July 19, 2016

Vancouver’s Strengths as a Global Financial Centre

Conference Board of Canada Releases Comprehensive Study on Vancouver’s Financial Services Sector Co-Funded by AdvantageBC

A comprehensive report by the Conference Board of Canada has shown that Vancouver stands out within Canada as a centre for wealth management activity, higher than any other financial activity in the city.

The report, Stronger Together: The Strengths of Canada’s Four Global Financial Centres, was co-funded by AdvantageBC, Calgary Economic Development, Toronto Financial Services Alliance and Finance Montreal. The four organizations are working together to build Canada’s reputation as a leader in global financial services.

According to the comprehensive study, key strengths in Vancouver include:

  1. Wealth management;
  2. Facilitating foreign direct investment;
  3. Trade finance and settlement;
  4. Retail and corporate banking;
  5. Investment banking;
  6. Mortgage brokers;
  7. Venture capital.

The report shows that Vancouver’s position as a destination for wealthy Asian immigrants has helped to cement the importance of full-service wealth management firms in the region.

Vancouver also accounts for an above-average share of fund management activity. The city is known as a bond trading center, and is a hot bed of activity in the alternative investment space like hedge funds.

According to the study, facilitating foreign direct investment is also a core strength for Vancouver and the second highest rated activity by survey respondents for the city after wealth management.

The credit union system in the city was listed as the most significant contributor to the growth in Vancouver’s financial services sector over the past five years, after the rise of Asia as an economic power and Canada becoming a settlement hub for the Renminbi.

Foreign-owned subsidiaries or branches of foreign banks are prevalent in Vancouver, reinforcing Vancouver’s reputation as an internationally recognized financial centre. Many of these foreign subsidiaries specialize in corporate banking.

As the home for the TSX Venture Exchange, Vancouver has a long established history of supporting equity financing for small cap businesses, particularly in the mining sector.

Finally, with the city’s strong high-tech infrastructure, which has developed due to its strong ties to Silicon Valley, venture capital is a key strength for the city. The upswings in financial technology (FinTech) start-ups are also attracting a growing amount of venture capital financing in the city.

Colin Hansen, AdvantageBC CEO and former BC Finance Minister explains, “Canada has a great story to tell when it comes to the strengths of our financial services sector.  This report shows how the strengths of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal complement each other.  Our challenge now is to get that message out to the rest of the world.”

AdvantageBC International Business Centre Vancouver is a non-profit organization established in 1986 to attract international business to British Columbia by promoting the tax incentives available through the Province’s International Business Activity program as well as the many other advantages BC offers companies engaged in international business.

For further information, please contact:

Talia Beckett,
Director, Communications & Research

Read the full report here:

Better Together, Building On The Strengths Of Canada’s Four Global Financial Centres http://advantagebc.ca/resources/reports/

Did you know?

  • Vancouver is among the top-10 wealth management centres in the world.
  • All five of Canada’s largest banks have significant operations in BC.
  • According to latest GFCI, Vancouver is the 5th most powerful financial centre in North America.
  • Vancouver ranked third most livable city in the world by the EIU.