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A Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) logo is seen on Bay Street in the heart of the financial district in Toronto Jan. 22.Mark Blinch/Reuters

Royal Bank of Canada is expanding corporate and investment banking operations in Paris, taking on local and foreign rivals to tap the French market for financing, debt and equity sales, and merger and acquisition advice.

"After building a powerful U.K.-based platform, France and Germany have become the strategic frontier for RBC's development in Europe," Eric Meyer, head of France at RBC Capital Markets, said in an April 17 interview in Paris. "Large French companies are doing well, they are global, ambitious and growing."

RBC, Canada's largest lender by assets, ranks 10th globally this year in equity sales, and 13th in corporate bond sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Toronto-based bank also ranks 22nd this year in M&A advice.

"France is an extremely competitive market," said Meyer, a fomer managing director at Societe Generale in charge of French corporates and financial sponsors. "We want to become a meaningful player in the market, among the seven or eight foreign banks that matter in Paris. RBC has a great balance sheet and the will to deploy it."

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