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RBC: Resilience when it mattered

A history of patient investment meant Royal Bank of Canada was well-placed to navigate a turbulent year.

RBC chief financial officer Rod Bolger

If it is possible to have a good pandemic, Royal Bank of Canada may have achieved it. With group revenues down just 2% in the fiscal year to the end of October, the bank was helped by a 34% rise in its equity and fixed income sales and trading business – a jump of almost C$1.6 billion ($1.25 billion).

It was another reminder of the advantage that RBC enjoys from its diverse mix of businesses and in particular from having by far the biggest investment bank franchise among its Canadian peers. That proved its worth in a year when almost every other one of RBC’s business lines was essentially flat.

Years spent patiently building diversity and resilience have paid off.

Group return on tangible common equity dropped nearly 300 basis points in 2020 but still sits just above 17%.

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