DEFINITION of 'Big Five Banks'

A reference used in Canada to describe Royal Bank, The Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, The Bank of Nova Scotia and TD Canada Trust, which are the five largest banks in the country.

BREAKING DOWN 'Big Five Banks'

Occasionally the term "Big Six Banks" is used, with the sixth bank referring to the National Bank of Canada. As of March 2008, the Big Six Banks and Laurentian Bank of Canada are the largest banks in Canada.

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