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The plan commits the bank to “robust” climate-related governance and reporting. It says it will integrate climate risk assessments more in lending, financing and investing, decarbonize its operations and create a “Climate Change Centre of Excellence.” (The Logic)

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Talking point: The pressure to shift toward sustainable financing has increased since May, when the Bank of Canada first listed climate change as one of six vulnerabilities in the Canadian financial system. The central bank recognized that investors are not seeing prices that factor increasingly serious climate risks (due to a lack of transparency around carbon exposure), which could lead to “fire sales” that may destabilize the economy. Scotiabank, which manages more than $1 trillion in assets, issued its first green bond in July at US$500 million that invested in renewable energy, clean transportation and green buildings.

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Glen Gowland, executive vice-president of global wealth management, said the bank is looking to build an investment-handling division in the U.S., or buy an existing firm, to bring more assets under management and attract ultra-high-net-worth clients. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: Scotiabank has used such acquisitions to grow its Canadian wealth management client base, like the institutional investors and high-net-worth families brought in via the $950-million deal for Jarislowsky Fraser in February 2018 and the $2.6 billion acquisition of doctor-serving MD Financial in May 2018. Other Canadian financial institutions like Manulife have also started expanding their services for the super-wealthy. Wealth management brought in 12 per cent of Scotiabank’s earnings in each of the last two fiscal years, and it wants to raise that to 15 per cent. Gowland expects that part of its business to grow faster outside Canada, in markets like Chile, Peru, Columbia and Mexico. A big buy in the U.S.—a country with a large ultra-wealthy class—would help.

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The Los Angeles-based dog-walking startup is reportedly discussing a sale for less than US$300 million. That’s less than half of its initial valuation of about US$650 million. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: The investment conglomerate put US$300 million into Wag via its Vision Fund in January 2018, in exchange for 45 per cent of the company. That investment was meant to fuel international growth, but Wag struggled to maintain its U.S. market share compared to competitor Rover, whose second-quarter revenue grew 24 per cent, against Wag’s 12 per cent loss. It also floundered in its expansion efforts within the country, due in part to a series of customer service complaints, including lost and injured dogs. The company’s growing pains come as another blow to SoftBank’s ongoing effort to garner support for Vision Fund 2. The fund, which founder Masayoshi Son has said will focus on less risky investments than the original, has struggled to attract major investors thanks to fallout from struggling Vision Fund investments like WeWork and Uber.

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François-Philippe Champagne overruled a decision by an independent panel tasked with determining how much Pierre Lavallée should be paid. The effect of the minister’s intervention isn’t known—the government claims it is a cabinet confidence—but Lavallée’s maximum compensation was set at $1.5 million in year one, rising to $2.8 million in year five. The news came a few hours after Conservative leader Andrew Scheer called the bank a “boondoggle in waiting,” as part of a speech about cutting federal spending. (Globe and Mail, CBC)

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Talking point: The bank was given $35 billion and a mandate to build massive infrastructure projects across Canada, but it’s spent much of the past year talking about executive compensation and approving very few projects. It has so far announced just seven, totalling less than $4 billion in commitments. That falls far short of the initial grand ambitions for the bank. In August 2018, The Logic reported that a high-level government panel planned for it to bring in up to US$2.5 trillion in private-sector investments focused on projects with national scale, like doubling the flow of goods in Western Canada and slashing congestion in Canada’s biggest cities. Meanwhile, its 40 employees have an average annual salary of $392,000; at Investment Ontario, a similar organization at the provincial level, only four employees make more than $300,000 a year.

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David Marcus, head of Facebook’s Calibra digital currency division, tweeted that the coin will be backed by banknotes, so “for any unit of Libra to exist, there must be the equivalent value in its reserve.” Earlier on Monday, he appeared before officials from 26 major central banks to answer questions about the goals, design and target user base for Libra, as part of a conference on stablecoins organized by the Bank for International Settlements. (The Logic, Financial Times)

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Talking point: The central banks aren’t only looking at regulating Libra—some are also planning to compete with it. In August, Bank of England governor Mark Carney suggested replacing the U.S. dollar with a “synthetic hegemonic currency” as the world’s dominant reserve currency—the banknote held in the largest quantities by central banks for their foreign exchange transactions. But he said central banks should create a new token after setting up their own digital currencies, rather than adopt Libra. Several governments that have expressed concerns about Facebook’s plans are considering creating their own tokens, which would be necessary for Carney’s proposal. In September, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he’d spoken to the incoming and outgoing presidents of the European Central Bank about a “public digital currency”; he also said France would block Libra’s development in Europe. On Friday, German ruling party lawmaker Thomas Heilmann said his government’s new blockchain strategy will not allow Libra to operate in the country, although it is open to a state-backed token.

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Canada’s largest lender by assets saw shares increase by 0.86 per cent in late afternoon trading, after it reported third-quarter results, and increased its dividend by three cents to $1.05 per share. The bank reported a 6.4 per cent decline in capital markets and a 24.0 per cent drop in investor and treasury services in the quarter. Canadian personal and commercial banking posted a 7.4 per cent jump to $1.66 billion. (The Logic)

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Talking point: RBC CEO Dave McKay said Wednesday its international business was being weighed down by increasing “geopolitical risks” and trade tensions. The bank raised similar concerns about global market conditions in the first two quarters of this year, but the bank still reported a $3.26-billion profit this quarter, up five per cent from the same quarter in 2018. RBC is making personnel changes in one of the struggling divisions. Doug McGregor, group head of RBC Capital Markets and Investor and Treasury Services, will retire on January 31, after 37 years at the bank. RBC is vulnerable to global economic trends with its worldwide asset management operations and capital markets, as well as its ownership of U.S.-based City National Bank. However, it’s far from the only Canadian bank with significant overseas stakes. Last quarter, TD, BMO and Scotiabank all reported significant growth from overseas divisions. RBC’s earnings kick off a series from Canada’s other major banks: CIBC reports Thursday, and the other four between August 27 and 29.

Correction: A previous version of this piece said Doug McGregor has been the group head of RBC Capital Markets and Investor and Treasury Services for 37 years. He has been at RBC for 37 years, but has held his current role only since 2008.

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The currency will replace money issued directly from the central bank and follow a “two-tier system,” with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) issuing tokens to financial institutions that will then distribute them to clients. The digital fiat currency has been in the works since 2014, said Mu Changchun, deputy director at the Payment and Settlement Department of the PBoC, over the weekend. Mu said the bank has been working “overtime” to get the currency ready, in light of recent “external factors.” (Technode)

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Talking point: The announcement follows Facebook’s reveal of its digital coin, Libra, in June, which it plans to launch to the public in 2020. Chinese central bank officials expressed concern that Libra and other digital coins could create international currency competition that could threaten financial sovereignty. Governments around the world, including Canada’s, have called for more information on the coin. Beijing has maintained a ban on digital tokens, while its central bank develops its own. The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank, noted in a July report that China and other U.S. adversaries could develop and use sovereign tokens to avoid dealing with the U.S. dollar and help safeguard against the effects of American sanctions.