Briefly: “Public sees banks as solid” and more of Tuesday’s news

By Staff | February 17, 2009 | Last updated on February 17, 2009
2 min read

Repeated press reports on the stability of the Canadian banking system appear to have convinced the public that the system is rock solid, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The firm’s Annual Banking Survey found 85% had confidence in the system, and 84% said it was one of the best in the world.

“Canadians are confident in their banks, and they should be,” says George Sheen, leader of the Canadian financial services practice at PwC. “They are well regulated, well capitalized and well run.”

The role of financial institutions is also recognized, with 92% saying the strength of the banks was critical to the health of the overall economy.

PwC’s global operations found fewer than half of those surveyed in other major countries were confident in their domestic banking system. Respondents in the U.K., Germany, France and Switzerland were far more doubtful of their banks’ stability than Canadians were of ours.

You might think that this confidence stems from recent comments out of the World Economic Forum, which suggested the Canadian regulatory framework as a model for the world. But apparently that was lost on Canadians; the survey found limited knowledge of this praise.

That’s not to say that Canadian banks are having an easy time, however. Combined annual earnings for the six biggest banks fell by $7.5 billion in 2008, to just over $12 billion.

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TD Waterhouse expands in Europe

TD Waterhouse has deepened its European footprint, increasing its stake in Internaxx Bank, a Luxembourg-based online bank for international investors and U.K. expats.

Internaxx started in 2001 as a joint venture between TD and a Luxembourg partner, BGL. TD Waterhouse has increased its stake from 25% to 75%, with BGL retaining the remainder. Internaxx will be managed through TD Waterhouse U.K.

“In a climate of global recession, we are one of the few financial institutions that is in a position to invest in, and grow, our business,” said Angus Rigby, CEO, TD Waterhouse U.K. and senior vice-president, TD Bank Financial Group. “TD Waterhouse offers one of the most comprehensive and competitive international trading services from a U.K. broker and we are continually looking for opportunities that would enable us to expand these services further.”

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AGF closing World Opportunities Fund

AGF Funds has announced that it will terminate the AGF World Opportunities Fund on April 20, 2009. Effective immediately, the fund is closed to new purchases.

The company cited the usual reasons for termination: low assets, a small number of investors and the cost of maintaining the fund. The fund’s assets consist of about $3.1 million, according to

Investors will be able to switch their investment to any AGF fund, or redeem their units. Assets remaining in the World Opportunities Fund after April 20 will be redeemed and re-invested in either AGF Canadian Money Market Fund or AGF U.S. Dollar Money Market Account, depending on the currency denomination of the assets.

Unitholders will not be required to pay any redemption fees or sales charges.

(02/17/09) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.