What are the 'Big Six Banks'

The big six banks is a term used in Canada to describe the National Bank of Canada, Royal Bank, the Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), and Toronto Dominion Bank (TD).


Headquartered in Montreal, the National Bank of Canada is Canada’s sixth largest commercial bank. The bank has branches in nearly all of Canadian provinces and in 2017 had over 2.4 million individual clients. As of July 31, 2016 the National Bank of Canada had a network of 453 branches and 937 ATMs throughout the nation. It also had a number of representative offices, subsidiaries and partnerships internationally, serving both Canadian and non-Canadian clients. (The National Bank of Canada is separate from the the Canadian central bank, the Bank of Canada.)

The Royal Bank of Canada (master brand name RBC) (stock ticker RY on TSX and NYSE), along with its subsidiaries, operate as a diversified financial services company. RBC offers both personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services, capital markets products and services globally. RBC has 80,000 full- and part-time employees and 16 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 35 other nations.

The Bank of Montreal (BMO) was established in 1817. Today BMO Financial Group is a diversified financial services provider with total assets under management (AUM) of $710 billion as of October 31, 2017. BMO provides its (more than) 12 million customers with options in retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services.

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, and was formed in 1961 through the merger of the Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Imperial Bank of Canada. This was the the largest merger between chartered banks in Canadian history. Along with its peers in the Bix Six Banks, CIBC has operations globally and serves more than eleven million clients, with greater than 40,000 employees. CIBC’s Institution Number (or bank number) is 010, and SWIFT code is CIBCCATT.

The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) is the third-largest Canadian bank by deposits and market capitalization. Scotiabank has 24 million customers in nearly 50 nations worldwide. Many deem Scotiabank as one of the more international banks in Canada, given its acquisitions throughout in Latin America and the Caribbean, along with Europe and parts of Asia. Its subsidiary ScotiaMocatta participates in the London gold fix, given its membership in the London Bullion Market Association.

TD Bank Group (consisting of the Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries) is broken down into three business lines: Canadian Retail, U.S. Retail, and Wholesale Banking. TD Bank Group serves more than 25 million customers worldwide with CDN$1.3 trillion in assets on October 31, 2017. With approximately 11.5 million active online and mobile customers, TD also ranks among top online financial services firms.

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