Spotlight on DLA Piper's Banking Disputes in Canada


The Canadian Banking Industry has received high praise and developed a reputation for its stability. The World Economic Forum, in its annual global competitiveness reports, has identified Canadian banks as the soundest in the world for the past seven years in a row.

In addition, in its Financial Development Report, the World Economic Forum ranked Canada’s banking system sixth among 62 countries in terms of its breadth, depth and efficiency.

The stable character of the Canadian banking system carried it through the global financial crisis. Maintaining a policy of solid funding and fiscal restraint regarding consumer lending proved essential to the system’s performance during the crisis. Canadian regulators pushed back when faced with pressure from bank executives to loosen lending restraints during the economic boom. As a result, Canadian banks thankfully found themselves in a favorable position when the global financial crisis finally hit.

The strong position enjoyed by the Canadian banking system has made it an asset to the economy at home and abroad. The contribution made to the economic growth of Toronto in particular is significant. Toronto houses the head offices of Canada’s five largest domestic banks and 41 of the 50 foreign-based banks operating in Canada. Almost half of employment in Toronto’s financial sector is attributable to Canadian banks. In The Banker’s 2014 report on international financial centres Toronto ranked sixth overall and among the world’s top 10 for total bank assets.

The Canadian banking system continues to establish itself on the global stage. In 2014, five Canadian banks were among the world’s largest 50 banks by market capitalization, and three of these – Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Scotiabank – placed in the top 25. The focus on innovation in the Canadian banking system is a testament to the system’s continued commitment to growth.

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP has banking lawyers situated in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Major clients include most of the five major banks, the largest two credit unions in Western Canada, and a number of foreign banks - chiefly US and Japanese entities - seeking expansion in the Canadian retail market or participation in syndicated and structured lending.

From a disputes perspective, the practice focusses on fraud and asset recovery and investigations. The team recently secured a CAD $650 million judgment for a bank against its management employees and their families, who had been perpetrating a long-running fraud on the bank and laundering the proceeds in Canada and elsewhere. Members of the banking disputes team have also recently advised two major banks on corruption-related matters as well as on matters involving banking identity theft, anti-trust matters, IT contractual disputes, and securities class actions.

Contacts for banking disputes include Jeff Horswill and David Neave in Vancouver, Dana Schindelka in Calgary, Lisa Constantine in Toronto, and Hubert Sibre in Montreal.

For more information on any of the facts and figures in this piece, please contact Lisa Constantine