Interim earnings from Canada’s major
banks have all outperformed analysts forecasts, helped by resilient
domestic retail banking results.

But Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) slipped to a
second quarter loss of C$50 million ($44.5 million), its first
quarterly loss since 1993, as a result of C$1 billion of writedowns
from its US retail and residential builder finance lending

RBC CEO Gordon Nixon said that Canadian
banking showed growth; that capital-markets profits were strong;
and “we believe we have tremendous momentum in all of our
businesses with the exception of US retail banking”.

For the six months to 30 April, Scotiabank
reported net earnings down by only 5.5 percent to C$1.7 billion,
boosted by a strong performance from its Canadian and international
retail units. The bank’s domestic retail arm reported strong
deposit growth of 10 percent or C$8 billion in personal deposits in
the second quarter.

At BMO Bank of Montreal, net earnings for the
first half fell 35 percent year-on-year to C$583 million. BMO said
its Canadian retail unit continued to report strong year-over-year
growth, with revenue growing 8 percent and net income up 9 percent
to C$350 million in the second quarter.

CIBC, the hardest hit of the Canadian banks
during the current downturn, returned to profit, with net earnings
of C$96 million in the first half, compared with a C$2.6 billion
loss in the year ago period.