Frequently Asked Questions
1. When and where was Royal Bank founded?
Royal Bank was founded as the Merchants Bank, in Halifax, in 1864. In 1869, the bank received its federal charter and was incorporated under the name of the Merchants' Bank of Halifax. To better reflect the bank's growing continental aspirations, and to avoid confusion with the Merchants Bank of Canada, the bank adopted the more distinctive name of "The Royal Bank of Canada" in 1901. In 1990, The Royal Bank of Canada shortened its legal name to Royal Bank of Canada.
2. Who founded Royal Bank?
The bank was founded, in 1864, by a small group of enterprising Halifax merchants. These merchants- J.W. Merkel, Edward Kenny, T.C. Kinnear, John Duffus, William Cunard, John Tobin, George P. Mitchell, Jeremiah Northup- agreed to enter into a co-partnership to "discount promissory notes and acceptances, make advances on approved securities, purchase and sell bills of exchange, receive money on deposit, and transact all other business matters connected with a banking establishment."
3. When did Royal Bank change its logo?
In 2001, Royal Bank updated its master brand to further exemplify its evolution. The brand name "RBC Financial Group" was added to capture the diverse companies and businesses that are part of the organization. The new logo continues to pay homage to tradition and honours its strong Canadian roots by retaining the traditional lion and globe.
4. When did Royal Bank become Canada's largest financial services provider?
When the business conducted by Canada's banks was strictly deposit taking and lending, balance sheet assets were the accepted measuring stick in determining bank size. Royal Bank first emerged as Canada's largest bank, based on balance sheet assets, in 1920. Between 1921 and 1940, Royal Bank regularly traded top ranking with Bank of Montreal until 1941 when it emerged as Canada's largest bank. More recently, banks have broadened the range of financial services offered to clients and balance sheet assets alone no longer accurately measure bank size. As a result, comparative analysis of bank size now incorporates other financial measures such as market capitalization and net income. Regardless of the measuring stick, Royal Bank remains Canada's premier financial services company.
5. On which stock exchanges is Royal Bank listed, and when?
Royal Bank's common shares are currently listed on the following stock exchanges with the original listing date in parentheses:
Toronto (1907); Swiss Electronic Stock Exchange (1986) and New York (1995). Royal Bank's preferred shares are offered on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Prior to the consolidation and specialization of stock exchanges in Canada in December 1999, Royal Bank's common shares were listed on the following stock exchanges with the original listing date in parentheses: Montreal (1893); Vancouver (1948); Alberta (1975); Winnipeg (1976). Royal Bank was also listed in Tokyo (1986-1993) and London, England (1967-2001, but traded as early as 1909).
6. When was Dominion Securities founded and when was it purchased by Royal Bank?
Opening in a small office on Toronto's King Street on April 1, 1901, Dominion Securities initial business concentrated on the underwriting and distribution of government and municipal bonds. After the Second World War, Dominion Securities kept pace with Canada's growing investment business by underwriting and distributing new issues of government and corporate securities, trading Canadian and foreign issued securities and executing stock orders on major stock exchanges. Responding to the demands of an increasingly competitive marketplace, Dominion Securities grew through mergers and acquisitions with A.E. Ames & Co. (1981), Pitfield, Mackay, Ross Limited (1984) and Molson Rousseau (1986). On the tail of massive restructuring of the financial services industry, Royal Bank acquired 67 percent of Dominion Securities on March 31, 1988, which was raised to 100 percent ownership in 1996.
For more information, please visit our history of RBC Dominion Securities at: http://www.rbc.com/history/quicktofrontier/ds.html.
7. When was Royal Trust founded and when was it purchased by Royal Bank?
The Royal Trust Company opened for business on November 24, 1899, on Place D'Armes in Montreal. Between 1976 and 1978, corporate reorganizations created a new more market responsive organizational structure. Under federal charter, Royal Trustco Limited and Royal Trust Corporation of Canada were established with the former serving as the parent company and the latter assuming control of Royal Trust's Canadian trust operations excluding those in Quebec. The Royal Trust Company continued to operate all trust activities within the province of Quebec. In September 1993, Royal Trust became part of RBC Financial Group, bringing its strength and leadership in personal and institutional trust, securities custody and investment management to Canada's largest financial institution. Today, the services provided by Royal Trust are part of RBC Investments (the wealth management division) and RBC Global Services (securities custody) within RBC Financial Group.
For more information, please visit our history of Royal Trust at: http://www.rbc.com/history/quicktofrontier/royal_trust.html.
8. Where can I find out more information about Royal Bank's history?
A complete history of Royal Bank can be found in Duncan McDowall's award winning book Quick to the Frontier: Canada's Royal Bank published by McClelland & Stewart in 1993. The French edition of the book is entitled Banque Royale: au coeur de l'action published by Les Editions de l'Homme (1993).
Did You Know?
Did you know that in the early years of the twentieth century, marriage was seen as an impediment in
the path of any young bank clerk and was prohibited until an employee's salary reached $1,000 a year.
It was feared that an early marriage invariably led to debt resulting in possible defalcation. More
importantly, marriage retarded the frequent transfers that were required for a young banker's