The personal & commercial banking arm of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has reported net income of C$1.59bn for the first quarter of fiscal year 2017, a 23% surge compared to C$1.29bn the prior corresponding period.  

For the quarter ended 31 January 2017, net income in Canadian Banking surged 26% to C$1.54bn from C$1.23bn in the previous year. Excluding a C$212m gain on sale of the US operations of Moneris Solutions, Canadian Banking net income increased 8% to C$1.33bn.

Caribbean & US Banking reported net income of C$46m, a 22% slump from C$59m last year. The banking group said that the decline mainly reflected impairment related to properties held for sale and higher staff costs in Caribbean Banking, partially offset by lower provision for credit losses due to recoveries in the Caribbean portfolio.

Overall, the banking group posted net income of C$3.02bn for the first quarter of fiscal year 2017, a 24% increase from C$2.44bn a year ago. Excluding the gain related to the Moneris sale, net income increased 15% year-on-year to C$2.81bn.

RBC president and CEO Dave McKay said: “RBC reported earnings of $3 billion for the first quarter reflecting strength across our businesses as we continued to invest in growth. We remain committed to returning capital to our shareholders and I’m pleased to announce a 5% increase to our quarterly dividend.

“As the operating landscape evolves, we are focused on our strategy of building a digitally-enabled relationship bank to meet the changing expectations of our clients.”