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Rogers Communications has an eye on entering banking business

TORONTO - Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B) is hoping to expand beyond the telecom business by starting up a bank.

TORONTO - Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B) is hoping to expand beyond the telecom business by starting up a bank.

Canada's largest wireless telephone service provider has told the finance department that it intends to apply to become a financial institution called Rogers Bank.

The bank would focus on credit, payment and charge card services and would be headquartered in Toronto.

Rogers has no plans to expand beyond that area into a full-service deposit-taking bank, it said an emailed statement.

“We routinely explore opportunities to strengthen our position as a leader and innovator in the communications industry,” Rogers spokeswoman Carly Suppa wrote.

“The license, if granted, would give us the flexibility to pursue a niche credit card opportunity to our customers should this make sense at a future date.”

Rogers would join other companies that run non-traditional banks including Canadian Tire and President's Choice as they seek to boost their financial services arms.

Canadian Tire Financial offers a MasterCard, while President's Choice - a brand carried by grocery chain Loblaw (TSX:L) - provides a host of other banking services including credit cards and mortgages.

The order would need to proceed through the Bank Act's normal application review process, and the Minister of Finance, and Suppa added that the approvals process could take more than a year.

Anyone objecting to Rogers entering the banking business may submit an objection in writing to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions before Oct. 24.

 
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