Financial services sector is a key contributor to Canada’s economy

• The Financial Services industry is a key employer in the Toronto region and employs 8 per cent of all of the workers in the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), with an estimated 229,000 working for firms in the Financial Services sector. This sector creates a significant number of high-quality jobs for the Toronto CMA and disproportionately employs university-level graduates. Source: 2013 Talent chartbook -
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Canada’s Strengths …

Strongest banking system in the world

The Canadian banking system was ranked the soundest in the world by the World Economic Forum in 2011.10 Moody’s Investment Service ranks Canada’s banking sector first worldwide for financial strength and safety. No major Canadian banks failed during the 2008-09 financial crisis and four of the world’s top 10 strongest banks are Canadian: CIBC (third), Toronto-Dominion Bank (fourth), National Bank of Canada (fifth) and Royal Bank of Canada (sixth).11

Size of the financial sector

The Toronto Stock Exchange (TMX Group) is the largest in North America and second largest worldwide by number of companies listed.12 It is the third largest in North America and eighth largest worldwide by market capitalization. Toronto was ranked the seventh leading financial centre globally in The Banker’s 2011 International Financial Centre Rankings.13 The TMX Group is first in listed mining, oil & gas companies worldwide; first in listed clean tech companies worldwide; and second in listed technology companies in North America.14

Quality of the regulatory environment

The Canadian financial sector is among the world’s most well-regulated and offers many examples of best practices. The World Bank ranks Canada fifth worldwide for its strength of investor protection, and assigns Canada a maximum score for depth of credit information.15

Finance and insurance accounted for 7 per cent of national output in 2011 (7), and the Canadian financial services sector represented a GDP of $264 billion. The size and growth of the Canadian financial services sector is supported by Canada’s AAA credit rating and stable banking system. Moody’s Investors Service has given Canada’s big banks a rating of Aa3 or above, higher than bank rankings in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Moody’s, Fitch and S&P all maintain a positive outlook for the Canadian economy.

The financial services sector in Canada is very diverse, including banks, trust and loan companies, life, health, property and casualty insurance companies, credit unions, securities dealers, finance and leasing companies, pension fund managers, mutual fund companies, and independent insurance agents and brokers. Eleven of the Top 1000 World Banks are located in Canada, with six Canadian banks in the Top 100.8 Four Canadian banks are among the global top 10 strongest financial institutions according to Bloomberg Markets magazine.9

  • 7 CANSIM, Gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices (2012)
  • 8 The Banker, Top 1000 World Banks, ranked by Tier 1 Capital (2011)
  • 9 Bloomberg, Canadians Dominate World’s 10 Strongest Banks (2012)
  • 10 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012
  • 11 Bloomberg, Canadians Dominate World’s 10 Strongest Banks (2012)
  • 12 World Federation of Exchanges, Year- To-Date monthly statistic tables (2012)
  • 13 The Banker, International Financial Centres, October 2011
  • 14 TMX, A Capital Opportunity: A Global Market for Chinese Companies (2012)
  • 15 World Bank Doing Business Guide 2012