Toronto has a concentration of 1,700 financial services firms. Employment in the financial services sector has grown steadily throughout the period between 1983 and 1999. According to the City's annual employment survey, the financial services sector grew from approximately 97,000 in 1983 to approximately 130,000 in 1999.The financial services sector has added stability to the City's economy and is closely aligned with other key business clusters in the City. While the sector has shown steady growth, the composition of employment within the sector has been changing.The Financial Services Cluster consists of three main industry groups; banking, insurance, and securities. These industry groups are often referred to as the "pillars" because traditionally, they were prohibited from entering into each other's core business. Each of the large banks in Canada is now engaged in activities far beyond traditional deposit-taking functions. The modern Canadian bank is a complex entity providing services including wealth management, corporate financing, capital markets, and merchant banking along with their insurance and securities subsidiaries.
Toronto’s financial services industry – Ontario government is pushing for the new national securities regulator to be located in the city – according to the provincial budget. The budget pledges to create a Financial Services Leadership Council, enlisting financial sector chief executives and leaders from all levels of government to make Toronto one of the world’s top 10 financial centres.CIBC announced that it will open or expand 20 more branches in the latest stage of a plan to improve its network across Canada.The bank said it will focus on high-growth communities, with the majority of the expansion in the GTA. The new branches are expected to open by the end of 2010.ING Direct is the latest Canadian financial institution to launch a full-featured mobile banking app that allows customers to transfer funds, check account balances and transactions, and search for the nearest ABM on a BlackBerry or iPhone. Last month, CIBC released an iPhone app that allows money transfers and bill payments. Scotiabank’s BlackBerry and iPhone apps only allow users to find their nearest branch or ABM, while RBC doesn’t have a banking app but does have an optimized website for banking on mobile phones.
Toronto is the third largest North American financial services centre after New York and Chicago and is Canada's financial and business capital. Toronto's financial services sector is the continent's fastest growing. Head office and strategic planning functions, financial product development, risk management and systems design, training and development - just some of the expertise found in Toronto's dynamic and vibrant business centre.
Bank of Montreal chief executive Bill Downe reminds Canadian firms to focus on opportunities that can arise from the economy during its rebound. What I got out of this article was that in order for Canadian firms to compete on a global scale they must depend on efficiency and innovation. Mr. Downe sees many opportunities for the Bank of Montreal to grow in the U.S. as the economy improves and its now that they must take action for this to occur. “If ever there was a time that we – and I am speaking about both BMO and our customers – should feel compelled to expand our markets and to invest in productivity, it is now,” he said. “Given the relative strength in the economy, businesses have a rare opportunity, and clear incentives to step up innovation and their investment in leading edge equipment.”
2. What is a Cluster?<br />Michael Porter defines a cluster as follows…<br />A concentration of companies and industries in a geographic <br />Region which are interconnected by the markets they serve, <br />and the products they produce, as well as the suppliers, <br />trade associations and educational institutions.<br />
3. Benefits of a Cluster<br />Cluster environment helps create local jobs <br />& fuels economic growth in a region<br />Clusters contribute to a higher quality of life<br />for the community, the region and the country<br />Clusters foster high levels of productivity and<br />innovation and lays out the implications for <br />competitive strategy and economic policy<br />
4. What Can A Cluster Be?<br />A cluster can be any of the following………<br />Incubator<br />Convergence Centre<br />Accelerator<br />Innovation Centre<br />Centre of Excellence<br />
5. Who makes up the GTA’s Financial Services Cluster?<br />Banks<br />Credit Agencies<br />Big 5 banks<br />Insurance Companies<br />
6. Toronto has a concentration of 1,700 financial services firms<br />Employment in the financial services sector has grown steadily <br />The financial services sector has added stability to the City's economy<br />The Financial Services Cluster consists of three main industry groups<br />
7. What is happening around us?<br />Making Toronto one of the world’s top 10 financial centres<br />CIBC Expands its Branch Network<br />ING Direct Launches Mobile App<br />