An Overview of the Canadian Financial-Services Sector: Banking Industry

3478 Words Dec 4th, 2006 14 Pages
An Overview of the Canadian Financial-Services Sector: Banking Industry

What is a financial intermediary? A financial intermediary is an organization that raises money from investors and provides financing for individuals, companies and other organizations. Intermediaries are a stop on the road between savings and real investment. Mutual funds and pension funds are two important classes of intermediaries. A financial institution usually suggests a more complicated intermediary doing more than just pooling and investing savings. Banks and insurance companies are good examples.

A bank is where you can borrow money only if you can prove you don¡¯t need it. To some extent, this joke is more truth than fiction. While banking has a
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In past, Schedule I Banks ought to be widely held by a large number of shareholders, originally with no investor holding more than 10% and foreign ownership was previously limited to 25%. However, these rules have been changed according to a new legislative policy framework introduced in June of 2000. Under the new rules, there are three sub-classes of banks, based on the size of their equity capital: 1) large (greater than $5 billion); 2) medium ($1 to $5 billion); and 3) small (less than $1 billion). Based on present figures, the $5 billion cut-off point would establish the top six Schedule I Banks as large banks, except the National Bank (although it would be classified as such until deemed otherwise by the Minister of Finance). The large banks have to remain widely held under new criteria that eliminate the 25% foreign ownership rule, and permit a single investor to own up to 20% of the voting shares of the bank, and up to 30% of non-voting shares, subject to a ¡°fit-and proper¡± test designed to evaluate their character and suitability. Medium banks would be allowed to have a single owner hold up to 65% of shareholdings and would be required to maintain a public float of at least 35% of voting shares. Small banks would face no ownership restrictions other than the ¡°fit and proper¡± test. Following the reform, the nationality is no longer a
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