Strong and sustained real estate activity nationwide, coupled with high consumer spending and a reasonably strong Canadian economy means the latest bank earnings are hitting all time records. Recently released figures show essentially all of the country’s banks generating massive quarterly profits. The first bank to disclose was RBC – generating a massive $2.8 billion quarterly profit. The bank’s retail banking division posted a 6% increase in profits, showing that the recent increase in interest rates and the changes in the housing market did little to shake the bank’s trajectory and growth. One of the first acts the bank did after reporting the strong result was to increase its dividend by 5%, beating all expectations and fulfilling its obligation to shareholders.
CIBC, the smallest of the big 5 banks reported a $1.1 billion profit, also beating expectations and also increased its dividend. The bank recently acquired a Chicago based bank and has been expanding aggressively in the United States. Further results for TD, Scotiabank and BMO are incoming by the end of this week and next week. Analyst expectations are that strong results will be in the cards. A recurring theme among commentators and experts was to remain conservative and to brace for worse than expected news due to recent turbulence in real estate even as earnings expectations were high because of a strong economy.
The banks that did report voiced their approval of recent government measures introduced, particularly in British Columbia and Ontario, that were designed to halt rapid price growth and which have succeeded. The strong bank results underpin the general message that Tembo has repeated for the last several months; that is, that while ebbs and flows in real estate should always be expected, the fundamentals underlying pillars of the real estate sector are strong and will remain so for the foreseeable future.