Skip to main content

Real estate signs in Calgary, Alta., on June 26, 2014.

Jeff McIntosh/The Globe and Mail

The Globe's Real Estate Beat offers news and analysis on the Canadian housing market from real estate reporter Tara Perkins. Read more on The Globe's housing page and follow Tara on Twitter @TaraPerkins.

Canada's banks appear to be optimistic that their mortgage growth won't slow much more in the near term, but they are also seeking to show that they can keep up their profits elsewhere.

Three of the six largest banks have reported their third-quarter earnings so far, giving some insights into their mortgage businesses.

Story continues below advertisement

Macquarie Securities analyst Jason Bilodeau notes that Royal Bank of Canada's residential mortgage book grew 1.2 per cent from the prior quarter, Bank of Nova Scotia's 0.7 per cent, and Bank of Montreal's 1.5 per cent. (On a year-over-year basis, growth was 4.1 per cent, 3.2 per cent and 8.4 per cent, respectively.)

Executives at Royal Bank, the country's largest mortgage lender and the first bank to report, emphasized the message that its mortgage business is doing fine, but that it is still working to demonstrate that it can make money in other areas, such as consumer investments.

"I think you have seen while the mortgage business has slowed as expected, given the regulatory and consumer change in preferences, I would highlight the agility of our business model as growth in consumer demographics shifts to deposits and investments…" CEO Dave McKay told analysts on a conference call.

"We feel good about our mortgage business," said chief administrative officer and CFO Janice Fukakusa. "Our volumes were up just over 4 per cent from a strong Q3 last year and in fact I think everyone knows that we got off to a slower start in the spring housing window because of the weather, but we saw strong June and July and actually our pipelines for the fourth quarter also look strong." (The third quarter for the banks ended July 31.)

RBC's Canadian residential mortgages, which account for 64 per cent of its retail lending portfolio, had net impaired loans of $377-million in the latest quarter, down from $414-million a year earlier.

Both RBC and Bank of Montreal saw the ratio of Canadian residential mortgages that were delinquent for 90 days or more ticked down to 0.27 per cent, from 0.34 per cent a year earlier, and 0.39 per cent two years earlier.

"The 3-per-cent growth that we've had in the mortgage business is in line with where the market is growing," Anatol von Hahn, Scotiabank's group head of Canadian banking, told analysts. "We had hoped that the market would grow a little bit faster than what it has. As you know, it started slow and in the couple of months it's picked up. But I think, looking forward, we can expect this type of growth."

Story continues below advertisement

He noted that Scotiabank is seeing more business in other areas such as personal loans, the auto business and credit cards.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies