Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has upped its spending on technology to about C$3bn ($2.4bn) a year and according to President and CEO Dave McKay has increased the share of spend on transformative projects to around 30% from 20%.
“The [digital] arms race is definitely heating up,” said Darko Mihelic, research analyst at RBC Capital Markets.
Addressing the RBC Capital Markets Canadian Bank CEO Conference in Toronto, McKay said: “I think we’re still in the early stages of seeing the benefit from that, and deploying these technologies, but they’re coming and they are making a difference.”
Scotiabank is spending a similar sum. Scotia President and CEO Brian Porter told the conference that tech spend increased by 14% last year to about C$3.1bn.
Of this sum, Porter said that 60% was spent running the bank with the other 40% spent on transformative projects including blockchain.
Victor Dodig, CIBC president and chief executive, said that CIBC was spending around C$1bn a year on tech while Bank of Montreal CEO said that BMO increased its tech spend last year by 13% and would probably witness a similar rise in spend in 2018.