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Big banks brace for bad loans as TD, Royal and CIBC reveal quarterly numbers

Four of Canada's six big banks have posted quarterly results so far this week, and all four of them are setting aside a lot more money to cover bad loans.

Four of Canada's six big banks have posted quarterly results so far this week, and all four of them are setting aside a lot more money to cover bad loans.

Photo:  CBC

RCI

All three lenders post profits and raise dividend

Three of Canada's biggest lenders posted quarterly earnings on Thursday, and as was the case at Scotiabank earlier in the week, they're all putting a lot more money aside to cover loans that might go bad.

Royal Bank, TD Bank and CIBC revealed their financial results to investors before stock markets opened on Thursday, and while all three remain very profitable, they all showed a sharp uptick in the amount of money they're setting aside to cover bad loans, a closely watched banking metric known as provisions for credit losses.

At Royal Bank, Canada's biggest lender set aside $720 million to cover loans that either aren't currently being paid back as planned, or the bank is worried might soon be. That figure is up by 89 per cent from $381 million a year ago.

At TD, the bank set aside $878 million in provisions, an increase of 42 per cent from $617 million this time last year.

At CIBC, the bank set aside $541 million. That's an increase of 24 per cent from last year's level.

The figures come after Scotiabank revealed earlier this week that Scotiabank set aside almost $1.3 billion in potentially soured loans (new window).

Dividend increases

While the uptick in troubled loans is a concern, the figures are a drop in the bucket when viewed against the backdrop of the overall financial picture at all three lenders

At Royal Bank, the bank posted a quarterly profit of $4.13 billion, up from $3.88 billion a year earlier, and raised

its dividend to $1.38 per share — up from $1.35 previously.

At TD, profit fell from $6.67 billion to $2.89 billion but it, too, felt confident enough to increase its payout to shareholders to 1.02 per share, up from 96 cents previously.

CIBC also raised its dividend to 90 cents per share, up from 87, as its profits increased from $1.19 billion to $1.48 billion.

CBC News

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