Royal Bank reports $3.23-billion Q2 profit, provisions for credit losses climb

By Staff, with files from The Canadian Press | May 23, 2019 | Last updated on May 23, 2019
2 min read
Drawings and charts of successful business, workplace of the businessman
© Albert Yuralaits / 123RF Stock Photo

Royal Bank of Canada saw a big bump in profits last quarter, propelled by loan growth and higher interest rates at its personal and commercial banking business.

The 7% boost in net income came despite a big uptick in provisions on impaired loans.

Chief executive David McKay expressed confidence in the housing market and the domestic economy, despite record levels of household debt among Canadians late last year and a “softened” gross domestic product.

“Regulatory changes have helped some of the Canadian major housing markets stabilize, particularly in Ontario and to the East. Western Canadian markets remain under downward pressure overall, making housing more affordable,” McKay said Thursday on a conference call with investors.

“If we see slower volume growth and slower revenue growth as we hit a cycle, we have plans to manage […] in that type of cycle, too,” he added.

The Bank of Canada has hiked interest rates five times between mid-2017 and last fall, helping to make them a “big driver” behind RBC’s 14% year-over-year revenue boost to $11.5 billion, said chief financial officer Rod Bolger.

Total provisions for credit losses climbed 55% to $426 million, up from $274 million in the same quarter last year, due to higher provisions in personal and commercial banking, wealth management and capital markets.

The country’s biggest bank by market value earned $3.23 billion in its latest quarter, helped by growth in its capital markets, personal and commercial banking and wealth management businesses.

In wealth management, net income increased 9% to $585 million. In a release, the bank said that higher fee-based revenue contributed to the increase. Partially offsetting the increase were higher costs to grow the business, including an increase in investment advisors and “higher variable compensation on improved results,” the release said.

RBC said its overall profit amounted to $2.20 per diluted share for the quarter ended April 30.

The result compared with a profit of $3.06 billion or $2.06 per diluted share a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, RBC reported $2.23 in diluted cash earnings per share for the quarter, up from $2.10 per share a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $2.21, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

The Canadian Press logo

Staff, with files from The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press is a national news agency headquartered in Toronto and founded in 1917.