A booming provincial economy has helped the B.C. banking sector’s biggest employer enjoy mortgage and commercial-loan growth that is substantially ahead of last year’s numbers and the bank’s growth projections, says the Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) new regional president for B.C.
“Looking at the real estate side [for mortgage loans], it’s the best start we’ve had in 15 years in terms of growth,” Martin Thibodeau told Business in Vancouver in an exclusive interview.
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Countrywide, he said, the bank has about $400 million more in mortgage loans than the bank’s target for the year’s first four months. Of that unexpected mortgage growth, $363 million has come from B.C.
The bank’s commercial banking business is also booming.
Outstanding balances of commercial loans are up 22% compared with last year’s totals, which is “unheard of” for RBC, he said. “It’s significant, usually, when you are up 8% or 9%. That’s a big year.”