On December 21, 2023, the federal government granted the regulatory approval to allow the sale of HSBC Bank Canada (HSBC) to the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
Pursuant to the Minister of Finance’s authorities under the Bank Act, she has required RBC to abide by strict terms and conditions which will protect Canadian consumers and expand consumers’ access to competitive banking services. RBC will also maintain HSBC’s Canadian workforce, create new Canadian jobs, and further support construction of new housing in Canada.
Unless otherwise specified, RBC will do the following for four years, beginning on the closing date of the acquisition:
Protect HSBC’s Workforce and Create New Jobs
- Establish immediately and fully implement within five years a new Global Banking Hub in Vancouver, supporting more than 1,000 jobs and creating about 440 net new jobs in British Columbia, as part of RBC’s effort to secure the future of HSBC’s Canadian workforce and grow British Columbia’s financial sector.
- Increase its client operations centre workforce in Winnipeg by 10 per cent to create 100 new jobs, including for francophone Manitobans.
- Protect HSBC’s Canadian workforce. This includes:
- Not terminating the employment (except for just cause or mutual parting) of any HSBC employee within six months of the closing date.
- Not terminating the employment (except for just cause or mutual parting) of all front-line banking and financial advisors at HSBC for at least two years.
- RBC will not offshore any client-facing, advice centre, or retail back-office positions currently performed by an HSBC employee in Canada, nor will it offshore any existing jobs that would result in “group termination” (as defined by the Canada Labour Code), for at least two years.
- Provide voluntary departure packages for any HSBC employee seeking to leave, where reasonable, within six months of the closing date.
Consumer Banking Services
- Use all reasonable best efforts to service and retain all current HSBC clients.
- Retain and operate as RBC branches, including ATMs within such branches, at least 33 HSBC branches, and transfer HSBC clients to new consolidated branches.
- Provide HSBC clients who continue as RBC clients with access to RBC’s network of ATMs, and ensure that at least 90 per cent of HSBC’s existing clients live within 5 km of one or more of RBC’s ATMs on the closing date.
- Maintain equivalent qualifications for fee waivers on all premium chequing accounts for any HSBC clients who continue as RBC clients for 18 months.
- Enable HSBC clients who continue as RBC clients to transfer registered and unregistered products to another financial institution at no cost for 18 months post-transaction.
- Provide retail deposit account foreign language services, including Mandarin and Cantonese, at HSBC branches that RBC continues to operate as RBC branches and that were providing these services.
- Provide services in RBC’s Advice Centre and through telephone banking services in all foreign languages that were available at HSBC branches.