4.4%. We are not arguing that we will see all of this excess capital funneled into buybacks, but we do see the stage set for above average buyback activity in the second half of F2021 and F2022.”
Scotiabank strategist Hugo Ste-Marie warned clients that the Canadian yield curve carries bad news for domestic REIT returns,


TORONTO, MONTREAL SEE EXODUS PICK UP PACE, AGGRAVATED BY COVID-19 PANDEMIC

G&M - Matt Lundy (2021-01-14)

Over a 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, and overlapping with the first wave of the pandemic, the metropolitan area of Toronto saw a net intraprovincial outflow of 50,375 people, according to Statistics Canada figures released Thursday. That means 50,375 more people left the Toronto area for other parts of Ontario than moved in – a record high according to data going back almost two decades.


WHY COMPARISONS BETWEEN BITCOIN AND GOLD ARE ABSURD

FP - David Rosenberg (2021-01-14)

As we can see from the massive 26 per cent slide on Sunday and Monday (the largest two-day correction since March), even if bitcoin is able to maintain a higher level over time as more investors pile in, the volatility is still too extreme and the value too susceptible to manipulation for it to be a real safe-haven asset. Outside of the Hodl-cult (essentially those who pledge to buy bitcoin and hold indefinitely), many of those who invest in the digital currency do so because of its volatility, which makes it an attractive get-rich-quick scheme for speculators.


VISA AND PLAID TERMINATE BLOCKBUSTER MERGER

Finextra - Finextra (2021-01-13)

The DoJ filed its antitrust complaint in federal court in November in an effort to scupper the blockbuster $5.3 billion takeover, insisting it "must be stopped".


SCOTIABANK SPENDING $500-MILLION ON PROGRAM TO SUPPORT ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED GROUPS

G&M - Tara Deschamps (2021-01-13)

The Toronto-based bank announced Tuesday the ScotiaRISE program will be centred on using funding and partnerships to increase graduation rates and postsecondary enrolment, help newcomers feel at home faster and secure meaningful employment and senior opportunities for underrepresented groups.


FED’S ERIC ROSENGREN SAYS U.S. ECONOMY COULD SEE ROBUST RECOVERY IN SECOND HALF OF 2021

G&M - Jonnelle Marte (2021-01-13)

“The pandemic is likely to continue to be a problem for public health and the economy until widespread vaccinations take hold,” Rosengren said in remarks prepared for a virtual event organized by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. “Nonetheless, with substantial fiscal and monetary support, I expect a robust recovery starting in the second half of this year.”


EU WATCHDOG SAYS SOME BANKS TRYING TO CIRCUMVENT RULES AFTER BREXIT

Reuters - Staff (2021-01-13)

Some banks outside the European Union are trying to circumvent rules on offering investment services to customers in the bloc, the European Securities and Markets Authority said on Wednesday.


EUROPEAN EQUITIES RISE; U.S. YIELDS EASE AFTER PUSHBACK ON TAPER TALK

Reuters - Staff (2021-01-13)

European shares rose after a shaky start and the dollar edged up on Wednesday, while the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield fell from 10-month highs, helped by policymakers pushing back against talk of the Fed tapering its support.


GLOBAL BANKS WARN OF MARKET CHAOS IF COURT ABOLISHES LIBOR

Bloomberg - William Shaw and Joel Rosenblatt (2021-01-13)

Some of the world’s biggest banks are urging a U.S. judge not to immediately terminate Libor after a group of borrowers filed suit claiming the benchmark was the work of a “price-fixing cartel.”


CANADA’S ECONOMY HAS NEVER BEEN MORE DEPENDENT ON REAL ESTATE

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-01-13)

Residential investment has recovered much faster than other segments of GDP. Residential investment represents 9.43% of GDP in Q3 2020, up from 7.71% during the same quarter last year. This is not only the highest rate seen in at least 60 years, but it’s also very high for any country. For context, the U.S. residential investment peaked at 6.7% in 2006 during the housing bubble. The current rate in the U.S. is just 4.3%, having also sharply accelerated faster than GDP in the third quarter. Just not nearly as much as Canada. 


A RECORD YEAR FOR CANADIAN SECURITIES ISSUANCE

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-01-13)

Debt issuance reached $269.7 billion in 2020, led by the record second quarter, which saw $107.8 billion in new debt come to market.


GET READY FOR SELF-DRIVING BANKS

FT - Brian Brooks (2021-01-13)

At the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, we require every bank to have officers responsible for its safety — such as a chief risk officer and a chief audit executive. We limit how much banks can lend to their directors. We even make some bank employees take a certain amount of vacation so others can sit at their desks and identify potential fraud. We call it bank regulation, but we’re really regulating bankers.


WHY GOING GLOBAL HAS PROVED SO HARD FOR THE BIG BANKS

FT - Robert Armstrong (2021-01-13)

Yet despite gains from globalisation in the lead-up to the financial crisis, the overall international record of the industry is poor. Just last week came a reminder of the challenges of a global bank: Deutsche Bank agreeing to pay US regulators $125m to resolve allegations that it paid bribes to win clients in the Middle East and elsewhere.


$2-BILLION WINDFALL FOR SHOPIFY AFTER RETAIL FINANCE PARTNER AFFIRM SOARS IN IPO

G&M - Sean Silcoff (2021-01-13)

Several Canadian entities including Shopify Inc. scored massive stock market gains Wednesday as U.S. consumer retail finance provider Affirm Holdings Inc. soared in its initial public offering.


DESJARDINS PAYS $1-MILLION PENALTY OVER MUTUAL FUND SALES

G&M - Clare O'Hara (2021-01-13)

Desjardins Financial Services Firm Inc. has agreed to pay a $1-million penalty after industry regulators found it was offering its financial advisers higher compensation to sell its own proprietary mutual funds.


NO DIVIDEND HIKES, SHARE BUYBACKS FOR BANKS AND INSURERS UNTIL LOCKDOWNS END

Investment Executive - OSFI (2021-01-12)

“When we see a clear path to a durable recovery then that becomes possible, and that is certainty not the circumstance in which we find ourselves today,” said Jeremy Rudin, the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, on Monday.


BMO GAM LAUNCHES ESG PERSONALITY TOOL

Investment Executive - IE (2021-01-12)

The online resource leverages data collected in November and December 2019 through a joint survey with Washington, D.C.-based DCIIA Retirement Center that polled more than 2,000 high-income and high-net-worth individuals in Canada and the U.S. between the ages of 30 and 75.


BANK CEOS SAY ECONOMIC REBOUND IS COMING, BUT DEPENDENT ON VACCINES AND LOCKDOWNS

Investment Executive - CP (2021-01-12)

The CEO’s remarks were made on Monday morning, as the number of doses of Covid-19 vaccines administered in Canada hit 319,938. Efforts to get more shots in arms are ramping up as more supply arrives, but there are at least 38 million people living in the country.


BECOMING A BANK WOULD SHRINK BUT NOT SQUASH ANT

Reuters - Robyn Mak (2021-01-12)

That looks manageable for Ant, which had net assets of 215 billion yuan as of June. Even in the unlikely scenario that the entire 2.1 trillion yuan of consumer and small-business credit ends up on its own balance sheet, Ant could manage. Assuming a 100% risk weighting for its loans, the company’s capital ratio would be 10%, not that far from the 14% Tier 1 ratio at ICBC, China’s biggest bank.


RBC’S MCKAY SEES 100-DAY VACCINE RACE TO REBOOT CANADA’S ECONOMY

Bloomberg - Kevin Orland (2021-01-12)

About 4 million to 4.5 million high-risk Canadians will likely have to be vaccinated before the country can reduce restrictions, and that can be accomplished in about 100 days, McKay said Monday at an investor conference hosted by his bank.

   


TD SAYS DEALS ARE POSSIBLE AS BANKS LOOK TO SPEND EXTRA CAPITAL

Bloomberg - Kevin Orland (2021-01-12)

Toronto-Dominion Bank Chief Executive Officer Bharat Masrani said investors shouldn’t be surprised if the firm takes advantage of the downturn to make acquisitions.

While Toronto-Dominion likes to maintain a conservative capital profile, Masrani said, Canada’s largest bank by assets will consider compelling takeover opportunities that make financial and strategic sense, and have a cultural fit. “We are good acquirers, we are disciplined acquirers and, frankly, when there has been a major downturn that has resulted in dislocation, TD has taken advantage of it,” Masrani said Monday at RBC Capital Markets’ Canadian Bank CEO Conference. Toronto-Dominion had a Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio -- a measure of capital on hand to protect against financial stress -- of 13.1% at the end of its last fiscal quarter. That’s the highest among Canada’s six largest banks. Those banks have a combined CET1 ratio of 12.3%, well above the 9% that regulators require. That works out to C$70.4 billion ($55.1 billion) in extra capital for the group, resulting in pressure on the firms to put that money to work.


CAPITOL RIOT PROMPTS SOME BIG BANKS AND COMPANIES TO PAUSE POLITICAL FUNDING

WSJ - Emily Glazer, Theo Francis and Chip Cutter (2021-01-12)

JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup will halt all PAC donations, while Blue Cross and Marriott will pause funding to Republicans who objected to Electoral College results.


A SMALL TAX CHANGE IS A BOON FOR PERMANENT LIFE INSURANCE

WSJ - Leslie Scism (2021-01-12)

Federal lawmakers’ big year-end spending package includes a little-noticed revision of the tax code that is likely to boost sales of life insurance, particularly for wealthy Americans. 


FANNIE, FREDDIE TIGHTEN RULES FOR CONDOS IN VACATION LOCALES

WSJ - Andrew Ackerman (2021-01-12)

Getting a mortgage for a resort-area condo might become more difficult after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac moved to tighten rules on buildings with many short-term rentals and hotel-like amenities, some Realtors and bankers say.


CANADA’S LARGEST REAL ESTATE MARKETS ARE STILL FAR FROM SEEING EMPLOYMENT RECOVER

Better Dwelling (2021-01-12)

Toronto employment did a little better, with a small uptick last month. There were 3.45 million people employed in the region in December, up 1,100 (+0.03%) jobs from the previous month. This represents a drop of 82,200 (-2.33%) jobs compared to the same month last year. The increase was within the margin of a rounding error though, so it’s too soon to say it’s bucking the trend. However, the small increase is better than nothing.


TD TRIAL BEGINS MONDAY AS INVESTORS SEEK TO RECOVER US$4.5-BILLION AFTER PONZI SCHEME

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-01-11)

A US$4.5-billion lawsuit against Toronto-Dominion Bank (

TD-T +0.07%increase   ) over its role in providing bank accounts to offshore companies that were part of one of the world’s largest Ponzi schemes is going to trial in Toronto on Monday after a decade of legal wrangling.


OWER CORP. ARM SAGARD LAUNCHES PRIVATE-EQUITY UNIT

G&M - Clare O'Hara (2021-01-11)

“We are in a strong position to enter the mid-market space with a targeted $400-million fund, with capital to deploy and the ability to build a talented team of experienced investors from day one, and access to the Sagard ecosystem with a network, resources and reputation you generally don’t have when you launch a new fund,” Ms. Boisvert said.
Power Corp. of Canada’s alternative-investment arm Sagard Holdings is launching a private-equity business that will focus on middle-market investments in Canada.


CORPORATE CANADA’S COFFERS SHOW BET ON DEBT

G&M - DAVID PARKINSON (2021-01-11)

Some economists are looking at the piles of cash in Corporate Canada’s bank accounts and seeing visions of a spending spree that will turbocharge the economic recovery. But before we get too excited about that possibility, we need to think about where a lot of that cash came from.


HSBC TO FACE SHAREHOLDER HEAT ON FOSSIL FUELS IN AGM VOTE

G&M - SIMON JESSOP AND LAWRENCE WHITE (2021-01-11)

Major HSBC Holdings PLC shareholders are calling on Europe’s biggest bank to toughen its commitment to cut lending linked to fossil fuels and to turn its climate “ambitions” into targets.


THE REAL STORY BEHIND CANADA'S CASH MOUNTAIN

FP - Philip Cross (2021-01-11)

Fortunately, Statistics Canada publishes detailed data on household and business saving and lending. These data tell quite a different story than bank deposits alone do. What emerges instead is a picture of a household sector saving much more during the pandemic than corporations. Both net savings and net lending by households showed huge increases during the second quarter and remained at historically high levels in the third quarter. By comparison, savings by the corporate sector were minuscule in 2020, while net lending showed only a small increase compared with households. In fact, financial firms were the only part of the corporate sector able to generate net savings and they accounted for most of the net lending by businesses last year.


CHINESE REGULATORS TO PUSH TECH GIANTS TO SHARE CONSUMER CREDIT DATA - SOURCES

Reuters - Julie Zhu (2021-01-11)

China plans to push tech giants including Ant Group, Tencent and JD.com to share consumer loan data to prevent excess borrowing and fraud, two people with knowledge of the matter said, in Beijing’s latest tightening of scrutiny.


DEUTSCHE BANK TO PAY NEARLY $125 MILLION TO RESOLVE U.S. BRIBERY, METALS CHARGES

Reuters - Jonathan Stempel, Noor Zainab Hussain (2021-01-11)

“Deutsche Bank engaged in a criminal scheme to conceal payments to so-called consultants worldwide who served as conduits for bribes to foreign officials and others,” in order to win and retain “lucrative business projects,” Acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme in Brooklyn said in a statement.


ITALY COULD TAKE ON $17 BILLION OF UNICREDIT BAD LOANS TO EASE MPS SALE

FP - Pamela Barbaglia, Valentina Za (2021-01-11)

The plan is part of measures being readied by the Treasury in order to press ahead with the sale of MPS, whose plight has come to symbolise Italy’s long-running banking crisis.


JPMORGAN FUND TOPS 2020 GLOBAL MACRO RANKINGS-SHARINGALPHA

Reuters - Staff (2021-01-11)

SharingAlpha, which set up in 2016 as a TripAdvisor style platform for fund reviews, has more than 13,000 fund selectors on its platform, rating over 12,000 funds.


CANADIAN BANKS FACE CONUNDRUM: HOW TO USE A SPARE $55.5 BILLION

Bloomberg - Kevin Orland (2021-01-11)

Canada’s six largest banks were sitting on C$70.4 billion ($55.5 billion) more in Common Equity Tier 1 capital than required by regulators, as of Oct. 31. CET1 capital is the stash of securities meant to serve as a bank’s first line of defense in a financial crisis.


DECEMBER UNEMPLOYMENT RATE EDGED UP TO 8.6%

Investment Executive - CP (2021-01-11)

The job losses ended a streak of monthly job gains that began in May, when initial restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the pandemic began to ease.


SIX SUSTAINABLE FINANCE TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2021

Investment Executive - Dystyn Lanz (2021-01-11)

The CFA Institute is developing environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards for investment funds and other products. The Institute aims to “provide greater product transparency and comparability for investors by enabling asset managers to clearly communicate the ESG-related features of their investment products.” The standards will provide a common language for investment firms while helping investors make comparisons when choosing responsible or sustainable investments.


TORONTO LUXURY HOME SALES HIT RECORD IN 2020

Investment Executive - ANITA BALAKRISHNAN (2021-01-11)

Although the “uber-luxe” homes highlighted in the Re/Max report are a small fraction of the overall home sales market, Re/Max’s Christopher Alexander said the luxury home market reflects broader trends emerging from the pandemic. Toronto average home prices hit a new high of $929,699 in 2020, the Toronto Real Estate Board said on Wednesday, as the number of homes sold rose to 95,151, up from 87,751 in 2019.


TFSA ASSETS RISE 8% YEAR OVER YEAR, CRA SAYS

Investment Executive - Rudy Mezzatta (2021-01-11)

Canadians held a total of $298.1 billion in their TFSAs in 2018, with the average TFSA holder having $20,292, according to statistics released by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on Wednesday.


MANULIFE POISED FOR $100-MILLION-PLUS WINDFALL ON DYE & DURHAM INVESTMENT

G&M - Sean Silcoff (2021-01-08)

Manulife Financial Corp. has begun cashing in what is likely to be a nine-figure windfall from its private investment in legal software consolidator Dye & Durham Ltd. less than three years ago.


CPPIB PUMPS $850 MILLION INTO HARD ASSETS, SENSING MARKET FROTH

FP - Paula Sambo (2021-01-08)

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has formed a joint venture with Greystar Real Estate Partners to pursue multifamily real estate development opportunities in target markets in the U.S., it said in a statement Thursday. The pension fund is investing US$350 million to the joint venture for a 90 per cent stake, and Greystar is adding US$39 million for the remaining 10 [er cemt. Greystar will manage and operate the portfolio on behalf of the joint venture.


SIEGE OF THE CAPITOL, WHERE’S JACK MA?

Reuters - Rob Cox podcast (2021-01-08)

The violent occupation of Congress by protesters contesting Donald Trump’s loss of the presidency puts America’s financial safe-haven status to a major test, John Foley tells Rob Cox. And Pete Sweeney weighs in from Hong Kong on the mystery of the Alibaba founder’s whereabouts.


PONZI-STAGE STOCKS ARE STABLE. JUST DON'T COUGH

Bloomberg - John Authers (2021-01-08)

Some significant luminaries are taking sides. My long-time colleague and mentor Martin Wolf argues in the Financial Times that, in as many words, there is no stock market bubble. The greater point, he contends, is whether rock-bottom interest rates will revert to normal, and if so when. Even Robert Shiller, the Yale University economist who built his reputation by identifying the bubbles that burst in 2000 and 2008, wrote last month that we should at least expect stocks to outperform bonds for the foreseeable future.


COMMERZBANK TO WRITE OFF $1.8 BILLION, LIFT BAD LOAN RESERVE

Bloomberg - Nicholas Comfort (2021-01-08)

Commerzbank AG will write off the remaining 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in goodwill on its books and set aside more money for bad loans to reflect persistently low interest rates and the impact of a second lockdown to fight the pandemic.


GREATER VANCOUVER DETACHED REAL ESTATE AND CONDOS ARE BOTH FLAT FROM 3 YEARS AGO

Better Dwelling - Kaitlin Last (2021-01-08)

Greater Vancouver real estate prices climbed last month, bringing annual gains closer to where they were a few years ago. The composite benchmark price reached $1,047,400 in December, up 0.3% from the previous month. Prices are now 5.4% higher than the same month last year, and about 0.2% from 3 years ago. Fairly substantial gains for the composite, but still just regaining ground from a few years ago. 


HACKER GETS 12 YEARS FOR ATTACKING U.S. BANKS, BROKERS

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-01-08)

Andrei Tyurin, 37, of Moscow, previously pled guilty to numerous charges in connection with a widespread hacking operation that allegedly took in hundreds of millions of dollars by targeting U.S. financial institutions, brokerage firms, and financial news publishers.


HARBOURFRONT EXPANDS INTO YUKON, N.L.

Investment Executive - IE (2021-01-08)

Vancouver-based Harbourfront Wealth Management announced on Wednesday it is now registered for business in the Yukon and Newfoundland and Labrador.


THOUSANDS OF UK FINANCIAL FIRMS FACE FAILURE: FCA

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-01-08)


A LOT OF OPTIMISM IS BUILT INTO THE PRICE OF STOCKS AND HOUSING – WHAT’S YOUR PLAN IF THINGS DON’T WORK OUT?

G&M - Rob Carrick (2021-01-08)

In the world of money and finance, everything’s going excellently. While rioters swarmed the U.S. Capitol building in Washington on Wednesday afternoon, the stock market was topping off a fine day of gains. Oil prices crossed the US$50-a-barrel mark this week for the first time since last February and we’ve heard that housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver surged yet again in December.


LAURENTIAN BANK NAMES YVAN DESCHAMPS AS NEW CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

G&M - CP (2021-01-08)

The bank says Mr. Deschamps joined its ranks in 2016 and has been senior vice-president of finance, accounting and corporate development since 2017.


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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.


TD EXPECTS $169-MILLION AFTER FIRST FULL QUARTER AS CHARLES SCHWAB’S LARGEST SHAREHOLDER

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-01-21)

Toronto-Dominion Bank 

TD-T -0.17%decrease   expects to reap about $169-million in profit from its first full quarter as the largest shareholder in U.S. brokerage giant Charles Schwab Corp.  SCHW-N -1.05%decrease   , a lower level of returns compared to past earnings as TD embarks on a new alliance with a powerhouse of low-cost stock trading.


PETER BETHLENFALVY, ONTARIO’S NEW FINANCE MINISTER, CAME INTO POLITICS TO SLASH DEFICITS. THEN, A PANDEMIC HAPPENED

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-01-21)

For an avowed fiscal hawk like Peter Bethlenfalvy, it’s hard being thrust onto centre stage in the midst of a global pandemic.


CFIB RAISES FORECAST OF HOW MANY SMALL BUSINESSES MAY VANISH

G&M - Josh O'Kane (2021-01-21)

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is warning that more than 239,000 businesses could vanish because of COVID-19 as the new wave of restrictions and lockdowns leave a growing number of entrepreneurs considering giving up.


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CMHC SAYS W-SHAPED RECOVERY WOULD BE ‘VERY SEVERE’ WITHOUT GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE

A W-shaped recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic could trigger a nearly 50 per cent drop in housing prices and a peak unemployment rate of 25 per cent, if the government doesn’t offer relief, says the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

A W-shaped recovery is when an economy begins to rebound from a recession quickly but then rapidly falls into another period of downturn before recovering again.

“That scenario is very severe and implausible in nature, but it’s very important to understand,” said CMHC’s chief risk officer Nadine LeBlanc in a Thursday media briefing.

The scenarios LeBlanc discussed are not meant to be predictions or forecasts tied to what CMHC sees headed for the country as it continues to grapple with COVID-19, but the agency runs the tests anyway to help with risk mitigation and offer transparency for Canadians.

It began the tests at the onset of the pandemic, giving them a more realistic feel, but in past years has studied its ability to cope with sustained low oil prices, a global trade war, earthquakes, major volcanic eruptions and cyberattacks on financial institutions.

Of all the scenarios CMHC looked at this year, the W-shaped recovery without government support is the most implausible, but likely to cause the severest impacts, LeBlanc said.


POLL FINDS GROWING SATISFACTION WITH FINANCIAL ADVICE

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of all respondents said they’d contribute to RRSPs, a percentage consistent with last year’s findings, the release said.


JANUARY REAL ESTATE REPORT 2021

Montreal condos on REM sites were the exception to a record breaking
year for Canadian real estate.



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