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Canada Bank Earnings: What They Can Buy You In The Real World


Boy did the analysts get it wrong this time.

After predictions rolled in that Canada’s Big Five banks would see their earnings come under pressure due to a slowdown in consumer spending, the banks came out this week with soaring earnings.

The big banks’ total profit for the three-month period ending July 31 was an almost even $7.5 billion. That’s for three months, not a whole year.

RBC led the way, recording an all-time record profit of $2.24 billion, followed by Scotiabank at $2.05 billion, TD Bank ($1.7 billion), BMO ($970 million) and CIBC ($841 million).

To be fair, the analysts may yet prove to be right if the downward pressure from consumers continues. Canada saw a significant drop in retail sales in the most recent StatsCan report. And this week’s disappointing earnings report from fashion retailer Reitmans highlight just how separated the banks’ situation is right now from Canadian consumers.

But in the meantime, here’s an idea of just how much money the Big Five banks are raking in right now. (Text version below slideshow.)


What Canadian Banks' Profits Can Buy In The Real World

Tuition for 1,397,689 undergrads

The average undergraduate tuition in Canada today stands at $5,366.

5 billion fees for using another bank's machine

Banks can charge up to $2 or even $2.50 for non-customers using their machines, but we've used the more common $1.50 charge for this calculation.

1.36 billion fresh whole chickens

The going retail rate for a whole chicken in Canadian supermarkets was $5.52 in June of 2012.

2.5 billion rides on Toronto's streetcar

The cash fare rate on the TTC is $3.

1,978,891,820 poutines at Harvey's

Assuming a retail price of $3.79 each.

1.25 million 1978 Darth Vader figurines

The average annual salary of 163,043 Canadians

The average salary in Canada is around $46,000.

4.54 billion medium-sized double-doubles at Timmies

Assuming a pre-tax price of $1.65 per cup.

7,500 performances by Sting at your birthday party

It's estimated the singer charges $1 million per performance.

468,896 Honda Civics

The basic model at the suggested retail price of $15,995.

48 trips to the moon

The entire economy of the Bahamas

The Bahamas produced $7.7 billion in wealth in 2011, slightly more than Canadian banks' $7.5 billion in profits in a three-month period.

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