Briefing

With profit up 11 per cent, RBC will launch a digital bank targeting high-net-worth U.S. customers

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Overall revenue rose 11 per cent year-over-year to $12.8 billion for the quarter ending January 31. Earnings per share increased by the same percentage to $2.44. The new U.S. business will launch late this year or early next, initially targeting wealthier clients before shifting to the mass market. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: RBC has tried and failed to make inroads in the U.S. consumer market before. It agreed to sell its money-losing U.S. retail-bank and credit-card operations in 2011 at a $1.57-billion writedown. At the time, Dave McKay, then-head of personal and commercial banking and now CEO, described the sale as getting an “albatross off our back,” and said the bank was looking at acquisitions and internet banking as ways back in. RBC has since purchased Los Angeles-based City National Bank; this new push won’t include a return to brick-and-mortar retail banking. RBC’s earnings, which beat consensus analyst estimates, kick off results for the rest of the Big Six, all of which are reporting in the next week.