Maybe Oliver Stone was really on to something when he was out scouting the RBC trading floor for some potential Money Never Sleeps camera time. Our neighbor to the north has been quietly plundering both people and business from US institutions still waiting for the government to extinguish the flames from going down in a blaze of glory last year. While lending standards and mere recreational use of leverage may have prevented Canadian banks from being able to throw epic, 2007 vintage celebratory blowouts, chances are this year's RBC holiday party will be a bit better than Bear's. But not everybody is convinced that the Canadian offensive will have staying power. Some believe this is nothing more than a momentary disruption in the usual global order.
Bill Vlaad of Vlaad & Co., a Toronto-based recruiter specializing in the financial-services industry, says Canadian banks have "increased their weight class" during the slump, though they shouldn't count the competition out.
"One hundred and fifty years of global dominance in capital markets doesn't just disappear overnight," Vlaad said.
Just ask Lehman.
Wall Street Cedes to Bay Street as Canada Banks 'Play Offense' [Bloomberg]