New scholarship encourages law students to champion racial justice

Scotiabank launches nationwide scholarship supporting future lawyers tackling systemic discrimination and creating change

New scholarship encourages law students to champion racial justiceStudents in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law who are invested in combatting racism and promoting inclusivity will have more opportunities to put their passion into practice thanks to a new Scotiabank scholarship program. The Scotiabank Program for Law Students launched nationwide recently with the goal of increasing the number of future lawyers who are tackling…

Central banks should stay clear of cryptocurrencies

Central banks should stay clear of cryptocurrenciesAmong the many races the pandemic has accelerated, none is so pointless as the issuance of central-bank digital currencies. The Canadian government, which should know better, has jumped into the fray despite earlier opposition. Reversing comments made in February 2020, Bank of Canada deputy governor Timothy Lane now believes state involvement in cryptocurrencies is a…

Sports sponsorship builds our sense of community

BMO has a long history of investing in sports teams in Canada

Sports sponsorship builds our sense of communityI’ve always said that we could only be as successful at BMO as the communities in which we lived and worked. And a key part of that community building was done through our growing corporate sponsorship of sports. Supporting local teams and venues became a major part of enhancing our identity in cities and regions…

Feds reject Fintech help to SMEs during Covid-19 crisis

Trudeau government siding wth traditional banking over the interests of small companies looking to survive the pandemic

Feds reject Fintech help to SMEs during Covid-19 crisisBy Paz Gómez Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy The Liberal government has blocked financial technology (fintech) companies from distributing aid to businesses affected by the pandemic. In the age of cryptocurrencies and investment services like Robinhood, the government clings to banks and relics such as cheques by mail. PayPal, Wave and the Canadian…

Passionate customer service could save your business

If you give lip service to treating people well and then treat your team poorly, don’t expect your clients to receive anything different

Passionate customer service could save your businessLike most people (at least 62 per cent, according to a 2019 study by Hello Products), I don’t like going to the dentist. However, this was my week for getting a cavity checked and I headed to the dentist’s office. You know the routine: you get questioned and prodded by the dental assistant as she…

Rise of shadow banking a victory for consumers

Hedge and private-equity funds, mortgage lenders, and money-market funds provide accessible sources of credit

Rise of shadow banking a victory for consumersBy Paz Gómez Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Shadow banking is growing by leaps and bounds in Canada. It’s a C$1.5-trillion industry that expanded by 30 per cent between 2015 and 2017, according to a recent Bank of Canada report. The banking establishment fears a challenge to its power, but consumers benefit from greater…

Canada must regain its competitiveness 

We need tax reforms and other initiatives that will help spur entrepreneurial spirit and encourage investment

Canada must regain its competitiveness Canada is gradually losing its competitiveness – but it can be regained. According to the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), a graduate business school and research centre, we’re down three spots from 2018 to 13th. Canada is now ranked below the United States and Switzerland, as well as other energy-dominated nations such as Norway,…

Too many fault lines in digital voting process

The shambles of the Iowa caucuses reconfirms that electronic voting is still a long way off

Too many fault lines in digital voting processThe recent Iowa caucuses debacle reminded me of two things. First, my about-face as a member of the New Brunswick Commission on Electoral Reform with respect to electronic voting. Second, further confirmation that the electronic infrastructure continues to be an impediment in advancing digital democracy. The 21st century has empowered humanity with electronic connectivity and…

Carney was dead wrong about Brexit

As the Canadian leaves his post as governor of the Bank of England, his legacy is one of bias and wildly incorrect predictions

Carney was dead wrong about BrexitCanadian economist Mark Carney is stepping down as the governor of the Bank of England, to be replaced by Andrew Bailey in March. So it’s fitting to look at how his anti-Brexit bias and activism have damaged his legacy. Anybody actively involved in the Brexit debate is certain to hold strong opinions about Carney, as…

Square eases card payment challenges for small business

Square eases card payment challenges for small businessKarisa Marra is a business expert at Square. She works with businesses of all sizes and types across Canada: from coffee shops to landscapers to restaurants. In her role, Karisa partners with business owners to help them overcome their challenges in running and growing their business. What is Square and what does it do? Marra:…

Bailing out Alberta? ATB could do it

If I were king of Alberta, I’d instruct ATB to use its credit reserves to start buying up Alberta debt on the bond markets

Bailing out Alberta? ATB could do it“It keeps getting worse, buddy,” proclaimed Chuck from across the garden fence. “Four years of socialist rule and we’re heading for debtor’s prison. Thank God the PCs are back in.” “They’re not Progressive Conservatives anymore,” I retorted, “they’re UCPs – United Conservatives – and exaggerating the debt is what conservative Conservatives do, it’s called austerity…

Invisible assets missing link to creating successful tech industry

It is time for conventional banking institutions to enter the 21st century

Invisible assets missing link to creating successful tech industryI once chatted with a group of technology specialists and one of them asked an important question: “I know what intellectual property is, but what’s an intellectual asset?” It seemed to me that this is the most important concept in the modern world of tech, for (presently invisible) assets are the missing link in creating…

Canadian household credit growth slows for second straight month

But Scotiabank report says total borrowing by individuals rose by 3.7% month over month

Canadian household credit growth slows for second straight monthCanadian household credit growth decelerated in June as the slowing pace of mortgage expansion more than offset an acceleration in consumer credit, according to a new report by Scotiabank Economics. Home equity line of credit loans (HELOCs) remained flat in June, remaining on a weaker trajectory following strong increases through 2017 and 2018, it said.…

Mortgage restrictions force millennials to abandon home ownership

The result has significantly dampened the Canadian economy. Banks, not legislated stress tests, know best who can pay for houses

Mortgage restrictions force millennials to abandon home ownershipAn uproar is brewing over real estate in Canada, fuelled by a misguided attempt to protect willing homebuyers from themselves. Owners see prices declining, while prospective first-time owners find themselves locked out by mandated stress tests. The federal regulator should ease stress-test requirements – if not eliminate them altogether – before they cause further harm…

Can we protect privacy in a cashless society?

The key is to find digital mediums of exchange that preserve the distinct attributes of cash

Can we protect privacy in a cashless society?Canada leads the world in the transition to digitized commerce. With more than two credit cards per capita, the cashless economy is approaching swiftly. The move has been largely voluntary, driven by convenience, and half of Canadians favour dispensing with notes and coins altogether. With cash-only businesses declining to near non-existence, what’s the problem? As…

How cryptocurrency is changing basic economics

For survival, central banks have little choice but to enter the digital-currency race. But it’s a race they will eventually lose

How cryptocurrency is changing basic economicsCentral bankers increasingly sense their obsolescence – and rightly so. The more people turn to private currencies and conduct transactions without intermediaries, the less bureaucrats control the economy. In February 2019, a 33-page Bank of Canada discussion paper unwittingly admitted the vulnerability. The authors, James Chapman and Carolyn Wilkins, noted widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies as…

Canada is squandering its intangible future

The digital economy is underpinned by a new class of non-physical assets. Why aren’t we investing in them?

Canada is squandering its intangible futureCanada is in danger of becoming a tenant nation, according to a recent Public Policy Forum report written by Sean Speer and Robert Asselin. Speer and Asselin describe a post-industrial Canada falling into a modern form of dependency where, although we generate world-class innovation, we lack essential infrastructure and/or skills to commercialize it. We’re simply…

Real-time wage apps helping revolutionize currency exchange

Cryptocurrencies may still be experimental but they’re already driving competitive pressure on established institutions

Real-time wage apps helping revolutionize currency exchangeYour money is worth more to you today than tomorrow. This financial truth – the time value of money – backs the case for real-time pay, a nifty tool for the benefit of workers. Although Canadian unemployment is at a four-decade low, wage growth has stagnated and bankruptcies have spiked. This is where real-time pay delivers,…

Don’t sell ATB Financial, use it to save Alberta’s finances

Let’s modernize our public accounts, and use our financial strength and institutions to advance the public interest and eliminate the debt

Don’t sell ATB Financial, use it to save Alberta’s financesWould a cash-strapped government of Alberta sell its own bank? According to reports, Scotiabank has made an offer to purchase ATB Financial. And, given the perilous fiscal conditions in the province, it's possible the government will sell. That would be huge mistake. By doing so, any government would have to betray rural Alberta and then…

How banks can help Canada’s SMEs

They could start by formalizing the treatment of intangibles so (some of them) can be collateralized for banking purposes

How banks can help Canada’s SMEsA  survey of SMEs (Small to Medium sized Enterprises) I once read laid bare the hard facts about running a technology-related business in Canada. On the upside, the ingredients for growth for SMEs were easily identified; they include better access to management, planning, marketing, manpower and product development. What was surprising, perhaps, was the realization…

3 first steps to cleaning up your finances

A financial housecleaning is at least as important as getting rid of old newspaper and kitchen crumbs

3 first steps to cleaning up your financesDo you have a hard time keeping track of bank accounts and bills? It may be time to clean up your finances. If you're like me, you clean the pantry and toss out old newspapers and flyers every week or so, but you may go several months without de-cluttering your finances. Our priorities may be…

Record Canadian use of Interac e-Transfers in 2018

More than 371 million transactions worth a total of more than $132 billion

Record Canadian use of Interac e-Transfers in 2018Canadians used digital money transfer service Interac e-Transfer more than one million times per day last year. In a news release on Tuesday, Interac said it experienced record numbers in 2018 – more than 371 million transactions worth a total of more than $132 billion, representing a 54 per cent increase in volume and a…

Central banks’ overreach risks another recession

We need a decentralized, innovative and transparent banking system driven by free-market principals

Central banks’ overreach risks another recessionAs financial markets around the world erupt, dampening the festive spirit of this time of year, plenty of blame has been passed around. There are some notable geopolitical risks in the Middle East, Ukraine, North Korea, Pakistan and elsewhere. There’s the trade war between China and the United States. There are also signs of slowing global…

Keep the Bank of Canada out of the digital currency playing field

Central banks – try as they might – can’t create genuine cryptocurrencies and should learn to live with rising competition

Keep the Bank of Canada out of the digital currency playing fieldState digital currencies that attempt to emulate private cryptocurrencies are doomed. Not only will they fail in terms of adoption, despite having the state behind them, they will fail in terms of the objectives that drive alternative currencies. The rise of cryptocurrencies, particularly bitcoin, has caught the attention of central banks and financial regulators. Given…

Keep the Bank of Canada out of the digital currency playing field

Central banks – try as they might – can’t create genuine cryptocurrencies and should learn to live with rising competition

Keep the Bank of Canada out of the digital currency playing fieldState digital currencies that attempt to emulate private cryptocurrencies are doomed. Not only will they fail in terms of adoption, despite having the state behind them, they will fail in terms of the objectives that drive alternative currencies. The rise of cryptocurrencies, particularly bitcoin, has caught the attention of central banks and financial regulators. Given…

Millennials face challenges dealing with inheritance

Shawnette Fraser of TD Canada Trust says its important to remember that there are emotions at play

Millennials face challenges dealing with inheritanceShawnette Fraser is district vice-president of Calgary North for TD Canada Trust. How big of a market is the millennial generation these days for Canadian financial institutions? Fraser: Millennials make up a large portion of our population, and as customer service-based business we need to be looking to how we can best support them in their…

Can we avoid another financial crisis?

We need to embrace intangible assets. And the lending world and investors need to free up funds to support intangible creators

Can we avoid another financial crisis?Could intangibles help avert the next financial crisis? Yes. And they'd better, because the train of global prosperity is about to jump the track and intangible assets are the only possible salvation. Today's headlines are depressing. There's a constant stream of negativity led by U.S. President Donald Trump's assault on the North American Free Trade…

Was the 2008 financial crisis exacerbated by official misjudgment?

Countries as disparate as Ireland, Iceland and Greece showed that misplaced financial exuberance has many pedigrees

Was the 2008 financial crisis exacerbated by official misjudgment?We were on a train from London to Edinburgh when the financial crisis erupted in September 2008. The newspaper headlines were downright lurid and the detailed stories provided little comfort. A financial catastrophe was about to descend on all of us. As relatively recent retirees, we felt particularly vulnerable. There’d be no time or opportunity…

BMO launches Smart Branches concept in Calgary, Edmonton

New banking environment is designed to bring together advice-based services and the latest in digital experiences

BMO launches Smart Branches concept in Calgary, EdmontonBMO Bank of Montreal is launching a new format in Canada. The bank has opened its first two Smart Branches in Alberta – in Edmonton at Whyte Avenue and 104th Street and in Calgary on Shaganappi Trail. BMO said the new branch formats, which have also been introduced in the U.S. by BMO, provide a…

China using its monetary policy as a weapon of war

China is conquering the world by creating money when it needs it and simply absorbing debt. Perhaps we should be copying them

China using its monetary policy as a weapon of warThe United States military believes we're losing the Third World War to China. According to U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer, not only has that war started, but it’s unlike any conflict in history. “When it comes to China, the bottom line there is the chequebook,” he says. According to military leaders, this…