Date of this Version
Over the last decade, the structure and performance of Canadian financial institutions has undergone a profound transformation. Propelled by both regulatory changes and market innovations, Canadian financial institutions have found their historically protected markets opened to intense competition from a variety of different sources. The most significant regulatory change has been the piecemeal dismantling of the pillars that have traditionally separated the core activities of banks, insurance companies, loan and trust companies, and securities dealers from encroachment by one another. With lower entry barriers, institutions have scrambled to penetrate each other's markets. This entry has spurred a narrowing of differences in the structure and conduct of Canadian financial institutions.
Another regulatory change that has spurred increased competition is the reduction, (or, in the case of American owned Schedule II banks, outright elimination) of the constraints that have traditionally limited the operations of foreign financial institutions in Canada. Not surprisingly, the reduction of these restrictions has spawned the growth of a highly dynamic foreign financial industry in Canada.
Date Posted: 17 July 2008