The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Canada’s biggest banks are hogging most of the profits in the highly competitive wealth management field.
Canada’s biggest banks are hogging most of the profits in the highly competitive wealth management field.
(Michelle Siu/The Canadian Press)

Subscribers Only

Big banks winning the wealth management wars

Despite the best efforts of independent investment dealers to make a name for themselves in wealth management, Canada’s biggest banks are hogging most of the profits in the highly competitive field.

Shortly after the Great Recession, wealth management became the hot ticket on Bay Street. Not only was the business destined to catch fire as baby boomers neared retirement, triggering their need for financial advice, it was also a safe and relatively cheap bet. Unlike capital markets arms that are backstopped by big capital cushions that safeguard against speculative trades, wealth management’s revenues mostly come from risk-free client fees that tie up little capital.