Canadian banks seek to fill U.S. "vacuum"

|By:, SA News Editor

With big U.S. and European lenders retrenching amid new regulations and tighter capital requirements, Canadian banks have been expanding south of the border whether by acquisition, boosting existing networks, or hiring newly freed-up executives.

"There has been a vacuum created in the U.S.,” says Dick Bove, "And the Canadians are taking advantage, RBC (RY -0.1%) more so than the others.” RBC - which was forced to sell its U.S. retail network following the financial panic - has turned to investment banking, and has increased its share of the U.S. investment bank fee pool by 3% over past 3.5 years, and now ranks 10th in U.S. equity capital markets underwriting and 11th in high-yield; last month it poached two senior bankers from Citigroup.

The move by Canadian banks also comes as growth slows at home amid government efforts to slow credit growth to cool a steamy property market.

Others of interest include: TD Bank, BMO, Scotiabank (NYSE:BNS), and CIBC (NYSE:CM).