Before CIBC began trying to remake itself, the bank had a well-earned a reputation for embarrassing missteps, including:
Former Enron Chief Executive Officer Jeff Skilling, right, and his attorney Daniel Petrocelli arrive at the federal court in Houston for sentencing on Oct. 23, 2006. Richard Carson
The Enron Settlement
After becoming entangled in the accounting scandal of collapsed energy giant Enron Corp. in the early 2000s, CIBC paid $2.4-billion to settle a dispute with the company’s investors.
A newly sold home at a new housing subdivision is seen in San Marcos, California on Aug. 20, 2007. The economic contagion that started with a slump in U.S. home prices has spread throughout the financial sector due to default rates on risky subprime mortgages. Mike Blake
CIBC amassed billions of dollars in unhedged exposure to the subprime mortgage market in the United States, which blew up when the housing market collapsed. The bank recorded more than $10-billion in writedowns as a result.
Press conference announcing deal between Amicus and Sympatico-Lycos in Toronto on April 18, 2001. Patti Gower
Failed American Dreams
Starting in the late 1990s, CIBC expanded aggressively into U.S. investment banking and launched Amicus, an electronic bank that CIBC planned to use as a beachhead into U.S. consumer market. By 2002, CIBC was retreating from those markets amid considerable losses.
A pedestrian passes in front of CIBC signage displayed outside of the company's office near Bay Street in Toronto on Aug. 29, 2011. Brent Lewin
The bank has suffered a number of public relations blemishes, including paying $125-million to settle allegations it gave money to hedge funds to facilitate illegal trading in mutual funds. It was also criticized by the federal Privacy Commissioner in 2004 after it was found to be errantly faxing customer information to a junk yard in Virginia.
Bad Timing and the Asian Crisis
In 1998, CIBC’s global ambitions for its capital markets business took a major hit when it was blindsided by the worst of the Asian crisis. The bank’s profit took a 35-per-cent hit as a result.