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Royal Bank begins financial year with $1.05-billion profit

The near-collapse of the world’s financial system is not linked to any single failure — though excessive risk taking by banks, lax review by regulators, low interest rates and rising consumer debt probably had a lot to do with it, Royal Bank of Canada CEO Gord Nixon told shareholders at its annual meeting.

The near-collapse of the world’s financial system is not linked to any single failure — though excessive risk taking by banks, lax review by regulators, low interest rates and rising consumer debt probably had a lot to do with it, Royal Bank of Canada CEO Gord Nixon told shareholders at its annual meeting.

Canada’s biggest bank said its first-quarter profits fell to $1.05 billion, down 15 per cent from the previous year’s $1.25 billion but above levels expected by most analysts.

Nixon said, despite some reports, “lending activity at Canada’s banks did not contract in 2008.”

He said credit spreads have increased but its loan book grew by 13 per cent and loans to individuals were up 2.3 per cent in the quarter.

 
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