Thursday, July 18, 2013

Banks Show Some Love to Winnipeg

TD, Canwest and now RBC Building
RBC has really decided to make sure they have good name recognition in the province. In one short month, they have announced that they are putting their logo on two prominent Winnipeg buildings, the Winnipeg Convention Centre and 201 Portage Avenue, formerly the TD building, formerly Canwest Global, formerly Canwest building.The Royal Bank lion will now grace to major buildings in own for years to come.

RBC leased the top floors of 201 Portage for their securities division which was the impetus for the name going up . In recent months, the bank has also donated money for research on Lake Manitoba.

RBC has also been positioning more senior people here to capture some of the corporate business springing up. It is no accident that they want more recognition in the province for their work. People have not forgotten the steady stream of execs from all the banks that streamed west. Nor have they forgotten the steady refusal of investment money after that from those western purse-string holders.

The 1990s were rough years for Winnipeg and the province. The banks gave up, closed down and didn't believe the economy was worth it. The credit unions stepped up.

Not to be outdown by RBC, BMO has positioned a senior vice president here as well.

CIBC runs the only capital markets office in Winnipeg.

Winnipeg's Wellington West is now part of National Bank and Manulife.

Scotiabank has sponsored the stage at Festival Park in the The Forks for years.

The true test of the bank though is not just logos and sponsorships although these do help. It will be increasing the presence of senior bank staff and access to capital.

There is a reason why the credit unions boomed the last several years. It was the neglect of the banks. It is unlikely the banks will cause the credit unions to retreat. However, when it comes to getting corporate deals, securities trading and boutique financial services, the banks have more expertise.

There is one thing to note here. TD bank used to have a logo up on 201 Portage Avenue. They still occupy the building but RBC now has the higher floors, the logo on the building and more presence.

If there is a bank that needs to step up their game in the city, it might be TD.

Come on banks. Show some more love.

No comments: