CAMP’s submission to the Department of Finance consultation on the RBC-HSBC Canada merger

July 7, 2023 – A competitive banking sector is the bedrock of a free, fair and democratic economy, responsible for safekeeping the savings of Canadians, providing pathways to home ownership, and opportunities for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. The acquisition of HSBC Canada by RBC would remove an aggressive competitor and further entrench an incumbent in Canada’s oligopoly banking market.

In its submission to the Department of Finance’s consultation on the proposed acquisition, CAMP stresses three points of opposition:

  • Canadians are seeing record mortgage payment increases as more borrowers refinance in a higher interest rate environment. In this economic climate, the loss of HSBC Canada, an aggressive and consistent competitor in the residential mortgage space, would worsen the ongoing housing affordability crisis.
  • Small businesses, still recovering from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, depend on a competitive banking market to operate and expand their businesses. Feedback from the small business community in Canada shows a lack of competition in Canada’s concentrated banking market, a situation that will only intensify with the removal of HSBC Canada.
  • Canada’s permissive merger enforcement framework alone cannot be relied upon to protect competition absent intervention on the part of the Minister of Finance

Amid a cost of living crisis and persistent economic uncertainty, the Minister of Finance has an opportunity to protect Canadians by protecting competition in the banking sector.

Read the full submission here.