What Are the Big Six Banks in Canada Today?

The Canadian government boasts one of the safest, strongest, and soundest financial systems in the world. This is largely due to what it calls effective policies and regulations, including liquidity, deposit insurance, and consumer protection laws. This makes Canada an attractive place for investment, especially since the country's banking system is one of the easiest to access in the world.

If you know anything about the country's financial sector, you may have heard the term the Big Six. This is commonly used to describe Canada's six largest financial institutions— banks that have a national (and, often, international) presence. The following is a list of the six major banks in the country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The list ranks the institutions based on revenue. All figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise specified.

Key Takeaways

  • The Big Six is a term that refers to the six largest banks in Canada.
  • TD is the largest bank by revenue followed by the Royal Bank of Canada.
  • The Bank of Montreal has head offices in both Montréal and Toronto.
  • Scotiabank and CIBC are both based in Toronto.
  • The National Bank of Canada began as a regional bank in Québec but expanded nationally and rounds out the list as the sixth largest Canadian bank.

1. TD Bank

  • Founded: 1855 (as Bank of Toronto)
  • Headquartered: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Annual Revenue (2022): $49.03 billion

TD Bank consists of Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries. It is broken down into three business lines: Canadian Retail, U.S. Retail, and Wholesale Banking. TD Bank serves more than 26 million customers worldwide, with $1.9 trillion in assets as of October 2022. With over 15 million mobile and online customers, TD also ranks among the top online financial services firms. The bank's stock trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol TD.

More than 99% of Canadians have a bank account.

2. Royal Bank of Canada

  • Founded: 1869 (year of incorporation)
  • Headquartered: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Annual Revenue (2022): $48,98 billion

The Royal Bank of Canada operates as a diversified financial services company. Commonly referred to as RBC, it offers personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services, capital markets products, and services globally. The bank, along with its subsidiaries, employs about 87,000 people and serves nearly 17 million customers. The company's stock trades on the TSX and the NYSE under the ticker symbol RY.

3. The Bank of Montreal

  • Founded: 1817
  • Headquartered: Montréal, Québec, Canada; Toronto, Ontario, Canada (operational/executive offices)
  • Annual Revenue (2022): $33,71 billion

The Bank of Montreal is a diversified financial services provider. With total assets under management (AUM) of $1.14 trillion, BMO is the 8th largest bank in North America. The bank provides more than 12 million customers with a range of financial services, including retail banking, wealth management, and investment banking products and services. BMO trades on the TSX, NYSE, and internationally.

Canada's banking sector is dominated by the Big Five, which includes TD, Royal Bank, BMO, Scotiabank, and CIBC. National Bank is often added to the list to make the Big Six.

4. The Bank of Nova Scotia

  • Founded: 1832
  • Headquartered: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Annual Revenue (2022): $31.41 billion

The Bank of Nova Scotia, or Scotiabank as it's commonly known, has more than $1.3 trillion in assets. The bank serves more than 10 million customers in its home market and another 15 million worldwide. Many deem Scotiabank as one of the more international banks in Canada, given its presence throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, along with Europe and parts of Asia. The company's stock trades in Toronto, New York, and globally under the ticker BNS.

5. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

  • Founded: 1961 (merger of Canadian Bank of Commerce and Imperial Bank of Canada)
  • Headquartered: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Annual Revenue (2022): $21.83 billion

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was formed through the merger of the Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Imperial Bank of Canada, which were established in 1867 and 1875, respectively. This was then the largest merger between chartered banks in Canadian history. CIBC also has global operations and serves more than 10 million clients with 45,000 employees. The ticker symbol for the bank on the TSX and NYSE is CM.

The National Bank of Canada is distinct from and should not be confused with Canada's central bank, which is called the Bank of Canada (BoC).

6. The National Bank of Canada

  • Founded: 1859
  • Headquartered: Montréal, Québec, Canada
  • Annual Revenue (2022): $9.65 billion

Originally a regional bank in the province of Québec, the National Bank of Canada now has branches in nearly all of the Canadian provinces. The bank boasts more than 25,000 employees and $565 billion in AUM. It also had several representative offices, subsidiaries, and partnerships internationally, serving both Canadian and non-Canadian clients. The National Bank trades under the ticker symbol NA in Toronto.

Article Sources
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  1. Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. "Oversight of Canada's Financial System."

  2. Canadian Bankers Association. "Focus: Fast Facts About the Canadian Banking System."

  3. TD. "Our Roots."

  4. TD. "TD Bank Group Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2022 Results," Page 4.

  5. TD. "Corporate Profile."

  6. Canadian Bankers Association. "Focus: Banks and Consumers."

  7. RBC. "Celebrating Our History."


  9. RBC. "History."

  10. Bank of Montreal. "Celebrating 200 Years."

  11. Bank of Montreal. "BMO Financial Group Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2022 Results."

  12. Bank of Montreal. "About BMO."

  13. Scotiabank. "The Scotiabank Story."

  14. Scotiabank. "Fourth Quarter 2022 Earnings Release," Page 3.

  15. Scotiabank. "Corporate Profile."

  16. Scotiabank. "Our global presence."

  17. CIBC. "CIBC History."

  18. CIBC. "CIBC announces fourth quarter and fiscal 2022 results," Page 21.

  19. CIBC. "CIBC quick facts."

  20. National Bank. "About us."

  21. National Bank. "National Bank reports its 2022 fourth-quarter and annual results and raises its quarterly dividend by 5 cents to 97 cents per share," Page 5.

  22. National Bank of Canada. "Life at National Bank."

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